The Gallery Gardens are usually home to our elegant wedding receptions and private parties so it was a particular thrill to see them filled with local families and well behaved dogs this past weekend as we officially kicked off summer with two Memorial Weekend garden parties. We had an exotic menu, a rockin’ all girl band, great beer and sangria, and with the exception of a brief rainstorm Sunday, clear skies and sunshine to enjoy. One visitor who traveled up from LA quipped “Well, this is certainly not the Beverly Healdsburg we keep reading about.” Indeed. Our goal is to keep The Gallery Garden open through summer when not otherwise booked, including Mondays, when Chef Randy Dodge (seeing double, above) will create off-the-menu specials. Thursday through Sunday we will continue to serve his scrumptious Mediterranean menus - but expect the return of one or two Barndiva favorites (the BD burger is back!)
Huge thanks to all our chefs, notably Randy, Danny and Shae, who took my Shawarma challenge to heart - and most especially to brilliant Healdsburg sculptor Jordy Morgan whose vertical spit-roast Bicycle Grill must be seen - and the succulent results tasted - to be believed.
The brilliance of vertical spit-roasting is that whatever protein you slide onto the giant stake will self baste over time, fat melting down as the spit rotates. As soon as a gorgeous char develops you can start carving; feed the fire, wait a bit, then carve some more. Jordy’s ingenious spit-roaster even has three levels, the better to spread the wood fired heat. Our Shawarma was grass-fed Preston lamb shoulder which had been ‘marinated’ in a spice and citrus peel rub for 36 hours. Jordy carved and Randy stuffed his signature flat breads with tzatziki sauce, feta and onions all day Monday, to gratifying oohs and ahhs. Randy’s promises to keep his flatbreads on the new Gallery menu, along with another sell-out dish- his fried chicken with killer Barndiva Farm BBQ fig sauce. He is also planning daily garden specials and signature salads. Check out the new gallery menu here.
Barndiva’s chef de cuisine, Danny Girolomo with Randy Dodge, who has taken charge of The Gallery kitchen in the studio. Bromance going on here, folks.
Grillmaster Jordy Morgan has agreed to leave the Bicycle Grill in The Gallery Garden through summer. He’s an increasingly busy man these days, but if a commission intrigues him, he may just find the time to build you one. Contact him through Studio Barndiva.
We are huge fans of Seismic beer because yes, it’s delicious. But our admiration also extends to the fact that it builds on the founder’s commitment to a grain to glass sustainability. Seismic’s Anthony Ayez (shown above) was on hand to serve Namazu Oat Pale Ale and Alluvium Pilsner, which we will continue to serve in The Gallery Garden (Thurs- Mon, 3pm on). Chef Girolomo and our wine director Chappy Cottrell are already planning a special Seismic Brewing Company paired dinner party in August. Stay tuned. @sommtablehealdsburg for details.
While the grill masters sipped Negronis, most guests imbibed Isabel and Terra’s white and red sangria. It’s a misnomer that you can use anything less than an excellent wine if you want to make great sangria, quite the contrary, but you do need wines with great texture and earthiness, the better to hold up to fresh citrus and light spice. We tapped Rootdown Cellars for the wine because we love that Mike Lucia’s approach to every wine he makes is reflective of his respect to the same indelible landscapes Barndiva draws from in Mendocino and Sonoma County. His focus is on varietal wines from single organic vineyards, fermenting with native yeasts, using no new oak and sulfur only in amounts equal to what is found naturally on the vine. For our sangria we used his ‘Es Okay’ Portuguese grape red blend and Pinot Gris white, all from Mendocino.
Barndiva’s pastry chef Shae made both walnut and classic pistachio baklava. She wasn’t the only one who teared up when a long time Egyptian patron, after tasting one, told her it was as good as his late Mother’s.
#wearefamily: Gallery bartenders Isabel and Hayden; Lou and Susan Preston enjoying (literally) their Lamb Shawarma; Randy and Jordy stoking the fires and making flatbread; K2, who assists in all Barndiva creative projects, enjoying the day with her lovely daughter Teagan. Below, Monse, who will help guide The Gallery Garden bar, with Jessica and Christina, two of our essential - and favorite- long time back waiters.
The consummate musicians that comprise Foxes in the Henhouse: Alice Fitzwater; Pamela Joyce; Hanna Jern-Miller; Dorian Bartley. This is soulful Americana with historical roots, interpreted in a thoroughly modern and joyful temperament. If you fell in love with them on Monday - how could you not - we urge you to check out their upcoming performances.
Monday is the beginning of the weekend for us here at the Barn, as it is for so many in the hospitality industry, and we hope to see familiar faces with our new Gallery schedule. No reservations are needed, but it’s best to call on Fridays and Saturdays in case we are closed for a private event. Bring the kids, the dogs, or come alone to booze, schmooze and have a bite to eat. Chappy will be opening magnums, and we’re happy to waive corkage if you bring your own.
Here’s the new Gallery menu for Thurs-Sun. Don’t forget to come to Off-the-Menu Mondays. The Gallery Garden opens at 3pm.