117 North St., Healdsburg, CA
Visited: Thursday January 25, 2007 – Dinner
Ravenous is located in a small house tucked up the street from the central Healdsburg square. We’ve heard more about this restaurant from Healdsburg regulars over the years than any other, but somehow we’ve never been.
The restaurant space is tiny, with a bar. There is a lovely table for six or eight in front of the fireplace. The walls are painted persimmon orange and the art is punchy painted line drawings in duo tone.
The menu is handwritten and comes on red/orange/yellow paper. Red lamp shades and candles give dim lighting setting the stage (and making food photos impossible at night). In fact it’s really too dark at some of the tables to see your food. If that’s a concern it’s best to go for lunch. In fact we wished we had gone for lunch as the food strengths were definitely lunch choices. Entrée portions are large but the style is too on-average for it to be an “evening out” for us. I know if asked we would likely choose elsewhere.
What we ordered: Smoked Salmon, black & gold Caviar, Corn cakes, Crème fraîche
Served with a small nest of greens. The caviar was somewhat lost in the mound of crème fraîche ("gold caviar" was salmon roe). Two little corn cakes were nice and fluffy. A good amount of salmon.
Mixed Lettuces…chevre & toasted walnuts
Not enough dressing made this a dry and not very pleasant salad despite the nice greens.
Red Lentil Soup with butternut squash & ginger
Yum. Just a touch spicy.
Pan-roasted Chicken breast… hedgehog & King oyster mushroom sauce…truffle butter garnish wilted organic swiss chard
Tender. The mushrooms did not stand out.
Pork tenderloin…medallions, sautéed with marsala, sage, mushrooms…braised fennel…potato gratin
Pork was good. The potato gratin was limp. Sauce was nice.
Grilled Rib eye Steak… onion rings, pico de gallo and roasted potatoes
Okay. The onion rings were thin, not that crispy. Pico di gallo didn’t enhance. The little round potatoes were a bit undercooked.
Ravenous burger, oven fries
The burger was great. Buttery and tender with a nice bun. Skip the fries though. The oven fries were inedible, undercooked and overspiced they were starchy and ugly tasting.
From the small wine list, we made two safe choices: a bottle of Vignalta Colli Euganei Genoa and a ½ bottle of La Spinetta Moscato di Asti. Corkage is $10/bt.
You may notice that we do not give out a lot of praise. Having been to so many high-quality restaurants, it's pretty tough to impress us.
Most of our reviews are based on just one visit. We neither have the time nor the money (or often, the inclination) to visit most restaurants multiple times. So, please keep in mind that a single-visit review is a snapshot - the restaurant may be "on it" that day - or not. If the meal has a calamity involved (foreign objects in the food, wine poured on us, etc.) we try not to let it shade the overall review.
We pay for the food and beverages; restaurants never comp us. We try to be discreet about taking photos so that the staff doesn't notice/get an idea we're going to do a review. We rarely take notes in the restaurant.
Like the rest of our website, we update our restaurant review pages based upon subsequent visits.