Thanks to co-owners Dustin Valette and Craig Ramsey, downtown Healdsburg now has another wine and culinary mainstay: The Matheson. The storied building was home in the 1920s to Snowflake Bakery, run by Valette’s great-grandfather, Honoré Valette. Today, the tri-level space consists of a restaurant lined with a 3,800-pound copper penny–wrapped pizza oven, a wine wall with 88 self-service wines on tap and an open-air rooftop cocktail bar and garden lounge. Reinvented by San Francisco–based firm Cass Calder Smith Architecture+Interiors (Barbacco, La Mar), along with interior designer Barbara Turpin-Vickroy, touches include hand-hewn tables crafted from native redwood trees by wood sculptor and guitar maker Andrew Somawang and murals by local artist Jay Mercado.
Serving up small-production and biodynamic wines and seasonal small plates with just-picked-from-the-farm produce from nearby purveyors, Valley’s standout selections range from olive oil cake (made with their own extra virgin olive oil) with sour cream and preserves to trout paired with citrus, beets and yogurt. “We feel that there are a lot of opportunities to enact the type of change that the Sonoma community as a whole can benefit from,” says co-owner Lauren Feldman. “We’d like to be a source of positive change with a youthful energy for the economy here.”
In Yountville, chef Nick Tamburo (previously of Momofuku Nishi in New York City) is at the helm of newcomer North Block, located in the hotel of the same name, with interiors by local interior designer Erin Martin. “Our food has a strong point of view,” says Tamburo of menu items such as grilled Swiss chard with celtuce, radish and herbs and wood-fired spring onion pizza with aged cheddar and chive oil. “We are always experimenting, incorporating interesting seasonal ingredients and finding ways to give nearly every dish that special fired flavor from the grill or the wood-fired oven. Everything on the menu is approachable, however, curious eaters may likely find something they haven’t tried before.”
Following a three-year restoration, Faust Haus welcomes guests for wine tasting of its Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon in a Victorian home built in 1878 in St. Helena. Overhauled by Aidlin Darling Design, Maca Huneeus Design and Surfacedesign, the historic property is dotted with lush outdoor gardens with expansive views and a mix of new and old touches, such as a black-and-white freehand wall mural by Italian artist Roberto Ruspoli and a mid-century tapestry by French artist and weaver Jean Lurçat.