Goodnight’s Prime Steak + Spirits

The Healdsburg steakhouse led by Executive Chef David Lawrence is blazing a trail in Sonoma County.

Walking into Goodnight’s Prime Steak + Spirits feels like coming home. Hailing from cattle country, steakhouses have always been a mainstay of my childhood. However, Healdsburg’s best new steakhouse elevates a down-home dining experience with lush design—from warm ambient lighting to plush leather banquettes—and seasonally-inspired takes on chophouse classics. The rugged elegance of Goodnights is inspired by the spirit and legacy of Charles Goodnight, the legendary cattleman of the American West. A cowboy-entrepreneur, Goodnight invented the chuckwagon, which served as a portable kitchen for travelers on the trail and played a vital role in sustaining cattle drives and frontier expeditions.

An impressive flurry of action in the open-air kitchen complements the sound of sizzling and the unmistakable scent of steak grilled to perfection: a rich combination of savory, charred, and smoky notes. The menu comes from Executive Chef David Lawrence, a London-born chef who worked alongside the Roux brothers at their triple Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Gavroche. For Lawrence, Goodnight’s is a return to his roots. His father worked at a number of steakhouses, and he worked alongside his father at Berni Steakhouse in London. Though the steak is of course the star of the show, Lawrence’s menu also pays homage to Goodnight’s pioneering spirit, and highlights local produce of Sonoma. Diners can select from delicacies such as Russian Royal Osetra caviar and oysters with seaweed mignonette, or indulge in comforting appetizers like Parker house rolls slathered with cultured honey butter, and crisp maitake mushrooms complemented by a bright avocado chimichurri.

From the melt-in-your-mouth tenderness of a filet to the unparalleled marbling of wagyu, steak enthusiasts have an array of options at Goodnight’s, each offering a unique flavor profile and dining experience. As soon as you enter Goodnight’s, the smell of grilling steak envelops you. More accurately, it’s the succulent smell of the Maillard reaction, when a caramelized crust forms on the steak, releasing a distinct charred aroma. As the steak cooks further, the fat begins to render, releasing a flavorful scent that combines with smoky undertones from the grill for an earthy, umami aroma. In the realm of carnivorous delights, few culinary experiences rival the pleasure of a perfectly cooked steak.

The barrel-cut filet mignon is a prime selection from the tenderloin muscle, offering the ultimate in tenderness and a buttery texture. Meanwhile, the Japanese A5 Wagyu sirloin is characterized by a melt-in-your-mouth texture that offers a flavor experience unlike any other—rich without tasting oily. For those seeking even bolder flavor, the Black Angus New York strip strikes a balance between robust flavor and juicy tenderness. It’s a weeknight go-to in our household for its hearty texture and rich, beefy taste. Of course, crowd favorite ribeye (also available bone-in) is available, as well as lesser-known cuts such as sirloin bavette. Finally, those looking for an extravagant steak experience can opt for a bone-in tomahawk. Dry-aged to perfection, the tomahawk offers complex flavors and a tender, buttery texture unmatched in depth and richness.

An assortment of accouterments are available for your steak, including a selection of salts—earthy truffle, smoked, pink Himalayan, and Hawaiian sea salt—and sauces. Enjoy a savory red wine bordelaise, rich and creamy béarnaise, the tang of fresh chimichurri, or an armagnac green peppercorn—our personal favorite for its depth of flavor. With a nod to its namesake’s innovative spirit, Goodnight’s also offers modern twists on classic dishes. Sides include buttery Yukon gold potato purée, baked potatoes, and creamed spinach, as well as maple bacon roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted delicata winter squash, and hand-cut fries with house-made spicy ketchup. The menu also offers non-steak entrees such as lobster thermidor, halibut, housemade pasta, and roasted duck.

A carefully curated beverage list includes wines both local and from abroad, a premier selection of bourbon and whiskey, and inventive craft cocktails. There’s something for everyone from mixologist Devon Espinosa, whose cocktail program offers everything from smoky to fruity libations including the Rum Runner, made with blood orange rum, rye whiskey, brown sugar, and walnut bitters; and the Gravenstein Apple Gang with bourbon, tart apple juice, brown sugar syrup, and a lovely, fragrant italicus foam.

Whether you’re a cowboy or a city slicker, Goodnight’s is a surefire way to savor the flavors of the West, in style.

If you go…

Goodnight’s Prime Steak + Spirits is located at 113 Plaza Street in Healdsburg.

Stay at Hotel Le Mars, just down the street from Goodnight’s. With only 16 rooms, the French-style boutique hotel will feel like a home away from home.

Start your night with an aperitif at The Matheson, across the plaza from Goodnight’s. Tip: they have the best espresso martinis in town!