Restaurant Review - March 4, 2005 - Joanne

Willi's Seafood
& Raw Bar

403 Healdsburg Avenue
Healdsburg, CA 95448

Ph: 707-433-9191

Charred Rare Ahi, Cucumber, Avocado, Truffled Soy $9.50
Jack ordered it and it never arrived.

Ceviche of crab $8
Lisa sent it back. Too much dressing – no crab like flavor left. She ordered the Sturgeon instead.

New England Style "Rolls"
Warm Maine Lobster with Garlic Butter & Fennel
This was good but not a star.

Fried Oysters, House-Made Lemon Tartar Sauce $9.5
Wow. The lemon tarter shines and the oysters were extra crunchy. Just lettuce mayo and a roll. Really tasty. Well Done!

Miso Glazed California Sturgeon, Caramelized Eggplant , Ginger Vinaigrette $10.50
Fish didn’t taste that fresh and was overcooked. Enh.

Willi's French Fries, Laura Chenel Goat Cheese Ranch $6
Crispy hand cut fries but nothing special. Dip ok but not over the top in any way.

Baked Goat Cheese, Roasted Garlic & Sundried Tomatoes $9
Others ate about ½ and it wasn’t mentioned in conversation…

Clam & Garlic Flatbread with Bacon & Green Onions $7.50
Most of this was consumed – there were a couple of oohs went it arrived. Looked like a freeform clam and bacon pizza.

Manilla Clam "Steamers" $11

Warm Sourdough with Garlic Parsley Butter $2.50
We usually detest sourdough. This was the steakhouse breadlover’s delight. The butter had enough garlic to steamroll any character of the bread other than it was heated to crispy perfection. A very tasty surprise.

On the Half Shell

The Raw Bar

On the Half Shell
I ordered 3 Belon, 2 Olympia and 2 BluePoint. The Olympia were the stars. They were sweet and with all the wonderful fresh characteristics you give to the perfect oyster. The Belon were flater tasting, fresh but not so distinctive. The Blue Point I found salty – this obscuring some of the oysteryness.

Belon, Discovery Bay, Washington $3 each
Olympia, Puget Sound, Washington
Native oyster, slightly salty, sweet, delicate metallic finish. $2.25 each
Blue Point, Long Island, New York
Most famous of all ½ shell oysters, plump, sweet finish. $2 each

Little Neck Clams, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
The classic 1/2 shell clam. $2 each
Half Chilled Maine Lobster $15
Jack didn’t finish the legs and while he ate it – it got no raves from him. Our standards are very high for lobster. This is not the place to indulge.

Willis Seafood Menu

Willis Seafood Bar Sign

We ordered the Donut Holes to go. The inside of the car smelled like a French fryer. They were good sized rolled in powered sugar and came with a pleasant lemon curd.

Five Spiced Donut Holes with Lemon Curd

Warm Pear & Berry Crisp Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Pretty balanced. Not too sweet, nice crunchy top. Lisa & I detected Rhubarb. I thought also raspberry and of course pear.

Bev's Mud Slide Milk Shake Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Kahlua & Bailey's Irish Cream
This is what it is. The milk shake comes with 2 Chocolate crackle cookies dusted with powered sugar. The milk shake is solid, tasty but again no over the top features.

Willis Seafood Bar Raw

Willis Seafood Sign

Update Fall, 2005: Tim Andre is the new Chef de Cuisine at Willi's Seafood.
We have had a number plesant lunches and dinners there since August, 2005
when he became the new chef and will be updating the review here shortly. One of the highlights from our last lunch was the Miso Glazed Sturgeon which Jack was very happy to not share.

Update August, 2006: We've dined here more than six times now. The food is still just good. Oysters and clam quality is excellent and, is why Jack goes. The wine list matches the food poorly, still(!), but at least they have two top local wines, Rochioli pinot noir and Rafanelli cabernet on the list now. When will they discover Muscadet?


   Bookmark and Share