April 23, 2014
Healdsburg: Café Lucia
Café Lucia 235 Healdsburg Ave, (707) 431-1113. L-D daily; $$$. In a contemporary space set down a long outdoor hall away from the street, this restaurant presents delicious Portuguese Mediterranean cuisine enhanced by local and seasonal California ingredients. The contemporary decor includes striking large canvas prints of landscapes and scenery from Portugal and the Azores. Wood tables are made from old wine crates, and banquettes soften the seating. A large open courtyard is divine in good weather. Because we weren’t super hungry, my husband and I composed a delicious meal from tasting plates and starters. Our small plates included boquerones (white anchovies), Tremoco-Lupini beans, and marinated vegetables. Fig bread and almonds were included gratis, and all was served on an attractive plank.
We also shared perfect day boat scallops and a dramatic asparagus salad topped with a fried egg. Main dishes included a fisherman’s stew, a traditional baked casserole of north Atlantic salt cod, and a New York steak. I liked that we could order wine by the half glass so we could sample more vintages, and the waitress made excellent suggestions. With our fruit trio dessert (passion fruit mousse, fig bread pudding, and frozen pineapple mousse), we shared a delicious Barros sweet white. Portions are on the small side, and prices are on the high side, but the entire package is so satisfying that it is money well spent.