PIZZANDO in the HOTEL HEALDSBURG opened Tuesday after several dry runs at its sister property SPOONBAR. Louis Maldonado is exec chef for both properties, and toque Ben Davies is in the kitchen with former A16 pizza whiz Liza Shaw. Pizzando hits the sweet spot between a pizzeria and a white-tablecloth experience with impressive appetizers like oil-poached albacore; unctuous slow-braised pork shoulder with pickled plums; and caraway roasted squash draped with lardo (all $9). The wood-fired oven does double duty cooking entrées and meats, including a crackly-crusted burrata pizza with lemon marmalade; fried chicken legs with spicy vinegar sauce; pork ribs glazed in fennel pollen honey; and hamachi collar with cantaloupe (all $16). Save room for vegetable sides (all $6) including slow-roasted tomatoes with melted crescenza cheese (a perfect early fall dish) and fennel braised in oxtail broth.
Don’t skip the drinks. Bartender Cappy Sorentino is a cocktail hero with his bottled aperitifs—bold undiluted sippers like the Negroni, Bourbon Milk Punch (made with clarified milk, bourbon, lemon, and bitters that will have you lapping up the last drops like a kitten), and Aperol Sour with gin, grapefruit, Aperol, and lemon (all $8). Open daily for lunch and dinner starting at 11:30am. Check out even more food-fetish pictures from opening night at BiteClub. 301 Healdsburg Ave. at Matheson, Healdsburg, 707-922-5233.
Stay tuned for several upcoming openings in Healdsburg including Taverna Sofia and Bravas Bar in October; Cafe Lucia (in the former Affronti) in November; and Parish Cafe, Casa de Mole, and Healdsburg Meat Company in 2013.
THREE SQUARES CAFÉ, the reborn Petite Syrah, opened this week in Santa Rosa for dinner but will begin breakfast and lunch service on Tuesday. The menu is pure comfort classics with daily dinner specials such as fried chicken (Thursday), pork chops and homemade applesauce (Saturday), spaghetti and meatballs (Wednesday), and prime rib (Sunday). 205 5th St. at Davis, Santa Rosa, 707-568-4002.
Over in Napa…it’s the height of tomato season, and Tomatoville celebrates the tasty “wolf peach” with events throughout the weekend of September 28th-30th. Held on the grounds of the BARDESSONO HOTEL, Friday includes a five-course winemaker dinner ($100 per person), Saturday features a Build-Your-Own BLT Party from noon to 3pm ($60 includes wine), and there’s a Bloody Mary and Tomato Tasting on Sunday from 10am-11:30am. For details and tickets, visit bardessono.com. 6526 Yount St. at Mulberry, Yountville, 707-204-6000.
The restaurant changeup everyone’s chatting about in downtown Napa is the takeover of Tyler Florence’s now-shuttered Rotisserie & Wine by Rodney Worth. The restaurant on the Napa waterfront struggled throughout its brief one-year tenure, officially closing in June. Worth owns several successful restaurants in the East Bay, including the PEASANT & THE PEAR and FERRARI’S CUCINA ITALIANA in Danville. He plans a menu heavy on meat (burgers, prime rib) with Southern touches. Look for a 2013 opening.