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“Good Time”
Review of Dry Creek Kitchen

Dry Creek Kitchen
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Ranked #10 of 98 Restaurants in Healdsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $80
Cuisines: French, Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Business meetings
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Matheson Street
san antonio
Level Contributor
95 reviews
75 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Good Time”
Reviewed October 18, 2006

I had booked a reservation a month in advance and arrived on time. However, we had to wait about 30 mins for our table. Had a nice visit with some locals who too were waiting so the time passed quickly. My wife and I loved the dining room; we had a table in front of the kitchen window, looking out toward the townsquare. We tried the 6 course tasting menu. The food was very good but there was too much delay between courses. We were seated next to a large table of friendly locals, one of whom was a nearby wine maker. Made for an enjoyable evening. All in all we had a great time but I can see where some of the previous reviewers had some valid points about service, etc. There were many good restaurants in the area I planned on going to instead ( Farmhouse Inn, Santi, Mirapoix) but I wanted to stay in Healdsburg as I was tired from the busy day and planned on drinking some serious wine. Also, the other Healdsburg choices are mostly small bistro-types with similar menus. Therefore, DryCreekKitchen has it's niche.

Helpful?
Thank ddavis130
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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767 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    172
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    40
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Memphis, TN
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Okay for some, disappointing for others”
Reviewed October 15, 2006

My group of four had a mixed bag of reactions to our dining experience at Dry Creek. The sommelier was very nice and recommended a great wine. The waitress was a little bit cold, but then again my group was a little rowdy. I ordered the duck which was very disappointing. It was tough. The accompanying sides were too varied in their flavors (one sweet and one spicy) and I didn't feel they were complimentary. The others in my party enjoyed their entrees and we were all pleasantly surprised when the waitress had something special put together to satisfy my dessert craving. In all, I was disappointed by my entree and felt that the reputation of the restaurant was overhyped when compared to the other wonderful meals we had at area restaurants.

Helpful?
2 Thank memphisjones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Outstanding!”
Reviewed October 13, 2006

We come back to this restuarant everytime we come back to Healdsburg. This was our sixth time eating at Dry Creek and, as always, it was excellent. The food is always incredible, people are always friendly and the no corkage fee-great!
Don't leave without trying the mini burgers!!

Helpful?
2 Thank sa_travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Clarita, California
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Tried twice, Tre chic Hostesses, Broken chair, Tree on Bar= worth a good laugh”
Reviewed October 10, 2006

On Saturday evening, October 7, at 5:45pm, my husband and I tried to attain a table for 4 adults at The Dry Creek Kitchen. We had no reservation, and approached the hostess desk, to see how long the wait was. After literally gazing over us, the hostess proclaimed, with no apology, that the restaurant was “completely booked for the evening.” Being a former hostess and waitress in my college days, and currently a restaurant regular, I ignored her rude gaze, and turned to look across the room, to note (inwardly) that there were no less then 6 tables open inside, and the entire outer patio was devoid of diners...approximately 10-12 tables were on the patio. I looked back at her, thanked her, and we left. We all decided to have appetizers just around the corner at the Bear Republic Pub, after successfully putting our name in for a 9:15pm reservation at Manzanita restaurant, just down the street. We finished our appetizers at the Pub, and strolled out toward the Plaza, at 7:45pm. We walked right past The Dry Creek Kitchen, and I was shocked to see just one couple dining outside on the patio, and no other tables taken. Indeed I looked inside through their extraordinarily tall and clear windows, to see no less then 4 open tables for 4. I suddenly had the sneaking suspicion that the Dry Creek tre chic hostess had somehow missed seeing my platinum visa with her discerning x-ray vision. After shaking off my suspicions, and looking away, we all strolled around the Plaza, and made our 9:15pm dinner reservation at Manzanita, and had an absolutely delightful evening. I would venture to guess that the $32 Lobster served to me was one of the top 5 meals I've ever had. Their wine, meals, and desserts at Manzanita were extraordinary. The ambiance was delightful. Their staff was very nice, and attentive, and their host served us all champagne for making us wait until 9:20pm.

The next day, we were all driving out and wanted to stop in Healdsburg for lunch. We bravely walked into The Dry Creek Kitchen, and asked how long the wait would be. We were told it would be 5 minutes while the table on the patio was set for us. This was imparted to us by a different tre chic hostess from the night before, who had very expertly looked us up and down, with less obvious disapproval for our lack of reservation forethought.

Then it happened. The string of absurd events began to tickle me.

The tre chic hostess asked us to wait in the chairs at the front. She did so with a meaningful wave of the arm, which indicated we needed to be out of the way, and we should sit quietly, and speak when spoken to.
So we sat, and waited, watching the other patrons, as if we were left for last when getting picked for a competitive team sport.
10 minutes went by,
and the table that would have been the only likely candidate on the patio had not been approached by anything resembling a busboy.
Then, my brother in law got up to use the restroom, and upon switching to his chair from hers, the entire arm of the tre chic fabulous waiting chair came off into my sister in law's hand. (This 3 foot long piece of thick wood, balancing in my sister in law’s hand would definitely have irritated the already disapproving hostess).
I watched my sister in law quietly put the chair back together, and with wide eyes from embarrassment, managed to keep the scenario from the 3 hostesses, who were standing at the front, admiring each other's tre chic attire. From there I gazed to the bar, where there was a 6-8 foot tall flower arrangement, that consisted of about 6 limbs of some poor tree. I gazed over at the patio, and saw 5 busboys begin working to prepare our table. I tried to decide if the table was made better, because we waited longer for it, and 5 busboys fussed over it at once.
I looked up at my group at the 20 minute mark,
and started to laugh.
I continued to laugh, as we all got up and left. I laughed when the tre chic hostess jumped in front of us and coyly asked us "oh did you change your miiiiind?" with a false tone of disappointment.

I laughed for the next hour. How could I have possibly eaten there, anyway? I would have choked from laughing through the entire meal. Especially with a tree on the bar, and the tre chic hostesses standing under it.

I wish I knew a screen-writer. In fact, if you know a screen-writer, please pass on the story. The seriously tre chic hostesses would be good Saturday Night live material.

Make a reservation at Dry Creek Kitchen, and wear your platinum card outside your jeans, because unless you're wearing your Tommy Bahama shirt too, there's no way you'll get past the very serious tre chic hostesses there. I read the reviews here, and I think it's pretty obvious why such opposing views are of this restaurant. They cater to whom the tre chic hostesses deem worthy. If you can get in, I sincerely hope you get a good meal there. We tried twice, and couldn’t get one. I hear there's even a famous chef there, but I wouldn't know.
But, I really had a good laugh at their expense, and what better way to finish a delightful weekend in wine country?

Helpful?
6 Thank SherilynKoss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
washington, dc
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Stay away!”
Reviewed October 8, 2006

Worst dining experience in Sonoma County. My husband & I ate our way through the area: Willi's (very good); BarnDiva (amazing); Charcuterie (very, very good); Farmhouse Inn (excellent); Santi (very, very good); CIA in Napa (very good); Downtown Bakery (excellent breakfast); Center Street (excellent breakfast); Wolf House (good). At Dry Creek, we waited for a table 1/2 hour after our reservation time, and another 1/2 hour for the sommelier. Water was not refilled, asked for more butter 2 or 3 times before more came. Salad dressing was flavorless, my meat was mostly fat, and my vegetables were stone cold. Mentioned it afterward, & was told they would have made good if they had known. Restaurants must understand that once a dish is sent back, it throws off the whole table, making an awkward experience for everyone (in this case we were w/another couple), so in this case I didn't complain about the awful food.

Helpful?
8 Thank Saturday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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