Charmingly decorated in a comfortable, rustic-elegant style, the sunny dining room peeks into the open kitchen where chef Perry Hoffman works his magic. Hoffman, who spent childhood summers with family in Boonville, recently returned to his roots when he took the restaurant’s reins from his uncle, Johnny Schmitt, who was ready to retire after decades of managing the kitchen and the hotel.
In addition to his lofty culinary pedigree – grandparents Don and Sally Schmitt opened the French Laundry in the 1970s – Hoffman is the youngest chef to be awarded a Michelin star, for his work at the now shuttered Étoile restaurant at Domaine Chandon in Napa. At the Boonville Hotel, Hoffman gives diners an authentic farm to table experience, highlighting seasonal produce, herbs, and edible flowers, some of which are grown in the restaurant’s kitchen garden. These form the basis of every menu, with whatever is freshest being the inspiration for the dishes cooked that day. The cooking is refined, fresh, and innovative, bringing out the best in the locally sourced ingredients without being pretentious.
Starters might include sparkling fresh, sweet oysters with a classic mignonette on the side, followed by a salad of shaved cucumber with grilled nectarines and a dollop of local Pennyroyal Farms goat cheese, and perhaps Dungeness crab with citrus, sorrel, and sherry cream, or pasta with fiddlehead ferns and mushrooms with smoked crėme fraiche.