Located in the old Cyrus space at the bottom of Hotel Mar in Healdsburg is Chalkboard. A small plates / tapas restaurant that is still ironing out the kinks.
Here’s what we had:
Shot of “fairytale pumpkin soup” topped with an arancini ball and white truffle oil. Thought the arancini ball didn’t do much for the soup. It was delicious otherwise and worth the $3/shot.
Duck liver mousse with a cayenne pepper jelly, sea salt, and grilled bread. Kudos for not making the grilled bread hard as a brick. The cayenne pepper jelly was a delight which brightened up the dish and gave it a kick. (Second to the duck liver mousse at State Bird Provisions.)
Creamed rainbow chard with onion cream, saffron poached raisins and crispy shallots. This was a great dish. It’s hard to make chard taste good, but there was no bitterness and the raisins and shallots took this savory dish over the top.
Lumachine “Mac & cheese” with a duck confit, duck fat bread crumbs and white cheddar. This was my least favorite. First when you put something in quotes that usually means it’s not exactly what it says, but rather a play on words. But this was in fact Mac ‘n Cheese. I didn’t like the crispy topping because it was a little too well done and that made it chewy. The flavor tasted off to me and the white cheddar cheese sauce needed salt.
Hamachi crudo was underwhelming, probably because of the order in which it arrived at the table. It seemed bland after the mousse with the cayenne pepper jelly. But I also think that the yuzu sauce and the diced cucumber didn’t add much flavor. It was lacking acidity.
Dessert looked interesting, but at this point I didn’t want to waste my calories in something that would be disappointing.