Raw tuna, jalapenos, cashews, ginger, coconut milk and yucca chips. Add a pile of sweet micro-greens and you have a popular dish at a Healdsburg spot called Willie’s Seafood and Raw Bar. I was skeptical on two fronts.
First, I live in New England where I have daily access to the freshest fish in the world. I wondered whether this little town in northern California could meet my fresh fish requirements.
Second, tuna and coconut milk? Coconut milk? It seems like such a natural to some but I’m so familiar with lime-wasabi-touched raw tuna that coconut milk took me by surprise. The husband hates coconut milk and really wanted to skip it, but we took a chance.
I’m going to struggle to find the words to describe the deliciousness that is this appetizer. It was sweet, crunchy, mellow and almost dessert-like. I had to hold myself back from ordering a bowl like I’d order a tub of rice pudding at the end of a meal.
Just as I was scared of this dish, I was hesitant to try Willie’s. Jen, our lovely tasting room assistant at Selby Winery, gushed about Willie’s raw bar an hour earlier. We debated the persona of the restaurant. Between its rustic sign and locale between some of the best restaurants in Healdsburg, we figured we should pass. Jen insisted it was her favorite spot; thank goodness we gave it a shot.
Some standout dishes:
- Charred Rare Ahi, Cucumber, Avocado, Truffled Soy
- Minted Lamb, Sweet Black Soy
- DeanÃs Salt & Pepper Baby Back Riblets
- Marin Miyagi Oysters
If you visit and decide to try dessert, go for the Bailey’s Milkshake. I’m hijacking the idea to serve at my house. It was unbelievable and it needs to be a regular course in my dinner party routine.
Eat Boutique was an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista – an author, business guide and alignment seeker. After hosting retail markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie now supports entrepreneurs as they create values-based businesses through We Are Magic Studio. Follow Maggie Battista on Instagram.