Can I Get Fries With That?

A restaurant recently mentioned in a magazine caught my eye because it’s located in Sonoma, CA and I have family in Sonoma.  “Have they been there?” I wondered, and “If not, would they like to?”no

The answer to both questions is…


Unless they want to spend $586 for “an 11-course meal for two, without drinks but with a built-in service charge,” to quote a review in The New York Times.

Yes, this small (52-seat) restaurant in a small town was deemed worthy of the estimable New York Times’ notice, with a headline that described it as “Pricey But Not Pretentious.”

SingleThread owners:  “Will that work in our ‘early spring hillside in bloom’ main course?”

I beg to differ.  About the “not pretentious” part.

And not only The New York Times – Forbes magazine also designated the restaurant dine-worthy, and overnight-worthy as well, since the establishment is both a restaurant and hotel.

Excuse me, it’s an inn.  I guess when you have only five rooms, you get to call yourself an inn.

And the list of raving media goes on:  CNN, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Vogue, the Wall Street Journal, even The Telegraph in the United Kingdom.

And the cause of all the attention, raving and drooling?


Yes, that’s the restaurant/inn’s name, all one word.  Talk about pretentious?  You’re so cool you can’t even put a space between “Single” and “Thread”?

Apparently, you are.

So what do you and your companion get for $586, tip included but no drinks?  Which, by the way, you can secure only with a pre-paid, non-refundable ticket?  Here’s a sampling:

Is that a vase of flowers or our next course?

The poached foie gras is served with “tea of last year’s tomatoes, Tokyo turnips and their greens.”  Sonoma Grains are a mix of “Nettles, Kasu-Zuke, Faro Verde Beignet, Rib Cap and Herbs from the Garden.”

 The donabe contained black cod and chanterelle with shaved radishes, carrots, lacy greens, miners lettuce and flower petals that replicated an early spring hillside in bloom.

 Juice from rhubarb is aerated and caps layers of shiso granita and a warm rhubarb compote.  It’s like spooning through a cloud into an ice storm and, finding the rhubarb compote at the bottom, ending up in a warm room. 

I’m guessing you don’t get fries with this stuff.

Reviewers didn’t confine themselves to rhapsodizing over the food.  The hotel – I mean, inn – got raves as well:

Where’s the toilet?  I need to do my laundry!

The trashcan lids lift upon approach as if by magic.

 The complimentary toothbrush has bristles of binchō-tan charcoal. 

Then there’s the multi-function Toto smart toilet with so many heating and cleaning and rinsing modes it practically does your laundry.

So if you and your companion are in the mood to eat “an early spring hillside in bloom,” make friends with mind-reading trash cans, and do your laundry in a toilet, by all means book a visit to SingleThread.

After you show them the money.

And don’t ask for fries.

SingleThread:  Dinner, $293 per person.  Pay in advance.  No refunds.  No drinks.  No fries.

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