A wealth of experience meets a wealth of ingredients with Scott Romano in Healdsburg
“Reflective Cooking” menu announced
Healdsburg, Calif.—Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen at Hotel Healdsburg has a new Executive Chef, Scott Romano. While he might be new to Sonoma County, Romano is certainly no stranger to Charlie Palmer, having started his career at Aureole (Palmer’s flagship NYC restaurant) in 1997. Over the course of the next 12 years, Scott subsequently worked with the renowned chef at five separate restaurants in three different cities. He now arrives in Healdsburg with vast culinary experiences and an authentic approach in the kitchen, ready to make his mark on wine country.
Spending the past decade in three unique areas (New York, Los Angeles and Dallas) has given Romano an understanding of regional ingredients in distinct and diverse growing regions, most notably in Dallas where local produce is somewhat limited but cattle is abundant. “We cooked everything there in much more of a traditional steakhouse-style, even the produce,” he says. “So I’m in awe of the quality and abundance of what’s showing up at our Dry Creek Kitchen door: Juicy peaches and plums, copious amounts of baby vegetables, and recently sourced mushrooms are just a few of the beautiful ingredients that arrive hourly, needing little more than fresh herbs and butter to bring out the best flavor.” Romano is working directly with local farms like Mix to develop baby vegetables and herbs to his precise specifications for his new menu. For example, Scott and the Mix team are working on lemon basil, at exactly ¾ inches for his Basil Crusted Ora King Salmon dish.
With Romano’s long tenure at Charlie Palmer Group, it’s no surprise that he and Chef Palmer have a strong connection. It’s a nearly 20-year friendship that has survived several restaurant openings, hot kitchens, many a hunting trip, and countless meals and glasses of wine. On Romano’s return to the group, Chef Palmer says, “I’ve been working on getting Scott back into the family for years, knowing his maturity and experience would bring us to new levels. His kitchen and cooking style lends itself naturally to DCK and I’m thrilled to have my hunting partner back in this part of the country.” The two have collaborated on the new menus at Dry Creek Kitchen, re-envisioning some of the restaurant’s signature dishes like a rabbit starter, Oz Family Farm Rabbit Tortellini with Pea Variations, Carrot and Shaved Pecorino or just simply showcasing Sonoma County at its best with a Dry Creek Peach + Heirloom Tomato Salad with Bellwether Ricotta, Pickled Red Onions and Rustic Toast. New mains, like a Sautéed White Sea Bass with Crisp Zucchini Flower, Sweet Corn Purée and Corn-Shishito Chutney, offer a bright spin on wine country cuisine.
Additionally, the two are exploring some menu specials to celebrate their long-term friendship and culinary ties, both classical and regional. In tribute to that alliance, “Reflective Cooking” menus at Dry Creek Kitchen, a collaborative menu paying homage to some of their favorite dishes of times and places past. Experience the road they’ve traveled from the landmark Aureole and Charlie Palmer at The Joule in Dallas to New York’s Kitchen 22 and Astra West—all with a contemporary, very Sonoma-County influence. Each “Reflective Cooking” dish will appear on the menu for a two-week period. That schedule can be seen here. Highlights include a Pepper Seared Bob White Quail with Savory Corn and Sweetbread Pudding, Lemon Thyme and Shallot Crisp (1998) and Seared Veal Chop “Steak au Poivre” with Sauteed Foie Gras, Orange Cooked Carrots and Potato Parsnip Puree (2001).
Dry Creek Kitchen is open for dinner nightly with a la carte menus and also offers a $36 three course “Sonoma Neighbor” menu Monday through Thursday, with optional wine pairings for $15. Sonoma’s finest wines can be found for 50% off every Monday evening where Wine Director Rolando Maldonado serves 50 of his rotating favorites at half price, perfect for pairing with Romano’s new dishes. Romano is also joined by a new front of house counterpart, James Frost, who is directing service and operations.
Contact: Christa Weaving