The Matheson and Roof 106 by Chef Dustin Valette
A Love Letter to Sonoma County
The Matheson, in the heart of Healdsburg, with two unique restaurant concepts under one roof, is the most talked about restaurant opening in Sonoma this past year! Chef/Owner Dustin Valette was recognized as one of VENÜ’s esteemed Fearless Chef’s in our Spring 2018 issue after dining at his first Healdsburg restaurant, Valette.
The Matheson is stunning—the same century old building that housed his great grandfather’s bakery was transformed into a gorgeous multi-level restaurant—incorporating elegant contemporary décor while paying homage to the history of the building, and the family’s long legacy in Sonoma County.
Dustin Valette honed his craft in some of the most celebrated restaurants on the West Coast, including the Michelin-starred Aqua in San Francisco and Napa Valley’s Bouchon. Additional credits include Hokus at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Honolulu, a five-star, five-diamond property; the exclusive North Ranch Country Club in Westlake Village, California; and VOX Restaurant & Wine Lounge in Henderson, Nevada. Most recently, Valette spent six years as Executive Chef at Dry Creek Kitchen, a Charlie Palmer restaurant in downtown Healdsburg. At Dry Creek Kitchen, he gathered great acclaim for the strong relationships he cultivated with local farmers and purveyors in order to provide the restaurant with the area’s freshest and most unique ingredients. Valette was known for his exceptional ability to pair some of the country’s best wines with his intense, flavorful and dynamic cuisine. In 2015, along with his brother Aaron Garzini, Dustin opened Valette Restaurant, showcasing 47 years of combined restaurant experience, and a deep passion and dedication to Sonoma Country and its food and wine purveyors and producers. Originally from Sonoma County, Valette is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. He currently resides with his wife, their two young daughters and two dogs in Downtown Healdsburg, a block away from the restaurant. The Matheson opened in September 2021 to rave reviews!
Executive Chef Matt Brimer’s menu is progressive American and hyper-local, featuring ingredients like locally foraged fungi from a secret stand on the slopes of rolling forest, or a Purple Heart tomato cultivated from a farm within walking distance of the restaurant. Start with some vino at the legendary wine wall, featuring 88 global selections available by taste, sip, or glass and proceed to dine in the gorgeous main dining room with soaring ceilings, colorful murals, and open kitchen, or upstairs at Roof 106, the stylish rooftop bar and sophisticated al fresco seating area where guests enjoy handcrafted cocktails made with seasonal fruits, flowers, and herbs, pizza and small plates from the Mugnaini wood-fired oven that tends to spark the palate (and conversations). The stylish setting, with comfortable seating perched high above Healdsburg amidst planters and fire-pits reminded me of a hip restaurant in the Parioli neighborhood of Rome!
To do this story justice (and because we couldn’t resist), we ate here two times during our visit to Healdsburg—the first night at The Matheson’s main dining room, and another evening, we stopped in to unwind after a long day of wine tasting and enjoyed a casual, yet celebratory meal upstairs at Roof 106!
At The Matheson, we enjoyed the Bread & Butter (with house made butter), Osetra Caviar with shiitake mushroom “XO”, yukon potato, and cured egg yolk, Duck & Shrimp Shumai with foie gras, kimchee, and scallion, Mt. Lassen Trout with horseradish yogurt, cucumber, caraway, and dill, Summer Melon with cured salmon belly, kohlrabi, gochugaru, and mint, Heirloom Tomatoes with brokaw avocado, sesame, nori tapenade, and shiso, and Brentwood Corn Soup with queso de oaxaca, and squash blossom flowering cilantro for starters.
For entrees, we enjoyed Alaskan Halibut with pole beans, apricot, red curry, and Monterey squid, Wild King Salmon with baby eggplant, zucchini, sauce Charon, and Monterey squid, Aged Sonoma Duck with brassicas, stone fruit, peanut, and basil, Fried Green Tomatoes with succotash, mole verde, and gooseberry, Corn Finished American Beef with yellow corn, porcini, and alliums fermented garlic. For dessert, the Central Coast Strawberries with vanilla pudding, pistachio cake, and granola was the perfect ending!
At Roof 106, we started with Orange & Rosemary Crusted Marinated Olives, Blistered Shishito Peppers, Marcona Almonds, and house made Chorizo, and Warm Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna Tataki with Kombu emulsion, barrel aged soy, puffed rice, and sesame snow. We couldn’t wait to try the pizzas—we got one with Broccolini, Charred Onion & Calabrian Chile, Feta, Preserved Lemon, a second with Summer Truffle & Mushroom, Lomo, Buratta, Local Mushrooms, Crispy Shallots, and Porcini Crema, and my favorite, the Smoked Salmon, Roasted Garlic, Preserved Lemon, Red Onion, Dill, and Capers with the addition of an order of Valette Osetra Caviar & Creme Fraiche per person to decadently decorate our pizza!
Two other “must’s” were the Burrata + Grilled Peach “Salad” with shishito, arugula, mint, peach-balsamic gastrique, and focaccia, and the gorgeous Whole Roasted Branzino with warm farro salad, asparagus, pickled vegetables, and piquillo pepper vinaigrette.
For sweets, we balanced the decadent with the refreshing: Hazelnut Panna Cotta with white chocolate feuilletine, Volo Chocolate S’mores, and the Peach Sorbet with Lemon Gelee Push-Pop. Oh What a night! ☐