On the corner of Center and North streets in downtown Healdsburg, a generational foodie fairy tale is happening every night from 5 to 10 p.m. The story begins in the 1940s with Grandpa Valette, a French-born baker who landed in the Alexander Valley at this very corner (minus the stop signs and cars on the road) to open a bakery. Eventually the bakery closed and the space was home to restaurants such as the now-defunct Zin. Finally, in 2014 Valette’s two grandsons returned to the corner and are now running one of the most popular restaurants in the area, Valette. In a town already boasting award-winning culinary experiences, Dustin Valette and Aaron Garzini have used their longtime roots in the community to their advantage. Aaron runs the front of the house and Dustin, a veteran chef, runs the kitchen. The undecided and adventurous won’t want to miss the “Trust Me” tasting menu offering dishes like Dustin’s signature scallops en croute (a wow-inducing puff pastry) along with whatever he finds at the farmers’ market. $15 per course, four-course minimum. valettehealdsburg.com
Mimi Towle has been the editor of Marin Magazine for over a decade. She lived with her family in Sycamore Park and Strawberry and thoroughly enjoyed raising two daughters in the mayhem of Marin’s youth sports; soccer, swim, volleyball, ballet, hip hop, gymnastics and many many hours spent at Miwok Stables. Her community involvements include volunteering at her daughter’s schools, coaching soccer and volleyball (glorified snack mom), being on the board of both Richardson Bay Audubon Center. Currently residing on a floating home in Sausalito, she enjoys all water activity, including learning how to steer a 6-person canoe for the Tamalpais Outrigger Canoe Club. Born and raised in Hawaii, her fondness for the islands has on occasion made its way into the pages of the magazine.