Oh yes, and maybe for the enth time. We happened upon it in April of 2006, having read about it in a New York Times story on Healdsburg Restaurants by Frank J. Prial. I wrote about it then, and again in April of this year when we made our semi-annualish trip to Simi Winery to pick up our wine “shipments.”
I belong to five wine clubs — a self imposed limit — Simi, Cline, Bonny Doon, Navarro and Mahoney. I’ve been in many others over the years, but settled on these because I consistently like their wines. The good part; they send bottles of their choice periodically at substantial discounts. The discounts also apply for re-order. The bad part; they send bottles of their choice periodically. I choose to pick up the wines at Cline, a short trip, I save the shipping cost and use it as an excuse to stock up on their California Zinfandel and Syrah; tremendous values, with the discount. Simi, on the other hand, makes an excuse to go to Healdsburg — and Barndiva — a couple times a year.
The last weekend in May, Simi had their garden cafe open to members for their Wine and Pizza Forage.
Here’s my journal entry for that trip:
Saturday afternoon, we went to Simi for their members only Wine and Pizza Forage. Turns out they have a lovely; lower patio off of their party room. For $25 we got pizzas of our choice made in their brick oven, and all the wine we dare drink. They were pouring Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1993, 1999, 2001, a 2000 Reserve Zinfandel and a 2005 Reserve Chardonnay. They had a few bottles of each left, priced at $100 — $70 for us on this day only. Great wine, but… great wine is even better when its free.
Another reason to go to Healdsburg, but I digress.
The menu at Barndiva changes often, but the place remains the same, a treat. I love the feeling of the place, the food is consistently first rate and delights the eye.
We started with calamari, fried with a very delicate batter, accompanied with a spicy red pepper sauce.
My choice was the triple creme brie quiche laced with bits of ham; tiny but decadent. A bright salad of butter lettuce with slivers of grapefruit, apple and pear with a light vinaigrette was a welcome accompaniment. The Rhone wine paired well.
Carol chose the sweet potato gnocci with bits of roasted Brussels sprouts, parmesan, zucchini, sage and figs. A glass of rose was perfectly suited to go with.
But Barndiva isn’t just about food. Everything about the place exhibits excellent design choices.
The logo graces both the wood table and the folder for the check (a very reasonable sum, I might add).
Even the men’s room shows whimsey and good taste.
And there is something new…
A gift shop next door featuring design and art works in the spirit of Barndiva.
I was fascinated by the wire sculpture.
I love good food and good design, but you must think I have a man-crush on Barndiva. You think?