Late winter and early spring are times of transition here in Wine Country. The weather changes from unpredictable to awesome, the vines awaken from their off-season slumber. In and around Healdsburg, the social calendar heats up, too, with a host of events, activities, and openings lined up for the next few weeks. Here, in no particular order, are four can’t-miss diversions on our radar screen this month.
Healdsburg’s only vegan restaurant has reopened after a much-anticipated makeover. Little Saint, a 100-percent plant-based restaurant, recently reopened its downstairs lounge with a host of new couches and a comfortable, approachable vibe. Food is available from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday through Monday., and the restaurant recently rolled out a new breakfast menu. Upstairs, Little Saint continues to bring in A-list talent for live music performances every week. Plans are in the works to serve a special dinner menu upstairs, as well.
Pork and pinot noir take center stage for the 16th annual Pigs & Pinot event, slated for March 17-18 at Hotel Healdsburg. The weekend is hosted by Chef Charlie Palmer and the lineup comprises a host of intimate dinners, educational seminars, and a grand tasting that brings together dozens of other chefs and winemakers. Perhaps the best part of the program is philanthropy; this year all net proceeds will benefit Farm to Pantry, as well as academic scholarships and other charities in the area. Tickets sell out quickly; buy now to reserve a spot.
Culinary options in Healdsburg continue to multiply with the opening of Bollywood Kitchen in the Safeway shopping center on Vine Street. The restaurant, which debuted in January, offers an eclectic menu of Indian, Himalayan, Tibetan, and Indo-Chinese dishes unlike anything else available in town. House specialties include tandoori shrimp, creamy Masala chicken curry, and a cauliflower Gobi Manchurian. Of course, the restaurant also serves momos, Nepalese dumplings traditionally eaten with hot sauce called achar. Bollywood does a robust take-out business.
There’s nothing quite like Healdsburg’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. The party starts bright and early at 7 a.m. at Sanderson Ford on Healdsburg Avenue and continues into the Plaza and around town, bagpipes blowing all the while. Later in the day, around noon, a concert of Celtic music under the gazebo will keep everyone entertained. Participants are encouraged to wear green and don whatever festive hats they can muster. Of course beer and soda bread (from Costeaux, of course) are part of the festivities, too.