From tea facials to burger butlers, there’s always something nifty, new, and notable happening in Wine Country.
MacRostie Estate House (Healdsburg)
Steve MacRostie founded his 20-acre winery and vineyards in the Russian River Valley in 1987, but now he’s celebrating the opening of his very own tasting room. Called the Estate House, the hilltop venue is done in rich grained woods, leathers, and glass showcasing the signature MacRostie’s Scottish thistle motif. Focus on the Pinot Noir, like the 2011 Twin Hill Ranch label.
4605 Westside Road, 707-473-9303
Dry Creek Kitchen (Healdsburg)
Welcome chef Andrew Wilson and his new menu! The Pennsylvania native packed up his pots and pans and moved to the Hotel Healdsburg/Charlie Palmer kitchen. He's now sending out such esteemed dishes as Dungeness crab salad with Palmer Ranch orange, Granny Smith apples, mint and crispy shallots; and Petaluma chicken presented in a duo of roast breast and good old-fashioned Southern fried thigh with braised greens, Yukon Gold potato puree, and sweet 'n' spicy pepper chow chow. Yes, please.
317 Healdsburg Avenue, 707-431-0330
Taste of Tea (Healdsburg)
You can sip loose leaf hot or iced teas at the tasting bar, relax in the lounge or on the patio with a MarTeaNi, or enjoy a bowl of ramen and a green tea cream puff from the cafe kitchen. And then—are you ready for this?—the aestheticians are waiting for you in the relaxation room, ready with a spa treatment like a tea foot bath or tea facial. Ahhh.
109 North, 707-431-1995
Blackbird Cafe & Soda Fountain (Healdsburg)
Who can resist the old-fashioned deliciousness of sundaes, egg creams, floats and ice cream by-the-scoop from the antique soda fountain? The cozy, dark wood mercantile also woos with panini, bagel-wiches, giant soft pretzels, and hand-mixed soda pops in fresh flavors like pomegranate or salted caramel. Be sure to pack your pockets with retro candy, too, for snacking later.
312 Center, 707-431-7669
Merryvale Vineyards / Gott’s Roadside (St. Helena)
It’s all the rage for winery tasting rooms to offer food these days. But this sophisticated tasting room takes it a step further, with the new Burger Butler program wherein one of their friendly lackeys will scamper across the street to the legendary Gott’s to grab you a sandwich and fries (no waiting in line). You can then enjoy your little feast in a private porch setting, paired with wine list and barrel tastings. Be sure to ask your butler for extra napkins, please.
1000 Main, 707-963-7777