My love took me out (surprised me!) to Willi’s Seafood and Raw Bar in Healdsburg to get my fix of oysters and bubbly for my birthday. I have had a tradition for many years no, besides, I hear they say oysters and champagne are an aphrodisiac.
It was about ten of noon when we walked into Willi’s. We decided we would sit at the bar, get our fix and move about our day. We were the only ones in the restaurant.
We ordered the calamari; an exquisite mix of flavors and always mouth watering delicious. This is probably their best dish, they do not give out the secret recipe…I wouldn’t either. It is perfect though, crisp and juicy and oh so amazing. Followed by the lobster roll, I cannot go to Willi’s and not have these two plates. The lobster roll is a slightly toasted fresh roll piled high with chucks of lobster that has been soaked in butter and fennel and then topped with obviously, more butter!
We chose some of my favorite oysters: Kumamoto, Miyagi and Blue Point. The oysters were of course delicious and fresh, however, they were shucked poorly. They were all still attached at the button, which is one of the things I would expect to prefect at Willi’s since they are a “raw bar”. I was a bit surprised to see very little people in the restaurant and the oysters come out poorly shucked. It was not the end of the world, but of course when paying $3.50 per, you kind of like the work to be done for you.
Our server was a delight. She was attentive and professional. We ordered a bottle of the Shramsberg Blanc de Blancs but they were out so she kindly recommended another. We decided on the J Brut Rose, which is just as good an accompaniment with the oysters. A runner brought out the rest of our plates, when he brought the calamari, several pieces fell all over the bar, not the end of the world but I was surprised when he didn’t come back and make an attempt to clean it up. He could have been nervous, who knows, but he has been there a while so again, for as slow as they were, I was surprised at the lack of efforts put into the service in those areas.
Willi’s is always spot on with their food quality. They are very consistent and that’s a difficult thing to achieve especially for having so much variety in their small plates. It’s impressive that for the last several years I have been going there, the food quality is always high and the dishes are the same each time. Spot on.
Truth be told, I know food, I am passionate about it anyway. <3