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Barndiva, Healdsburg Ca

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A lot of individual items make up a great restaurant but none more important than the chef. On a tip from my son, we went here on Sunday evening.
The outstanding new chef is Ryan Fancher who has a long association with Thomas Keller at French Laundry and Per Se. If you have not been, get there or now give it another chance.

Apps were a half portion of excellent pea risotto, creamy and rich. Barn salad, organic mixed lettuces bacon, croutons, poached hen egg, sherry vinaigrette. Each item complimented the other perfectly. Last app was a delightful strawberry salad that my DW said was really good. Did not get a chance to try it.

We then had the Barndiva charcuterie, which consisted of a selection of Fra Mani salumi w/ house fig jam & breads. Tasty selection of meats which were great with the jam and bread.

Entrees were seared halibut on top of crushed fava beans topped with an olive tapenade. Lovely mix of flavors with the fresh halibut. Big thumbs up from the two people who ordered it.
Other entrees were Lamb "3 ways" which consisted of a tasty lamb chop, lamb sirloin and a rillet of lamb shank.. Also came with ramps, potatoes and a flavorful au jus.
Last entree was "chicken and dumplings" which was the ultimate comfort food. Chicken breasts, gnocchi, morels and a light flavorful sauce. Just outstanding.

We were stuffed but shared homemade ice cream sandwiches, one hazelnut latte and one peanut butter caramel. Both were very good
We celebrated with a 1996 Dom Perignon and a 2000 Leroy Burgundy. Both were excellent.

A great dinner, chef Fancher is really starting to make his mark here. Service was OK but could use some fine tuning.

231 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

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  1. Thanks for the great report and update about the chef. Sounds like the pastry chef Scott Noll is equally talented.

    231 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

    1 Reply
    1. re: rworange

      If the ice cream sandwiches are any indication then chef Noll can certainly fill a sweet tooth.
      Great to see Chef Fancher at his creative best.

    2. An update on Barndiva. Three of us had "Wednesday at the Barn" which is their special 3 course prix fixe dinner served family style for $35.00. Special wine pairings are available for only $15.00 extra.

      Chef Fancher has really settled into a groove here and his training at French Laundry and Per Se is very evident.
      First course was a Roasted Asparagus Salad, with sunny side up Araucana egg, wild arugula, bernaise vinaigrette and shaved pecorino. A delicious start, the mix of flavors all brought together by that heavenly egg.

      Main course of Grilled Painted Hills Flank Steak, sweet English peas, bacon lardon, roasted romaine, creme fraiche and thyme jus. A substantial portion of tender, perfectly medium rare flank steak complimented by the rich mix of veggies and bacon.

      Dessert completed dinner. Pastry chef is now Tracy Mattson, formerly of Cyrus and her Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with sugaed almonds was a flavorful ending to a great meal.
      We thoroughly enjoyed a 2006 Vietti Nebbiolo Perbacco with dinner.

      Service was smart, informative and attentive without being the least bit intrusive. Kudos to the staff here.
      Barndiva is one of our favorites in wine country and last nights dinner was a delicious confirmation.

      231 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

      1 Reply
      1. re: tom246

        Thanks for the very helpful review. We are in Healdsburg on a Tuesday and Wednesday night in August. Wednesday at the Barn sounds wonderful. Hopefully they are still running that in August.

      2. Thanks for your original review and your recent update. We have only two evenings to spend in the area and you sold us on Barndiva for one of those.

        231 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

        3 Replies
        1. re: jmsvss

          I had wrote above about stopping by to checkout Barndiva when in Healdsburg for a vacation this summer. Wanted to write to say that we did, and that we very much enjoyed our meal.

          We sat outside, and if weather permits I would recommend it, great ambiance. They had live music as well. As for the food, we really enjoyed our courses! While the Wednesday's at the Barn menu was being offered (it was obviously Wednesday), we instead split two appetizers, each got a main, and then split a dessert. The appetizers were the highlight for us. Tomato season was in full force, and we had a delicious heirloom tomato caprese salad, and spilt a tomato soup as well. As a main I got a pork chop, and that was very tasty (pic provided)

          Again, would very much recommend. Hope you enjoy it!

          231 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

          1. re: metfan630

            metfan630, nice to hear you enjoyed Barndiva. We are out here for a couple of weeks and will be getting to Barndiva soon.
            Heading up to Diavolo in Geyserville tonight!!

            1. re: tom246

              Barndiva is great and so is Diavolo in Geyserville. The have gluten free pizza too. Another great spot is Rustic in Geyserville. It's the Coppola winery restaurant. I found the Healdsburg App for the iPhone very helpful when finding some new things to see and do.

              231 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

        2. We had a significant birthday celebration last night at Barndiva, overall our favorite restaurant in the valley. We originally had a quiet dinner in mind but it was suggested that we have the chef “cook dinner for the three of us”.

          Let me say right from the start that Chef Ryan Fancher is a genius with fresh local ingredients and his menu is creative and artfully presented. To say he cooked for us is the understatement of the year. After finding out a few of our preferences, we started.
          A quick mention of the bread service is in order as the local baked epee loaf is crusty and a carbo lovers dream. Comes with pads of fresh butter sprinkled with coarse sea salt.

          The courses started with:

          Cauliflower Veloute, caramelized florets, almonds, capers, golden raisins, port reduction.

          Trio of salads:
          Local arugula salad, shaved fennel, Satsuma mandarin, citrus vinaigrette.
          Heirloom beets, apples, endive, avocado, watercress, walnuts, warm chevre.
          Frisee salad, warm garlic, croutons, bacon, pecorino, fried Araucuna egg, chives.

          Dungeness crab, grapefruit, edamame, brioche crouton, cilantro.

          Dandelion green ravioli, chestnuts, Musque de Provence, honey glazed turnip, truffle.

          Day boat scallops, brussels sprouts, pancetta, quince, sweet onion “risotto”.

          Halibut, potato crust, red onion marmalade, hen of the woods, chive crème fraiche.

          Whole roasted chicken (carved tableside) purple Peruvian potatoes, parsnips, natural jus.

          Baked Alaska, butter pecan ice cream, Sumatra bean granite, lemon.

          Every course had layers of flavor which made this a wonderful dining experience.
          We did not pair wines to each course but the Sommelier guided us to a couple of bottles which were perfect with the food.
          Service from Bennett and the entire staff was outstanding, the pace of the meal was totally up to us.

          We don’t often eat like this but having Chef Fancher and the Bardiva staff work their magic was a real treat and one we won’t soon forget.

          231 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

          5 Replies
          1. re: tom246

            tom - might I ask what this meal cost per person [without wine]? Heading there in January...

            1. re: DebitNM

              Debit, the normal tasting menu is $75.00 per person for 5 courses not counting the amuse, which was the veloute soup last night. In effect, 6 courses.
              The special occasion last night (my wifes birthday) made for a modified and wonderful tasting menu.

              Have a great time in January. The space is beautiful and the food is a match for the setting.

              1. re: tom246

                Barndiva has made my shortlist for our weekend in Healdsburg next month. The question is whether to go for Sunday brunch or dinner? Any feedback on their brunch?

                231 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

                1. re: klaw

                  For sure dinner. As good as brunch is, and its very good, dinner shows more creativity and variety.

                  Enjoy and report back on your meal.

                  1. re: tom246

                    Thanks for the recommendation Tom. I'll book it for dinner then. Any recommendations for the best brunch in Healdsburg?