At the Table - Whitetail Wine Bar
16230 Main St, Guerneville
by Elena Chronis
Owner Leslie Bahr and Chef Helena Gustavsson Giesea have partnered up in opening Helena's Kitchen in the wine bar. It’s a great collaboration of two independent entrepreneurial women pulling their resources and talents together to create a successful business. Leslie is an interior architect by trade and Helena is a culinary wizard. Add the two together and its a fast recipe for success. And not to forget Sous Chef Alan Bedient for his contributions in assisting with all the culinary delights offered here. Sous Chef Alan comes from a baking background and is a true young talent emerging in the Sonoma county culinary scene.
On my recent visit here the place was bustling with excitement. Outdoor seating in the front of the winebar was packed, the back patio was a buzz with customers and fortunately, there was one seat available for me inside as all the tables and couch seating was filled with happy customers noshing away.
The menu here is international. Something for everyone. The price points are definitely spot-on and each menu item is paired with a wine. You can order small bites or dinner.
For me deciding what to sample wasn’t easy as everything on the menu sounded wonderful. I started out with the beef and rice noodle salad. It was crisp and refreshing not overdressed with dressings and was the perfect starter to my dinner. I enjoyed it so much I'll definitely be back for a large bowl. The mini pizzetta's here are terrific to sample with a glass of wine. Always creative and imaginative, not your typical grub pub fare. I was lucky to try the apple, bacon and cherry pizzetta. It was a party for mytastebuds. If you like something a little more exotic try the duck tacos... amazing flavor and oh so tender. My favorite dish is the mushroom piroshki with creamy Russian beet potato salad. Brings back happy memories. The piroshki were not overcooked or dry, just wonderfully plump bursting with mushrooms, and the potato salad tasted like my mom made back in the day. I hadn't had a chance to sample the curry wild rice or meatballs on a stick but saw several customers with those items on their table. If you need to indulge your sweet tooth, try the homemade ice creams or sorbets. Always fresh. As I finished my meal, satiated and happy, I saw TV host/personality Liam Mayclem from "Eye on the Bay" stop in to say hello to Leslie and Helena.
Vegetarian options are offered to anyone who requests. The freshest and mostly organic options are offered. Whitetail is a great place for special occasions. Call in advance for takeout. Chef Helena is available for catering private events. Open Weds-Sundays during the summer from 4pm-9pm.
Go to www.helenaskitchen.com for menus and more info.