BiteClub, What's New in Sonoma County

New Healdsburg Restaurant Opens as Mateo’s Cocina Latina Closes

Both good and bad news from Healdsburg this week. Plus, we've got the scoop on where to find the best ranch dressing in Sonoma County.

We were heartbroken to hear the news Wednesday that Chef Mateo Granados’ Healdsburg restaurant will close its doors permanently on July 24. Granados, who announced the closure in a Facebook post, cited the many challenges restaurateurs have faced over the last few years as the reason behind the decision.

When the upscale Yucatan-inspired restaurant opened 10 years ago, it was one of the few dining destinations in Sonoma County to truly showcase local farmers, ranchers and fishermen. Over the last decade, Granados worked with local purveyors to create dishes that are both inventive and sustainable. We’ll miss seeing his creative takes on rich regional cuisine, though Granados promises that some interesting projects are in the works. Staffing is limited, so reservations are strongly encouraged during the last few weeks of service.

214 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, mateoscocinalatina.com

Mateo Granados, owner of Mateo’s Cocina Latina in Healdsburg. (Chris Hardy / Sonoma Magazine)

More dining news

Burdock opens: We’ve been keeping our eye on this Healdsburg newcomer for months, but it wasn’t until a recent trip to sister business Duke’s for a cocktail (or four) that we discovered the restaurant had officially opened. The backstory, if you missed it in a previous column, involved the founders of Duke’s departing from the popular watering hole unexpectedly in April, leaving the future of the forthcoming next-door restaurant in flux. With little (read, absolutely no) fanfare, Burdock soft launched last weekend. The opening menu from Chef Sean Kelley includes oysters, beef carpaccio, caviar puffs, baked oysters Cubano, Dungeness crab salad, griddled asparagus and crispy pork belly. 109a Plaza St., Healdsburg, burdockbar.com.

Yes, it’s homemade: We need to talk about Mary’s Pizza Shack’s ranch dressing. It’s totally the best, right? I hadn’t given it a ton of thought until my husband (and ranch dressing connoisseur) pointed out that it was especially great. Maybe the best ever. And it’s probably not the stuff that comes in 10-gallon buckets. Ever the doubter, I asked the folks at Mary’s what the deal is with this creamy, garlicky, completely addictive dip. It turns out it’s actually homemade and, even more thrilling, you can get the recipe in the Mary’s Italian Family cookbook. I promised not to divulge all the details of the dressing, but it does include buttermilk as well as red wine vinegar, fresh herbs and Tabasco! There are plenty of other favorite Mary’s recipes, along with stories about the local icon and her family, in the cookbook. Order at maryspizzashack.com.

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