Just about the hottest restaurant opening in the US last year — sneaking in with a December 2 debut — SingleThread comes with a farm, resident forager and an inn upstairs. It’s the perfect spot to unwind after the 11-course tasting menu from chef, culinary scientist and SingleThread founder Kyle Connaughton, former head chef of R & D at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck.
The name of the restaurant and hotel, in picturesque Healdsburg in Sonoma wine country, 90 minutes north of San Francisco, comes from the idea of a single thread of hospitality that begins on the nearby farm of wife and co-founder Katina Connaughton — producing heirloom fruit, vegetables, herbs, honey, eggs and olive oil — and finishes with a gift of a copy of the menu and pack of homegrown onion seeds.
Four guestrooms and one suite above the restaurant, designed by AvroKO, are light filled with a strong Japanese flavour and feature bespoke furniture, Matouk linens and vases made by the Nagatani family of Iga, eighth-generation Japanese master potters who’ve also made much of the restaurant’s tableware. Even the paper ceiling lantern in the shape of an onion flower was custom made by designer Jiangmei Wu.
State-of-the-art technology underlies the sensitively crafted look: independent Wi-Fi in each room so guests can run their devices through the TV and sound system, iPad to control lighting, underfloor heating and in the bathroom one of those confounding Japanese Toto washlets.
DON’T MISS: Do a little research before dinner. The in-room iPad is loaded with the restaurant wine list featuring tasting notes and corresponding maps. Or make a cuppa using the Teforia infuser, the latest in achieving the perfect brew.
DINING IN AND OUT: Connaughton brings not only his experience at Fat Duck but several years working at the three-Michelin-star Michel Bras Toya Japon in Hokkaido. There are three 11course tasting menus — vegetarian, pescetarian and omnivore — but these can be customised to suit pernickety Californian palates. Dinner be- gins with aperitifs and the first courses on the rooftop garden before moving downstairs to the elegant, beautifully crafted dining room where everything, from the screens to the knives and pots, is bespoke. Expect the likes of black cod with miso; 55-day dry aged rib of beef with eucalyptus, squash, pickled onion, pear and chestnut; or melon sorbet with camomile tapioca and verjuice sabayon. Home cooked breakfasts, Californian or Japanese in style, are taken in your room.
ASK THE CONCIERGE: The restaurant can be booked 90 days in advance and the inn up to a year. The dining room is open Tuesday to Sunday; the inn seven days.
CHECKING IN: Rooms from $US800 ($1059) a night; singlethreadfarms.com.
ALSO TRY: Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, England; Sooke Harbour House, Vancouver Island; The Louise, Barossa Valley.
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