On a recent rainy Friday afternoon, my husband and I ducked into the pretty trellised courtyard and right through the inviting doors of Barndiva in Healdsburg.
Apparently, we weren’t the only ones lured inside by the laid-back, rustic warmth of its barn-like setting, as the cozy dining room soon filled up with locals greeting each other with hugs and kicking back with glasses of wine.
It’s easy to see why this is a spot that attracts folks again and again.
It has a free spiritedness about it with eclectic artwork on the walls, including a wall of vintage wooden shoe forms at the entrance. In fact, the secondary dining room is an actual art gallery by day, and an event space by night.
I hadn’t dined at Barndiva since shortly after it opened in 2004, so I was happy to go again in December after being invited in as a guest of the restaurant.
About six years ago, Chef Ryan Fancher came on board after cooking alongside Richard Reddington at Auberge du Soleil, and Thomas Keller at both the French Laundry in Yountville and Per Se in New York.