With its eco-fabulous design, star-tender Scott Beattie mixing drinks, and former Odyssey chef Rudy Mihal manning the stoves, Spoonbar, located in the h2hotel in downtown Healdsburg, is destined to become a drinking and dining destination. In fact, it may already have arrived!
One recent Friday evening, the bar was fully committed just minutes after its 5 p.m. opening time. Patrons, comfortably perched at the 16-seat counter or casually leaning against the bar’s wood railing, were elbow-to-elbow, enjoying Sonoma wines on tap, farm-to-table cocktails, and lively conversation.
We were partial to the margaritas, described as a refreshing blend of Tres Agaves Blanco, orange liqueur and lime, and offered by the glass or pitcher ($6.50/$32.50). There’s an even more “pure” (read: potent) version for $9/$45. We suggest they charge $295 and include an overnight stay!
Adjacent to the bar is the 60-seat restaurant, featuring reclaimed wood tables and brightly colored Eames chairs. Like the bar area, it opens onto Healdsburg Avenue, blurring the lines between indoors and out, and evoking the ambiance of a European-style sidewalk café.
The restaurant’s modern Mediterranean menu is divided into small bites and appetizers, sticks (or skewers), main plates, and extras.
Of the appetizers, the arancini were our favorite. Something loosely translated as “fried risotto balls” can trend towards dense but these were almost ethereal in nature, imbued with a creamy fontina filling.
The Moorish-style brick chicken over couscous is likely to become a signature main. Crispy and tender, and bursting with bright lemon flavor, it was truly delectable (and substantial enough that we even took home leftovers).
We also loved the Spoonbar burger, a lamb and beef patty topped with a sweet tomato relish and spicy yogurt dressing. Admittedly, when it comes to burgers, we sometimes think bigger is better. While we’d characterize this one as mid-sized, it was so perfectly prepared that it was more than satisfying.
Post-dinner, we took an opportunity to stroll through the beautifully designed hotel, appreciating the architecture and art, including Ned Kahn’s kinetic sculpture Spoonfall, comprised of cascading water and 2,000 hinged espresso spoons, and the inspiration for the restaurant’s name.
Spoonbar serves dinner nightly, with lunch service scheduled to begin August 1.