An expatriate of New Orleans – and professional chef – who has lived in Los Angeles since her childhood, blogs about the journey from New Orleans to Los Angeles back to New Orleans, and points along the way.

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Visiting Sonoma County-Healdsburg Part 3-Lunch at Bistro Ralph

By on Nov 25, 2012, 4:29 pm in Food and Drink, Travel, Wine | 0 comments

LambBurger with Grilled Onions and Blue CheeseLamb Burger with Grilled Onions and Blue Cheese


On a visit to  Healdsburg four years ago, I stopped for lunch at a place on the plaza called Bistro Ralph. I had ordered a lamb burger, then, cooked to a perfect medium rare, topped with blue cheese and caramelized onions, and served with a big mound of ultra thin and crispy shoe string potatoes.

Sitting at the bar counter, I noticed how fast, efficient and on top of things (as well as being delightful) the two waitresses were, on that busy summer Monday afternoon. I remembered the place, and that burger, all these years, and couldn’t wait to go back.

This time I was served by George, who was not only fast, efficient and on top of things, but quite the character, too.

I had remembered having a great local Rosé (Frick) with my lunch, so of course, I looked for one again when I viewed the wine list. There were a couple of choices that interested me- one still (Kelley and Young), and one bubbly (a Cremant de Bourgogne- always a good choice), so I asked George’s opinion.

“Would you like a half glass of each?” he asked.

“You can do that?”

“Everything is negotiable, my dear.”

I looked down from the end of the bar, where I was seated (next to a great display of pumpkins and pomegranates, I might add) into the very compact, but again- efficient, open kitchen space, where the chef worked the grill without missing a beat.

“He’s the best,” George said.

The lamb, like the wine, was local, too, with an assertive “lamby” flavor, and mixed with Herbes de Provence, and a bit of tomato paste, George told me.

Just as I had finished my burger, George walked by with a platter of seductively aromatic mussels, and placed them in front of a woman seated a couple of seats down the bar from me.

Their aroma continued to tantalize me.

“Oh my God- that smells so good. I’ll have to remember these next time.”

“Ha! That’s how they get you,” George said.


Pumpkins and Pomegranates on the barPumpkins and pomegranates on the bar


Bar Counter at Bistro RalphA view from the counter bar at Bistro Ralph


A nice bonus- Bistro Ralph donates 50% of its $20 corkage fee to the Healdsburg Animal Shelter

Bistro Ralph

109 Plaza Street  Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 433-1380

Bistro Ralph on Urbanspoon



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