Single Thread Farms Restaurant in Healdsburg
When people think of Wine Country, they usually think of Dining Country, too, since Sonoma County is well known for its thriving restaurant scene. Now, that thought rings even more true, because what’s sure to be one of Northern California’s most anticipated restaurants has come to Healdsburg.
The debut of Single Thread wraps up what has been nearly two years in the making, as restaurateurs Kyle and Katina Connaughton finessed every last detail of the combination restaurant and luxury inn.
They planted their own five acre Single Thread Farms property between the Russian River and the historic San Lorenzo Ranch nearby, and established a 3,000-square-foot rooftop garden above the restaurant, both dedicated to growing boutique ingredients for the food and cocktail menus. There, Katina raises delicacies like several types of negi (onions), root vegetables like kintoki carrots and kabu turnip, greens like chingensai and komatsuna, Japanese pumpkins, kamo nasu (eggplant), and yurine (lily bulbs).
Japan is near and dear to Kyle’s heart, as he earlier trained under renowned French chef Michel Bras at Bras’ three-Michelin-star restaurant in Hokkaido, Japan. The couple also embraces the idea of omotenashi, meaning the Japanese spirit of thoughtfulness and selfless hospitality. That’s a philosophy that means welcoming guests to your establishment and anticipating their every need is seen as a privilege for the hosts.
Set in a grand building owned by the Seghesio wine family near Healdsburg Plaza, the elegant space is home to equally sophisticated cooking. The concept is kaiseki — elaborate multicourse meals crafted as art — and donabe — rustic clay pot cooking. Menus change daily, but might means delicacies like black cod Fukkura-san (donabe style) with root vegetables, cabbage, charred onion and walnut-nori pesto; plus wild salmon donabe-smoked over cherry-blossom-wood with fermented rice, salmon roe and wild ginger.
Even with all the exotica, there’s a healthy dose of Sonoma County in the seasonal recipes, with the farm boasting olive trees, beehives and chickens, all to feed the restaurant. Other specialties might include Sonoma Coast sea urchin with kojo negi custard, watercress and caviar; and whole roast Sonoma pigeon with purple mustard spinach, matsutake mushroom and sansho (pepper spice) vinaigrette.
And each ingredient is chosen with a distinct purpose, the Connaughtons promise. The point-tipped kintoki ninjin carrots are softer and sweeter than regular carrots. The long, thin hinona kabu turnips, meanwhile, have a pedigree that dates back to Japan’s Shiga prefecture of the 1470s; the red-topped mild vegetables are key for making sakura zuke (cherry blossom pickle).
For dine here, plan to put in a bit of effort, not surprisingly. Tables can be requested up to three months in advance and are released on the first of each month. When your reservation is confirmed, you purchase tickets through Tock.com, for a meal cost of $294 per person and drink cost ranging from $72 to $385 per person.
Find more info about restaurants and dining in Sonoma County.