Review - December 20, 2007 - Joanne

The Dry Creek Kitchen Charlie Palmer Healdsburg
The Dry Creek Kitchen

Healdsburg, CA
707-431-0330


Visited September, 2007


Feeling we needed to see what Charlie Palmer's restaurant had become after five years, we took the whole clan. Service issues were still present, not spoiling dinner, but making it less than smooth: Wine glasses overfilled and spilled wine not wiped up. One of the dishes required sauce to be poured tableside, which resulted in over-pouring of that sauce around the table caused the waiter to run out and he had to leave to get a refill.

Our overall experience was better than in years past. The food was good and made the benchmark for expensive dining. The lack of finesse of the wait staff, the austere room and the safe choices from the kitchen makes this an expensive dinner out in wine country and one we do not rush to repeat.

Crab Cakes at Dry Creek KitchenThe table ordered the tasting menu, but the requirement of the whole table ordering it was waived for our young dinner who ordered crab cakes as an entree - and were too heavily seasoned for him to enjoy.
 
Tasting Menu

Amuse: Crudite of Carrots, Celery, Radish and Cucumber with Aioli at Dry Creek Kitchen
Amuse: Crudite of Carrots, Celery, Radish and Cucumber with Aioli
A surprising amuse. Would have been better if the vegetables chosen were special in some way. One of the carrots was not well trimmed. The aioli was a bit mild.
 Seven Tomato Gaszpachi with Haogen Melon Sorbet and Young Basil at Dry Creek Kitchen
Seven Tomato Gazpacho
with Haogen Melon Sorbet, Young Basil
Good. The bell pepper was a strong element in the soup. The brioche was more of a construction item for the sorbet to sit upon than a great choice to mesh flavors. The sorbet on it own was pleasant and the melon and tomato pairing was an inspired choice.
(Jack gives them a bonus point for using Haogen melon.)

Ahi Tuna Tartare with Haas Avocado Relish, Togarashi, Chili-Ponzu, Sesame Wonton Crackers at Dry Creek Kitchen
Ahi Tuna Tartare
with Haas Avocado Relish, Togarashi, Chili-Ponzu, Sesame Wonton Crackers
A dish hard not to love. The tuna was fresh, piled in a little tower, and topped with guacamole. The sesame crackers resembled small papadams and were the perfect crunchy thing to scoop up bites.
 Hook & Line Caught Halibut with Fox Island Mussels, Fennel Spinach, Oregano Infused Tomato Broth at Dry Creek Kitchen
Hook & Line Caught Local Halibut
with Fox Island Mussels, Fennel Spinach, Oregano Infused Tomato Broth
The fish was sadly overcooked, ruining a pleasant dish.

Roasted Petaluma ChickenBread with Fines Herbes Gnocchi, Poultry Jus, Chanterelle and Corn Ragout
Roasted Petaluma Chicken Breast
with Fines Herb Gnocchi, Poultry Jus, Chanterelle and Corn Ragout
Pieces of a breast and on the stringy side. Certainly nothing special. The mushrooms were good but a small element of the dish. Quite a lot of salt.
 Black Pepper Crusted Painted Hills NY Strip with Yukon Gold Potato Puree, Beer Battered Onion Rings, Truffle Jus at Dry Creek Kitchen
Black Pepper Crusted Painted Hills New York Strip
with Yukon Gold Potato Puree, Beer Battered Onion Rings, Truffle Jus
Served quite rare. Not a wonderful steak, but a good one. This course would have been vastly improved by a better choice of beef - and we expected better on a chef's tasting menu. Nice onion ring.
 

Interior at Dry Creek KitchenPatio at Dry Creek Kitchen
Interior at DryCreek Kitchen in Healdsburg

Menu at Dry Creek Kitchen
Tasting Menu at Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg, CA
Dessert Menu at Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg, CA

Choice of Dessert (the tasting menu dessert was a choice of any dessert on the regular dessert menu)

Cafe Glace with Opera Cake, Sea Salt Caramel Ice Cream and Espresso Soda with Coffee, Chocolate and Almond Cake at Dry Creek Kitchen
Café Glace with Opera Cake
with Sea Salt Caramel Ice Cream and Espresso Soda with Coffee, Chocolate and Almond Cake
Lots of coffee in this otherwise well made cake. I didn't like the coffee drink, which seemed like a cross between a float and a effervescing cappuccino. A weird hard sugar on the glass's rim further confused me.
 Daily Tasting of House made Ice Cream and Sorbets at Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg CA
Daily Tasting of House-made Ice Creams and Sorbets
We really, really liked the grapefruit and orange sorbets. Vanilla, Chocolate, and Pistachio Ice Creams were all okay with the Pistachio the weakest.


Valhrona Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar, Dark Chocolate Marquis, Peanut Butter Mousse, Chocolate Sorbet
Valhrona Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar, Dark Chocolate Marquis, Peanut Butter Mousse, Chocolate Sorbet
Good. Light style to it, but not enticing me to eat multiple bites. I wanted more texture.
 Amaretto Creme Brulee with Howard Miracle Plums, Almond Florentine
Amaretto Crème Brulèe with Howard Miracle Plums, Almond Florentine
Good. Nicely balanced.
 
Wine List
Very focused on California. We ordered a Littorai Pinot Noir and a Rochioli Sauvignon Blanc.


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