The heaters are on, the patio “walls” are up and the door is open at Healdsburg’s latest restaurant, Taverna Sofia. The air in the small tavern is redolent of cinnamon and cloves and your eyes will light first on the pasty cases where the Greek desserts bougatsa, baklava and chocolate-orange macarons invite you to taste.
It’s a small space, just 18 seats, but the size is almost doubled by the all-but-the-worst-weather patio. Owner Sofia Petridis-Lim welcomes customers to her restaurant as “guests to her home.”
1. When did Taverna Sofia open? We opened on Monday, Oct. 22, so we’ve been open for four weeks.
2. Location, phone and hours? 244 Healdsburg Avenue, 433-1982, “We’re open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Tuesday.
3. Why Healdsburg? It’s becoming the Sausalito of Sonoma County—a wine and food Mecca.
4. What is unique about your business? Authentic, rustic Greek is my specialty. It includes such menu items as dolmas with tzatziki and pita, moussaka and Sofia’s Signature Baklava.
5. What is your background as a chef? I graduated from the Santa Rosa Junior College Culinary Program. It’s a two-year program but I graduated in a year and four months, with honors. This is my first restaurant, and I had a strategic plan; when I started school, I also started looking for my restaurant.
6. How many people do you employ? I have two full-time employees and 18 part-time employees.
7. What do you love about it? It’s very gratifying to receive compliments, and especially, repeat customers. When they come back, I know they like it.
8. What is the downside? The 16-hour days!
9. What do you want people to know about you and Taverna Sofia? I want them to feel like guests in my home. I’m going to feed them good food and I want them to be at home.
10. Do you own another business? No, but I belong to the Sonoma County Culinary Guild. I’m an event coordinator. We’re all foodies and we got together here in Taverna Sofia recently.
Petridis-Lim has been married to Andrew (Andy) Lim, an airline pilot currently stationed in Korea, for 30 years. Their daughter, Cassandra, is also a chef and attends California State University at Monterey, where she is pursuing a degree in communications.
Though the restaurant resides in the same space as the former Bovolo, one enters off of Healdsburg Avenue, instead of through Copperfield’s Books.
The restaurant will not be open on Thanksgiving.