Inside Single Thread
Healdsburg’s restaurant, inn, and farm is taking farm-to-table to the next level.
by Garrett Rowland
For the two years before its arrival, hype for Healdsburg’s Single Thread—the region’s latest addition to the foodie pantheon—had almost grown to a fever pitch, with foodies everywhere declaring it the most anticipated restaurant of 2016. In December, the restaurant finally opened its doors—and it’s proving to be well worth the wait.
So far, reviews are off-the-charts positive (see ours on page 14), and the restaurant is garnering comparisons to Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry in Yountville.
Run by chef Kyle Connaughton and his wife, Katina, Single Thread is not just a restaurant—it is also a farm and boutique inn, all of which embody the Japanese concept of omotenashi, or warm hospitality.
“That warmth is more important than anything,” says Kyle, who learned his craft at Michelin-starred restaurants like Michel Bras Toya Japan and The Fat Duck in England. “You feel like you’re coming to a dinner party in our home.”
The experience starts even before stepping inside the restaurant. Instead of making reservations, you buy tickets for the meal ($293 per person), much like you would for a performance at the San Francisco Opera. From there, you’re treated to an 11-course, kaiseki-style meal served over three-and-a-half hours that embraces shun, or an emphasis on seasonal foods. Each course is meticulously prepared with ingredients from a five-acre farm, which raises chickens, cattle, and bees for honey, and grows produce for 72 distinct micro-seasons, resulting in a transporting experience that still feels rooted in Sonoma.
The final strand in Single Thread is the inn—a five-room boutique hotel that exhibits a refreshingly modern Japanese design and sits atop the restaurant. Though not cheap (prices start at $800 per night), spending a night at Single Thread makes for a perfect topper to an exquisite meal—as does the multi-course breakfast prepared by chef Connaughton the next morning.
“We wanted to create an experience that gives our guests the very best Sonoma County has to offer,” says Kyle. “I hope guests feel, above all else, [their stay] is warm and genuine.” singlethreadfarms.com.