Sonoma County is my home turf, and every time I go home to visit, I’m impressed by how rapidly the restaurant scene is changing. Healdsburg’s Bravas Bar de Tapas is one of the latest offerings: a chic tapas restaurant downtown, with an adorable outdoor dining patio to boot. I ate there with my sister and Nishan one day, and we were instantly transported to Spain.
We started with the marinated olives, pickled garlic, and Idiazabal cheese to whet our appetites as we perused the menu. This was small but solid.
Next came a huge fried duck egg served with chorizo cracklings and toast. The gooey-richly flavored duck egg was made even richer but the chorizo, and the toast was a perfect vessel by which to soak it all up. A+, would eat again.
In between bites of patatas bravas and nibbles of cheese, we also ordered the Dungeness crab fideua. The crab and thin toasted noodles were a tasty marriage of North Bay-meets-Mediterranean and it came served with a generous dollop of garlicy aioli. Perhaps too generous. The aioli was heavy but the fideua was smoky, tomatoey, and super satisfying.
There’s so much more at Bravas Bar de Tapas that I didn’t have the opportunity to try during my first visit that I can’t wait to go back. Sonoma County may be home, it may be the familiar, but it never ceases to amaze me. And these days, there’s always something new.