When chef Kyle and his wife-business partner Katina Connaughton said they were building a showcase Japanese restaurant and hotel in Healdsburg, the idea was interesting. As nearly two years passed with permits and construction, the public’s anticipation grew. Now that the Single Thread building on North Street is finally open, the finished product is exceptional.
Imagine a gorgeous space, designed in quiet luxury with gray fabric couches, floor to ceiling dark woods, and Japanese lantern lighting. The focal point is the kitchen, spanning an entire wall and decorated with pottery and cooking earthenware imported from Japan.
The 11-course kaiseki menu changes a bit everyday, and nearly completely every week. So one evening may bring a tiny bit of sunchoke with Mangalitsa jowl, preserved lemon and pine nuts, while another may feature cured foie gras sprinkled with hickory nuts and verjus rimmed in bright orange-red persimmon leaves. Don’t expect a menu, either, since part of the experience is staying in the moment, and enjoy the surprise of the next precious plate.
Your menu will come at the end of the meal, presented in a sleek white box for you to peruse at home.
Rustic clay pot cooking (donabe) is a signature, for delights like black cod Fukkura-san with root vegetables, cabbage, charred onion and walnut-nori pesto.
The Connaughtons planted their own five acre Single Thread Farms property between the Russian River and the historic San Lorenzo Ranch nearby, along with a 3,000-square-foot rooftop garden above the restaurant. Here, they harvest Japanese specialties like several types of negi (onions), root vegetables like kintoki carrots and kabu turnip, and greens like chingensai and komatsuna.
Securing one of the 55 seats sets the exclusive mood. 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.
Details: 131 North Street, Healdsburg, 707-723-4646, singlethreadfarms.com.