We had to select only one restaurant to dine in for our short stay in Healdsburg recently. The decision to go to Partake by K-J which is a Kendall Jackson restaurant and tasting room in downtown Healdsburg, was a fantastic one. They offer a seasonal menu that is driven by their own garden offerings and directed by their artisan chefs who are masterful at including wine products and flavors in their food.
Since we didn’t do a tasting prior to our meal, we decided to order wines by the glass so that we could try several and pair them with each course. It turned out to be a perfect idea because we tasted four different incredible wines and each went sublimely with our meal. Rose, who took wonderful care of us throughout our dinner, helped steer our choices and she did it quite well!
The dinner began with an amuse bouche of a pickled cucumber dish that was served with a taste of “secret” wine served in a black wine glass. I guessed that it was a Sauvignon Blanc and was correct! What a fun way to begin our dining experience.
For our first course we ordered the 2013 Grand Reserve Chardonnay and the 2013 Jackson Estate Seco Highlands Pinot Noir. They were to pair with our Estate Greens with chanterelle mushrooms, poached egg & garlic chips and also their Salt Baked Kohlrabi with a rosemary pine nut crumble & sheep’s milk ricotta. (Kohlrabi is a turnip cabbage with the taste and texture similar to those of a broccoli stem or cabbage heart, but milder and sweeter.) Both items were beautifully presented and scrumptious! I had never eaten kohlrabi before and loved their rendition. The ricotta was super creamy and delicious! The wines – they were fantastic! And they paired so perfectly with our two dishes, it was amazing.
For our next course, we selected a glass of the 2013 Jackson Estate Piner Hills Chardonnay and the 2013 Jackson Estate Alisos Hills Syrah. I honestly had a hard time deciding which wines I liked the best as they were all so incredible! The Piner Hills Chardonnay paired very well with their Lassen Country Trout served with celtuce, trout roe & creme fraiche. (Celtuce is a stem lettuce grown primarily for its thick stem, used as a vegetable.) The Alisos Hills Syrah was fruity, silky and extremely lucious with their Roasted Lamb Loin served with fingerling potatoes, butter braised radish and golden raisin chutney. The quality of the lamb was superb. It was a mouthful of flavor and tenderness in every bite. Definitely my favorite of the entrees.
The sides on their menu were so interesting that we had to try some so we settled first on their Red Wine Fries with K-J Cabernet Ketchup. I’m talking about fries that are scarlet red and totally unique with the most gourmet, yummy ketchup ever; how could we resist? I don’t even like ketchup but this was amazing! However, as wonderful as this was, it didn’t hold a candle to our other side – Tempura Maitake Mushrooms! OMG, I don’t even know how to explain this other than to say it was so far, the best thing I’ve eaten all year! I am literally going to make a trip to San Francisco to the mushroom vendor in the Ferry Building just so I can get some of these mushrooms and try to make them myself! They were cooked in a tempura batter made with K-J’s own wine flour and who know’s what else, but I’m telling you they were exceptional!
Completely satiated at this point, I was ready to say good night but it was deemed necessary to at least try one of their desserts and a cappuccino. Rose brought us a plate of Assorted Sweets to give us a variety of small bites to satisfy that sweet tooth that doesn’t seem to think you are ever too full! The vanilla macaron was my fav on the plate and the cappuccino was a perfect ending.
To say this was a great meal would be an understatement of the thought and care that went into the menu and each plate we received. The wine pairing and service were the whipped cream and cherry on top! Yes, we’ll be back here again…