Tasting Menu at Barndiva

If I had to pick a town to live in anywhere in the US, it would be Healdsburg, CA. From the first time we visited Healdsburg, it has been true love for me, from the surrounding Dry Creek Valley to the laid-back plaza, dotted with massive trees and surrounded by top-notch restaurants and wine tasting rooms.

We’ve eaten at a variety of Healdsburg restaurants, and there are so many for us still to try. This time around, we decided to do the tasting menu at Barndiva.

Located just off the Healdsburg plaza, Barndiva is rustic and elegant, and, in their own words, a celebration of all things local. It’s not difficult to celebrate local ingredients when you are in a place like Healdsburg; Barndiva sources from the variety of farmers, ranchers, and other purveyors that produce food in the region.

Barndiva

We arrived at Barndiva after a short but fabulous stop at a tasting room down the street, Garagiste. With the time change, it was bright for our 6:30 reservation, and we were tempted to sit outside. Later I was glad we didn’t!

I didn’t take notes on the tasting menu as I assumed I would be able to refer back to the pairings online. It was a special date night and one I wanted to remember without worrying too much about blogging, but the light was so good and the food so fantastic, I had to take photos.

One thing I will note is that, when we asked if we could substitute some European wines for California wines, our server was more than accommodating. We wanted to stay true to the local experience, and it made it that much more special to be drinking only California wine.

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{Goat Cheese Croquettes with Local Organic Honey and Lavender}

Goat cheese croquettes kicked off our meal, their warm, creamy centers adorned with a pleasant crunchy coating. Sweet honey and fragrant lavender provided a sweet and floral contrast. I love all things lavender, and this pairing was lovely.

dungeness crab

{Dungeness Crab}

It’s Dungeness crab season in Northern California, and we both enjoyed the meaty crab with avocado and crunchy, salty potato chips.

Barndiva, Healdsburg

We lingered over each course, kind of amazed by the amount of sunlight still left outside.

scallops

{Caramelized Diver Scallops}

Our next course offered perfectly caramelized scallops atop a puree that I believe was potato. I cleared this plate in just a couple of minutes, loving the creamy puree and crispy bacon that came with the scallops.

lobster risotto

{Lobster Risotto}

I started to fade at the Lobster Risotto course which was completely unfortunate because it was absolutely amazing. I just couldn’t believe I had two more courses and two more wines to go. The lobster was perfect though, and the risotto so flavorful with nice hints of shellfish brine.

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{Herbed Roasted Filet of Beef}

Our final savory course of the evening was beef, and I know this one was paired with a big, bold Cabernet Sauvignon. A couple of bites of the meat and a  few sips of wine was all I could muster. So full.

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{Chocolate Bavarois, Lemon Verbena Ice Cream, Cherry}

A rich chocolate dessert paired with Madeira wine (not from California) finished off our tasting menu. The Bavarois had a mousse-like texture beneath a soft chocolate shell. Need I say more?

We were incredibly full by the time dinner was done, and it was nice to go outside to walk around the plaza despite the fact that the temperature, as it often does in Sonoma County, had dropped over 20 degrees since the sun set.

I loved writing this post; it was fun to be able to relive such a memorable night, but I won’t lie, it made me want to be in Healdsburg right now. It’s hard to leave a place that feels so much like home!

Do you have a place that you would rather be living? Or is it just me dreaming about packing up and moving?

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Tags: dining out. wine, Food, Healdsburg, Restaurants

  1. Michelle’s avatar

    Aw, it looks like you guys had a great date night!

    Reply

  2. Emily @ A Cambridge Story’s avatar

    So lovely! I’m bookmarking your posts to help me plan an girls trip to Napa this summer :)

    Reply

  3. Daisy’s avatar

    what an amazing meal! you got some great photos. I would love to visit healdsburg someday!

    Reply

  4. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic’s avatar

    This looks like the perfect meal and date night. I sometimes dream of living in Italy :)

    Reply

  5. Erica @ In and Around Town’s avatar

    What a great meal on a perfect date night!

    Reply

  6. Elizabeth’s avatar

    Awesome meal. I wanted to live in Northern California all while I was in college, I still do but at the same time, I also have a stronger desire to stay near my family than I used to. I’ll be content with visiting frequently

    Reply

  7. melissanibbles’s avatar

    That’s a dream meal. I want all of it!

    Reply

  8. Megan’s avatar

    I love tasting menus. It’s so much fun to try a little of everything. Did you bring any of the dessert back for me?!

    The last thing I want to think about is packing and moving… but it’s all I’m doing right now!!

    Reply

  9. Raija’s avatar

    Delicious and beautiful post. I’d rather be living on an island. There are many islands I could choose from, but probably an island off the coast here in New England, in a small house by the sea. Yup. I need some ocean. I’ve been craving it a long time now. Hopefully, I’ll get some when I go to Westhampton next weekend.

    Reply

  10. Michelle Collins’s avatar

    I would love to go back to Florence and stay there…forever.

    Reply

  11. Molly Galler’s avatar

    Wow! This meal looks incredible! It’s wonderful that you’ve found a city where you can see yourself and that feels like home every time you visit.

    Reply

  12. Jolene’s avatar

    Oh my goodness, that looks like the best meal ever. I must try this place when we head back out there in June! I can’t believe on the last 3 trips, I never went here! It’s not new is it??

    Reply

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