The Farmhouse Inn, nestled among the vineyards of the Russian River Valley, has long been a favorite getaway for publicity-weary celebrities and well-heeled visitors. Besides the luxury accommodations, part of the allure has been the Michelin-rated restaurant previously managed by Chef Steven Litke.
Since Litke’s departure in 2021, however, the culinary program has reinvented itself out of necessity, with a newly redesigned kitchen and the installation of Chef de Cuisine Shawn Jackson Clark overseeing a revamped fine dining program and Executive Chef Trevor Anderson spearheading a newly reimagined casual restaurant experience called Farmstand. Both chefs are Farmhouse alums.
The primarily outdoor dining, with bubbly Neapolitan pizzas, wood-fired cooking and shareable plates, was inspired by a previous toe-dip into all-day dining at the Forestville inn. The new concept is far more welcoming, with a trip-worthy menu and deck seating that takes advantage of the property’s woodsy charm. Farmhouse and Farmstand dining experiences are both open to the public.
The Farmstand menu is entirely a la carte, with impossibly fresh vegetable dishes (many from co-owner Joe Bartolomei’s garden) like sweet roasted carrots with salsa verde, summery pressed watermelon with feta and black olives and cool red beets with fresh berries and pistachio butter. All range from $12 to $16 each. Wood-fired pizzas ($24-$25) are generous, with a maitake mushroom and black truffle-leek cream version taking top honors in our book. Larger entrees, like a grilled flatiron steak or half chicken, range from $18 to $38.
This captivating experience is a comparative deal for the area and showcases the inventive new directions of the culinary program here. Expect frequent menu changes throughout the season. On Wednesday nights, Farmstand offers a prix fixe menu for $65 per person with several seasonal items and an outdoor movie in the courtyard.
Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. 7871 River Road, Forestville, 707-887-3300. Find full details and the all-day Farmstand menu at farmhouseinn.com.