For an idea of how special Barndiva is, one need only watch the film, Eat the View,” that documents the journey one plate of food takes as the ingredients travel across Sonoma County, through the restaurant kitchen, and into the dining room of the Healdsburg restaurant.
Written and produced by Barndiva owner Jil Hales, it runs just 4 minutes and 21 seconds long, yet is a beautifully choreographed, exquisitely shot movie that tracks across Sonoma County to purveyors like Preston Vineyards, Bellwether Farms, Mix Gardens, Earlybird’s Place and Daniel’s Flats. The goal is to capture the origins of virtually every ingredient in a dish except salt.
There’s actually a plot of sorts, as Barndiva chef Ryan Fancher puts it all together in the end, assisted by a large team of kitchen staff. And there’s a moral – connecting Sonoma farmers, ranchers, cheese makers, foragers, chefs and diners brings us all together in support for the locavore, organic causes.
Experiencing an actual meal at the revered restaurant is, as expected for such quality, pricey. It’s blissful stuff, to be sure, like an appetizer of yellowfin tuna sashimi atop sticky rice with pickled Fresno chile, avocado and tamari soy ($18), an entrée of pan seared filet mignon with potato, caramelized onion-bacon tart, blue cheese and glazed carrot ($42), and dessert of “almond joy” coconut macaroon, almond Florentine and chocolate sherbet ($8).
For a bargain taste of luxury, however, Sonoma County Restaurant Week runs Mar. 7-13, 2016, and Barndiva is sending out a sumptuous $39 three-course dinner.
Gambas Fraîches Au Sauce Raifort – chilled prawns, horseradish-lemon cocktail sauce, arugula salad, shallot vinaigrette
Paillard de Volaille – crispy breaded chicken breast, warm potato fondant, lemon caper parsley butter
Gateau au Chocolat – chocolate layer cake, ice cream
Barndiva is as pretty as its dishes, too, set in a mahogany barn with decorative pitchforks on the walls, a gleaming wood bar, and a lush garden. It’s right next door to Hales’s art gallery, Studio Barndiva, which acts as a private party space but also offers a bistro menu plus signature Sunday Suppers.
And here’s a secret: those three-course Sunday Suppers are like enjoying Sonoma County Restaurant Week all year-round. Menus change weekly, but a recent line up found these mouthwatering deals:
FRITURE d’EPERLAN smelt fritto misto, Meyer lemon, haricot vert, artichoke // JARRET de PORC FUMÉ smoked ham shank, potato coquette, asparagus, gribiche // FINANCIER au BEURRE NOISETTE brown butter financier cake, berry ice cream ($36)
ESCARGOTS à la BOURGUIGNONNE escargot, garlic butter, mesclun, citrus vinaigrette // BRANDADE FLÉTAN flounder brandade, spring garlic // BEIGNETS with framboise anglaise ($39)
Details: Barndiva, 231 Center St., Healdsburg