Best of Greece at Taverna Sofia
By Karla Erovick
Healdsburg, California, home to Michelin star restaurants and award-winning wineries, has added Mediterranean cuisine to its culinary repertoire. Taverna Sofia transports guests to a cozy taverna in the Greek islands, located behind Healdsburg’s main plaza. Al fresco dining on the outdoor patio and a mural of these faraway islands serves as a fitting backdrop to the tantalizing menu.
Taverna Sofia’s interior has whitewashed walls with blue accents. The intimate dining room feels as though you might be dining in someone’s home. My companion and I sat at a table with comfortable cushions and a view of the kitchen and settled in for a feast.
In addition to a myriad of Greek specialties, the restaurant also serves fresh-baked bread and pastries and, of course, Greek coffee. After agonizing over all of the delicious choices on the menu we decided to begin with the mezze platter. We savored each of the items: dolmas, tzatziki, feta, Kalamata olives, and spanakopita served with fresh-baked pita bread. While you could make a meal of these delightful snacks, you do not want to miss out on the house specialties. A selection of local and Greek wine and beer complements the menu.
I can’t eat at a Greek restaurant without ordering a Greek salad. This one is made with tomatoes, onions, feta, cucumbers, and lettuce. Both it and the orzo salad with red peppers, feta, olives, parsley, and pine nuts made a delicious first course.
For our main course we each chose a different item so that we could taste a wider array of the dishes. The lamb shank had simmered for hours, which made it so tender, and had hints of cinnamon, a house specialty. It melted in your mouth.
The stuffed chicken breast held kale and feta inside with a creamy white sauce drizzled over. I chose the rosemary potatoes as the accompanying side.
The moussaka contained beef, was layered with eggplant, and was rich yet not heavy. The portions were generous, and I found myself wanting to eat every last bite to my own detriment.
After feasting, it was with some difficulty that we managed to sample the light-as-a-feather baklava, Sofia’s special recipe containing pistachio, almonds, and walnuts and drizzled with honey. We also had Greek coffee, made in the traditional method and poured from a copper pot, to complete this decadent meal.
Chef Sofia Petridis-Lim makes Greek and Mediterranean cuisine from generations’ old family recipes. Her philosophy blends California fresh-grown produce with authentic spices from the old world to bring the very best of island cuisine to diners.
Details: Taverna Sofia is open every day except Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The restaurant is located at 244 Healdsburg Avenue in Healdsburg, California. Call (707) 431-1982 or visit the website for more information.