After a lengthy closure and remodel, Healdsburg’s Madrona Manor (now called The Madrona) is aiming for a spring 2022 reopening, according to its new owner, designer Jay Jeffers. That means Michelin-starred chef Jesse Mallgren will be back in the kitchen with a new menu and new point of view for the restaurant.
Gone will be the fussy, dusty Victorian decor that never jived with Mallgren’s forward-thinking culinary prowess. Instead, design renderings show clean lines of banquettes and modern lighting along with a more minimally decorated Palm Terrace outdoor patio and eclectic old-meets-new bar area. Overall, it’s a visual relief that makes the historic building a worthy new destination.
We were a bit curious about menu items promoted in a recent news release as “Signature Dishes” that seem worlds away from Mallgren’s ambitious tasting menus of the past. New dishes include a traditional Chicken Paillard infused with Southeast Asian flavors from Mallgren’s travels in Thailand; Steak Tartare with goma dare, quail egg and fresh wasabi; Local Anchovies cured with Madrona lemons, featuring fennel pollen from the onsite garden and DaVero olive oil from The Madrona’s neighboring farm; and Camomile Roasted Carrots, with nasturtium salsa verde from the garden and rich Manchego cheese.
The veteran chef says he’s excited about the revamped menu that’s more approachable but still elegant. We’ll be eager to see what’s in store.