You know a restaurant has got it going on when it is packed on a Monday night.
The start of the week is typically a sleepy night for most restaurants.But not forValettein downtown Healdsburg.On a recent Monday night,when I dropped in to dine at the bar solo (paying my own tab at the end),the place was bustling shortly after opening at 5:15 p.m.
Chef Dustin Valette and his brother Aaron Garzini opened the beloved restaurant in 2015 in the same property that their great-grandfather once owned.They turned it into a convivial space,with warm polished wood,big hefty leather bar chairs,and a golden glow from globe chandeliers.
Dustin was off that night.But I did get to meet his father,who in his mid-70s,still flies for the state Department of Forestry,responding to forest fires,including the devastating fires in Napa and Sonoma in the last two years.
When Dustin was a kid,his father would take him to school — dropping him off in his plane — because it was quicker than the school bus.How's that for one cool ride?