Louis Maldonado new Spoonbar chef

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Aziza chef de cuisine and Chronicle Rising Star Chef (’09) Louis Maldonado will replace Rudy Mihal as Spoonbar’s new exec chef.

Rumors that an alum of the critically-acclaimed San Francisco restaurant might be headed north have been circulating for weeks, but the restaurant announced today that the h2hotel chef will start his Healdsburg tenure with the kick off of Pigs and Pinot, a popular weekend-long event featuring several gala dinners. He’ll co-chef the “Eat 100″ Pigs and Pinot Dinner with Cocina Latina Chef Mateo Granados on March 23, 2012.

Following the event, he’ll start reworking the spoonbar menu, which has leaned toward Middle Eastern flavors since opening several years ago. Best guesses are he’ll stick in that general direction, though Inside Scoop SF said, “he won’t be bound by any geographic region, and he expects entrees to top out around $23 (or thereabouts).”

In related news, spoonbar’s hyper-talented mixologist, Scott Beattie is moving onto new projects, namely the forthcoming Goose and Gander in St. Helena.


Author: biteclub

Food Dining and Restaurants in Sonoma County and beyond, BiteClubEats.com is Wine Country dining with Drive-Thru Sensibility.

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  1. So…I’m a Hesldsburg local and I NOW love that bar. Cappy has successfully redirected the vibe of that bar. My husband and I love going in there for a great negron i and the buratta plate. Burger is also legendary. The new chef does have his work cut out with other menu items. As for all the other comments….you people are not helping the snobby reputation that this great town is beginning to earn. Shimo’s noodle bowl to date is one of my favorite things ever. Give a restaurant a few tries to get its groove before you crown it with a scarlet letter otherwise we will have rows of empty spaces like Windsor!

  2. Spoon bar sounds like a Baby food brand. I go to the Chacoutarie or however you spell it because I am always happy with the service and the food.

  3. Great, maybe now they will understand that not only do they have to cater to tourists, but more important the locals.
    On rainy December and January weekdays we still would like a place to go for dinner once a week or so. Finding places like that are almost impossible in Healdsburg. The attitude of being so snobbish, being the “cool” place to go, just doesn’t work with locals.
    That why we hang out at the two places in town that have been there before trendy Healdsburg came into fashion places that have dished out great meals and decent prices without all the BS attached to it.
    Like Shimo the steakhouse that tried to tell us that 100 dollar a plate steak was perfect for two, ( only if both people like it the same way) Spoonbar will change chefs because you can’t run the place only for tourists.

  4. as proven by kims comments, only a real healdsburg local will say they would never set foot in that place. Browns sporting goods anyone? D mart?

  5. I have to agree that the bar has gotten better without Scott behind the bar. I live in town as well and always got that same “we’re too hip to even acknowledge your presence is Scott in a nutshell!” vibe every time I’d stop in for a drink. I do enjoy the cocktails he’s put together but the attitude behind the bar was not very welcoming. It’s been much better in the last month or two. Hopefully this will turn around the food service because it’s been hit or miss since the opening.

  6. Wow, “we’re too hip to even acknowledge your presence is Scott in a nutshell! That comes from a Healdsburg native and word of mouth from dozens of locals. The only reason my girlfriends I will go in anymore is because he has left. Bar much improved! As for the food, the new chef has work to do. But hearing his reviews and dinning at his last restaurant I see only good thing.

  7. I am so pleased to see Latino chefs getting the recognition and promotions they deserve. In the 80’s I was a pastry chef in L.A. at the Studio Grill, on the cutting edge of new California Cuisine before that term was even coined. When the chef, who did little but get drunk went off to open his own place, the Mexican sous chef stepped up. He had already created many of the dishes that were served, had been running the restaurant anyway and went on to really expand the menu to great satisfaction of the studio crowd who hun out there. When the critics came around however, he was rarely mentioned. I remember our celebration when the LA Times finally did include his name.

  8. Oh we lost our chef de AppleBees??

  9. I am a local to Healdsburg and have never eaten at Spoonbar. The first turn off is that it looks like a cafeteria.

    Secondly, I work in wine hospitality. When talking with people over the counter about their personal experience in wine country, I always ask where they’ve eaten lunch/dinner in town.

    Many customers have mentioned Spoonbar and that they were disappointed in the food and service. Actually, last summer one customer specifically mentioned the ribeye steak and how awful it was. They conveyed nearly the same information that Rusty provided in his comments.

    It’s a trendy destination establishment for the thirty-something crowd. Thank goodness there are other fabulous restaurants in Healdsburg to choose from and recommend to wine tasters. :))

  10. Scott was the only thing that Spoonbar had going for it. Innovative, knowledgable, and personable – what’s not to like? We’re locals, and so turned off by the “we’re too hip to even acknowledge your presence” attitude of the other bartenders that we routinely walk by and drink elsewhere if Scott’s not working.

  11. First visit I ordered a Ribeye. Not only was it strange to have it cut into chunks, but the first bite was so narley I had to spit it into my napkin. tried another bit, not bad, but when I picked over the pile the bottom three pieces were visably pure fat. Over 50% was inedible. I have sent back maybe 3 dishes in over 35 yrs of fine dining but I could not eat this pile of fat. So the waitress returned it to the kitchen. Instead of a new plate with a fresh steak, I got the maitre de in my face with my original plate demading I explain what was wrong with the steak. He insisted I was not educated on the cut and that they start with 12oz of the finest beef. So I asked if the chief took the time to cut it for me why did he put six oz of fat and grizzle on my plate? As a Healdsburg resident, there with two major local winery hospitality e ambasadors, that had annouced our presents to the wine manager before ordering, I when finally being asked , “Well what do you want me to do?” by the proffesional manager, said nothing more for me…I’m done. So I see this replacement as possibly a start for getting it right. But for the two ladies who send so many out of town visitors to the best Healdsburg has to offer, Spoon Bar has a black eye that only time will heal.

  12. I will miss Scott!!!!!! Best mixologist in the county, hands down.

    Since opening Spoonbar has been, go for the cocktails, eat somewhere else. I hope now it wont be eat at Spoonbar, go somewhere else for a nice drink.

  13. Amazing that these guys have their head up their rear so much, not to listen to locals who support the places during the winters. The food hopefully will be something that you can return to, where before the menu was only good in the eyes of the chef……

  14. Great, we don’t need that prima donna around here!

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