I’m past being surprised when the media confuse Sonoma restaurants as being in Napa, or altogether ignore Sonoma in lists of the best Wine Country Restaurants for tired usual suspects. However, this time, at least one of my favorites did get tapped by the Wine Spectator as “World-Class”.

That restaurant: Valette.

Foie gras at Valette in Healdsburg

Foie gras at Valette in Healdsburg

The Healdsburg eatery, which got a meh 2.5 stars by The Chronicle’s Michael Bauer in 2015 is a crowd favorite for its haute dining in a convivial, decidedly unstuffy atmosphere. Not to mention the charm of Chef Dustin and his brother, Aaron Garzini (who’s front of the house) along with their dad, Bob, who is usually a fixture at the bar or roaming from table to table as unofficial host. If you can’t tell, I’m a fan. And not just for their $3,000 kobe beef.

It’s also worth noting that two of Chef Charlie Palmer’s restaurants were named: Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg and the newer Harvest Table in St. Helena.

Chefs Charlie Palmer and Scott Romano at Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg. Photo: Paige Green.

Chefs Charlie Palmer and Scott Romano at Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg. Photo: Paige Green.

These Wine Spectator Awards, according to the magazine, represent Wine Country Restaurants that “are a cut above the rest, be it for their vineyard views, their championing of producers both local and global, or their creative renditions of all types of cuisine.”

Barn Diva Studio offers a curated list of cocktails and small bites with no need for reservations

Barn Diva Studio offers a curated list of cocktails and small bites with no need for reservations

Along with Valette and DCK, the Wine spectator also named Barndiva, and John Ash & Co. as top Sonoma County picks.

La Toque restaurant in Napa  courtesy of the Westin.

La Toque restaurant in Napa courtesy of the Westin.

In Napa, the awards went to La Toque, 1313 Main Restaurant & Wine Bar, Auberge du Soleil Restaurant, Farm, Bistro Jeanty, Bouchon, Carpe Diem Wine Bar and Solbar.