Barndiva – The Place to Dine in Healdsburg

Barndiva - Healdsburg RestaurantBarndiva is the place to dine in Healdsburg. Which is saying a lot about the restaurant. Healdsburg, located in Sonoma County, is known for its many outstanding restaurants. Barndiva’s restaurant, cocktail lounge, and wine bar are truly exceptional. Chef, Mark Hopper, uses fresh local ingredients to create scrumptious seasonally inspired dishes.

From the outside the appearance resembles a rustic barn. However, the inside is an elegant but comfortable ambiance. We decided to dine at this restaurant earlier in the day and could not get reservations. They serve meals as well as drinks at the bar so we snagged seats at the bar.

Barndiva is known for the gourmet field-to-table meals they serve. What we didn’t know was that they are also famous for their artisan drinks. It was fun watching the bartenders create a large variety of spectacular drinks. If you’re looking for a place to enjoy creative and refreshing cocktails, this is the place.

Reservations are definitely recommended. If the weather is nice, ask for a table outside on the back patio. It’s lovely dining under the oak trees. There’s also a small patio in front of the restaurant.

Fillet Mignon - Barndiva
I savored every last bite of the pan seared filet mignon. This was served with an amazing “Loaded” Baked Potato, topped with caramelized onion and bacon. Delicious blue lake green beans accompanied by a tomato vinaigrette finished off the dish.

Chicken - BarndivaMy wife ordered the Crispy Free Range roasted chicken. It was served with sautéed mushrooms and bacon ragout along with egg yolk ravioli. The chicken was cooked to perfection; crispy on the outside, nice and tender on the inside. In fact, the chicken was so tender it was falling off the bone. Everything was bursting with flavor.

Chocolate Dessert - Barndiva
Our meal concluded with a dessert was a chocolate cake topped with chocolate gelato and whipped cream. A delightful end to what was truly a spectacular meal.

Barndiva offers an extensive wine list and we found their prices to be reasonable. Our server was knowledgable about wines and recommended a fabulous bottle to go with our meal. She also suggested nearby wineries to visit the following day.

Next time we visit Healdsburg, Barndiva will be on our list of “Must Do” Restaurants!

Barndiva Contact Information

Address: 231 Center Street, Healdsburg, California 95448
Telephone: (707) 431-0100
Open Wednesday through Sunday.
Lunch: Noon – 2:30 PM
Dinner: Opens at 5:30 PM
Sunday Brunch: Opens at 11:00 AM

Directions Traveling North on Highway 101
1. At exit 503, take ramp right toward Central Healdsburg.
2. Keep straight onto Healdsburg Avenue.
3. Turn right onto Mill Street.
4. Turn left onto Center. Barndiva will be on your left.

Directions Traveling South on Highway 101
1. Exit at Westside Rd toward Guerneville.
2. Turn left onto Westside Road.
3. Turn left onto Center. Barn diva will be on your left.

Park in the parking lot or on the street. Barndiva is just a block or two south of the downtown Healdsburg Plaza.

If you have dined at Barndiva, please share your experience with us in the comment section below. We would love to hear your thoughts.

Healdsburg Guide

This guide to Healdsburg has all the info you need to explore the Healdsburg area. Learn about wineries, places to stay, where to eat, and things to do. Healdsburg is centrally located in the northern part of the Sonoma Wine Country.

Healdsburg Vineyards

Buona Tavola – Amazing Italian Restaurant

Buona Tavola Paso Robles Restaurant
Buona Tavola is an amazing restaurant located in Paso Robles. The restaurant features the cuisine of northern Italy. Chef and owner, Antonio Varia, consistently creates culinary masterpieces for diners to enjoy in a casually elegant setting.

While wine tasting along the Central Coast, my wife and I stopped for lunch. The setting is casually elegant with Italian music playing softly in the background.

Buona Tavola ChefMy wife and I shared a Caesar Salad. It was a generous serving of fresh romaine lettuce, rosemary garlic croutons, diced roma tomatoes, and freshly shaved Parmesan cheese. The Caesar dressing was homemade and delicious. Focaccia bread was served with a tasty olive tapenade. It didn’t take long for us to realize that we had found a wonderful new restaurant.

petti di pollo bufalina - Itallian chicken dishWe both ordered the Petti di pollo bufalina at the recommendation of our server. This is a double breast of free-range chicken topped with mozzarella cheese and a sage white wine sauce. The chicken was nice and tender and the sauce was full of flavors.

chocolate souffle
I ordered a dessert called Crema Di Vanilla Della Buona Tavola. This is a vanilla cream custard topped with a rich caramel sauce on one side and a creamy chocolate sauce on the other half. It was wonderful. My wife had a chocolate souffle that was to die for. (I know because I helped her eat it as well!)

Everything about this meal was perfect. It’s a small, intimate setting. The atmosphere was warm and relaxing. The service was outstanding. Our server, Lisa, was friendly and attentive. We were drinking ice tea and she kept our glasses full throughout the meal.

Buena Paso RoblesLunch is served on weekdays from 11:30 until 2:00. Dinner is served daily beginning at 5:30 PM. Reservations are recommended for dinner. There are two tables available out front on the patio. There’s an extensive wine list which includes both Italian and local Central Coast wines. Bottles of wine are half price on Wednesdays. They also have a full service bar.

Buona Tavola was easily our favorite restaurant of the trip. We did not have a single complaint. As we left, we were already planning when we would be able to return.

Contact Information for Buona Tavola – Paso Robles

Address: 943 Spring Street, Paso Robles, California
Telephone: (805) 237-0600
Parking on the street was easy to find.

Directions Traveling South on Highway 101
1. Exit at Pine Street and go straight on Pine.
2. Turn left onto 4th Street.
3. Turn right onto Spring Street.
4. Park on the street. We usually find parking around the corner on the street.

Directions Traveling North on Highway 101
1. Take the Spring Street exit.
2. Bear right onto Spring Street.
3. Park on the street.

If you have dined at Buona Tyvola, please comment below. We’d love to heard about your dining experience.

Paso Robles Wineries

Paso Robles Wine CountryThere are more than 200 wineries in Paso Robles. Most have wine tasting rooms. And this number is constantly growing. Use the Cheers-2-Wine Guide to Paso Robles Wineries to learn about the wineries and narrow down your list of wineries to visit. We have information on all of the wineries. This includes addresses, hours open, a description of each winery, and a link to the winery websites.
Click Here – Paso Robles Winery Guide

Southern California Restaurants That You Do Not Want to Miss

Best Southern California RestaurantsTreat yourself to lunch or dinner at the best Southern California restaurants. There are so many great restaurants in Southern California. There are also quite a number of “not so good” restaurants. We hope to help you select places to dine that you will enjoy.

We think you will delighted you with the food, service, and ambiance at these establishments. We’ve eaten at these restaurants and return whenever we can. There are lots of dining choices, but these are establishments that you do not want to miss.

Reservations are recommended at these Southern California restaurants.

San Diego Restaurants

George's at the Cove - romantic restaurant
George’s at the Cove
is a great restaurant in La Jolla, California, which is located in the San Diego area. The Outdoor Terrace Bistro offers casual dining overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Visit for lunch or dinner. Enjoy fresh ocean breezes, fine food, and the most spectacular views you can image. This romantic restaurant is the perfect setting for a magical evening. Call ahead for reservations and ask for a table next to the window. Time your reservation so that you will be dining as the sun sets. You can’t beat the view of the sun sinking into the ocean.

Bertrand at Mister A’s
Bertrand Mister A's San Diego RestaurantThis San Diego restaurant has amazing views. It’s located in the downtown area. Every time I ride the elevator to the top floor, I’m amazed by the panoramic views of the city. The outdoor balcony wraps around 3 sides of the building. The casual elegance, gourmet food, and great service all make for a great evening. Mister A’s is the place to go for a romantic dinner or to celebrate a special event. They serve both lunch and dinner.

Ocean WavesMarine Room
The unique thing about the Marine Room is that the ocean is right outside the window. During high tide the water is just inches from the glass. It’s a fantastic ocean view. The atmosphere is casually elegant and perfect for romantic conversation. They also serve lunch and Sunday brunch at this romantic restaurant located in La Jolla. The Marine Room is the winner of multiple awards for best restaurant. The dress code is business casual. Shirt and tie is not required though it would be appropriate. This is an upscale restaurant. It’s the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion.

Balboa ParkThe Prado at Balboa Park
There’s a magical atmosphere at Prado Restaurant. Take a stroll around the area where the restaurant is located to enjoy the beautiful Spanish Colonial architecture, water fountains, and lovely landscaping. Inside the restaurant you find a classic Spanish feel mixed with colorful accents such as the blown glass sculptures and unique chandeliers. If you dine indoors, request the more intimate Courtyard room where candlelight dining is at its best. The lights and gardens around the patio create a romantic setting for outdoor dining making this one of the best San Diego restaurants.

Peohes Coronado Island
Nestled on the water’s edge in the Coronado Ferry Landing, this restaurant enjoys a lovely setting with a view of the San Diego skyline and the bay. You can arrive by private boat, water taxi, the ferry, or take the short drive over the Coronado bridge. A casually elegant establishment in a super location. Dine indoors or outside overlooking the water. Specializing in fresh tropical seafood dishes. One of the best southern California restaurants located on an island.

Pacific Beach
World Famous
Dine indoors on the patio overlooking Pacific Beach and the ocean beyond. This beach restaurant has an extensive menu. They focus on coastal California cuisine. This is a casual, beach restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This popular restaurant is also known for their great happy hour available in the bar Mondays through Thursday. Reservations are suggested.

Old Town San DiegoCafe Coyote
Café Coyote is located in San Diego’s Old Town. This Mexican restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The authentic Mexican cuisine is fabulous. They serve delicious home made tortillas and more than 100 tequilas. Listen to Strolling Mariachi’s as you dine inside or outdoors in the courtyard. It’s a festive atmosphere. A great place for banquets with a choice of 3 different rooms. Happy hours on weekdays from 3:30 to 6 PM.

Gaslamp Strip Club
Gaslamp Strip Club
The Gaslamp Strip Club is a cook your own steak establishment. It’s located in San Diego’s historic Gaslamp District. It’s a fun and popular place for the under 30 crowd with a variety of cleverly named specialty drinks and reasonably priced food. A unique combination of food and socializing.

Romano's RestaurantRomano’s Restaurant
Romano’s Restaurant as a place to dine for lunch or dinner. It’s located in the charming town of Julian in eastern San Diego County. This historic house was converted into a romantic restaurant in the early 1980s. You can enjoy a drink in the cocktail lounge (which is said to be haunted), and dine indoors or under the stars on the outdoor patio. The restaurant serves traditional Italian pastas and pizza, but also features more creative hearty Italian dishes. Pork Juliana is their signature dish and can easily be shared by two people. This dish, consisting of loin chops simmered in a whiskey apple cider cream sauce, is delicious.

Extraordinary Desserts
Extraordinary Desserts - San DiegoThis is the place to for “Out-Of-This-World” desserts. Everything looks and tastes amazing. They have two locations. I prefer their Fifth Street location near Balboa Park. It’s an intimate setting, more romantic. Their second location on Union Street also serves foods such as paninis and salads. Don’t go to San Diego without visiting Extraordinary Desserts. This is one of the best southern California restaurants that specialize in scrumptious desserts.

Temecula Restaurants

Gourmet Italia
Gourmet Italia Temecula Restaurant This Italian restaurant is located in a strip mall in Temecula. We accidentally stumbled into a fabulous restaurant. The first time we ate at Gourmet Italia, we were surprised by the quality of the food. The food is authentic Italian food. The owner, Alex, is from Italy. Many of the servers are relatives. Everyone is friendly and service outstanding. It’s a cozy little restaurant with a romantic ambiance. Whenever we are in Temecula, we head here for excellent Italian food.

Cafe Champagne
Cafe Champagne Thornton WineryCafe Champagne is a romantic restaurant located at the popular Thornton Winery. It’s a terrific choice for either lunch or dinner while visiting the Temecula Valley. The food is supurb, service great, and ambiance is romantic and relaxing. They often have live music. We can enthusiastically recommend this great restaurant as a terrific place to dine for lunch or dinner.

The Restaurant at Ponte
The Restaurant at Ponte WineryWhat a wonderful Wine Country Restaurant! This restaurant is part of Ponte Winey. It’s the perfect place to dine outdoors with a view of the beautifully landscaped gardens. You’re surrounded by rolling hills and vineyards. It’s hard to beat the exceptional food and outstanding service at Ponte. They have live entertainment on Friday and Saturday evenings beginning at 5:30.

Ventura Restaurants

Cafe Zack Restaurant
Cafe Zacks - VenturaEnjoy gourmet cuisine is this restaurant located in downtown Ventura. The restaurant is housed in a former 1930s cottage. The ambiance is romantic and intimate. Service is friendly and attentive. This is the place to go to enjoy a leisurely meal. Best of all, the food is fantastic. If you have a sweet tooth, don’t miss the Zack’s Pie, which is chocolate ganache with caramel sauce. We highly recommend Cafe Zack, one of the Southern California Restaurants you must visit!

Laguna Beach

K’ya Bistro
Kya Bistro Laguna Beach
K’ya Bistro has a terrific location in the heart of Laguna Beach by the beach. It’s located inside the Casa Camino Hotel. They serve Mediterrean inspired small plate dishes. The food is exceptional and prepared using quality fresh ingredients. The food is reasonably priced. Go during their Happy Hour from 4:30-5:30 for special dining and drink deals. Sit on their rooftop bar to enjoy the ocean view or a spectacular sunset. This is one of the unique Southern California restaurants that is fun to visit again and again.

Laguna Beach Nick's
Nick’s Laguna Beach
Nick Laguna’s Beach is located in downtown area Laguna Beach. The food is excellent and the staff is friendly and attentive. They serve lunch and dinner daily and breakfast on the weekends. This is a casual restaurant that serves American food. The menu is quite varied and everything is excellent.

CLICK HERE to Learn About Southern California Wineries


If you have dined at any of these Southern California Restaurants, we’d love to hear about it. Please take a moment to leave a comment below.

Ad Hoc Yountville – Casual Yountville Dining by Thomas Keller

Ad Hoc Yountville - Casual Yountville Dining by Thomas Keller
Have you dined at Ad Hoc Yountville? This restaurant by Thomas Keller is an incredible yountville restaurant. Ad Hoc specializes in American comfort food. The four-course menu changes daily and has a set price of $55 per person. The food is served family style and food additions are available.

Fried chicken is their most popular entree. Find other comfort food entrees such as pot roast, port chops, tri-tip, and ribeye steaks appearing on the ever-changing menu.

When Ad Hoc opened in 2006, the idea was for it to be a temporary restaurant while plans for another restaurant were being developed. Locals and visitors to Ad Hoc quickly turned this into a popular restaurant. Ad Hoc remained and it is here to stay. In fact, reservations are necessary. If possible, make reservation a few weeks in advance.

Addendum Take Out Restaurant YountvilleAd Hoc has a take-out restaurant called Addendum. It’s located in the back of the parking lot behind Ad Hoc. For $16.50, guests have a choice of their famous buttermilk fried chicken, barbeque pork ribs, or a pulled pork sandwich. Each is accompanied by two house-made sides. Addenum is closed during the winter months. From Spring through Fall they serve boxed lunches to-go Thursday – Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

We have dined at Ad Hoc Yountville a number of times while visiting the Napa Valley. We enjoy the upscale casual atmosphere. The staff is always friendly and attentive.

Ad Hoc Yountville SaladOn a recent visit we started with an arugula salad. It was paired with a wine from Greece that was perfect. It was Assyrtiko from Domaine Sigalas Assyrtiko. We both thoroughly enjoyed the salad. It was tossed with dried cranberries, celery curls, valbresso feta, and toasted marcona almonds. The agave vinaigrette dressing was light and the greens very fresh.

Ad Hoc Chicken
Our entree was grilled sichuan chicken served with roasted scallions and maitake mushrooms and a garlic rice. The rice was crunchy and the mushrooms well-seasoned. The chicken had a spicy flavor. While good, I personally would have preferred their famous fried chicken. It was paired with a from Miss Olivia Brion Pinot Noir from California.

The third course was cabot clothbound cheddar. This was a hard cheese with light flavors. We loved the cheese topped with a delicious pear apple sauce. It was served with warm bread from the Bouchon Bakery. Wine pairing was a Domaine Huet demi-sec Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley of France.

Ad Hoc Cake
Dessert was a chocolate cake with buttercream frosting. This cake was served with a tawny port from Portugal. The end to a great meal!

We’ve always been happy seated at a nice table in a corner. If you are sensitive about the noise level while dining, request a quiet corner or dine early. The noise level does increase as the evening goes on.

Tip: There’s open seating at the bar. If you sit at the bar, you can order ala carte from the menu. This is great if you wish to share a meal with someone or not order all four courses.

Ad Hoc Yountville – Contact Information

Ad Hoc
Address: 6476 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599
Telephone: (707) 944-2487
Open for dinner Thursday-Monday 5PM – 10PM.
Open for brunch on Sunday 9AM – 1:30PM.

Directions from Saint Helena Highway 29:
Take the exit toward Yountville. Turn east onto California Drive. Go left onto Washington Street. The restauraunt is on the right. Park on the street or in the parking lot. Addenum in the back of the restaurant.

Jessup Cellars Yountville
Yountville is a charming town located in the heart of the Napa Valley. It’s known for having a large number of gourmet restaurants. It’s also know for its world class wineries. Take time to go wine tasting while you are in the area.
Guide to Yountville wineries

If you have experienced Yountville dining at Ad Hoc, please share your thoughts about Ad Hoc Yountville with us. There’s a comment section below.

Healdsburg Tours: Where to Stay, Eat, & Have Fun

Healdsburg tours-stay-eat- have fun There’s many reasons to choose Healdsburg as your next Wine Country destination. This guide to Healdsburg tours gives tips on where to stay, where to eat, and fun things to do in the area.

Healdsburg offers the charms of a small town combined with restaurants and wineries to please the most particular foodie and wine connoisseur. It’s a charming town with gorgeous scenery and lots of fun things to do.

Where to Stay for Healdburg Tours

DryCreekInnIf you are on a budget, stay at Dry Creek Inn. This hotel is conveniently located just off of Highway 101 and just a short distance in every direction to wineries. There’s two swimming pools, an outdoor jacuzzi tub, an outdoor fire pit, water fountains, as well as a sauna. Casa Siena are the standard rooms. They charge slightly more to upgrade to a Tuscan room, which includes a fireplace and spa tub. All of the rooms have comfortable beds. Breakfast is complimentary.

HonorMansionHonor Mansion is the place to go if you want to be spoiled. This is an upscale bed and breakfast located near downtown Healdsburg. Swim, play croquet, tennis, bocce, or basketball. Practice your putting. Arrange for a poolside massage. Listen to the sounds of the waterfall cascading into the koi pond. Gorgeous rooms, amazing happy hour with beverages and appetizers, and a delicious breakfast in the morning. Staff is friendly and they go out of their way to make sure you are enjoying your stay.

Healdsburg Tours: Where to Eat

Willi's Seafood
Willi’s Seafood and Raw Bar If you don’t care for raw seafood, don’t let the name scare you. Willi’s has an extensive menu that includes a variety of delicious small plates. Some of my favorites include raw oysters, hanger steak, minted lamb, fish tacos, and pan roasted Duncan’s mushrooms. They have the best sour dough bread, served warm with garlic parsley butter. Dine indoors or outside on the patio. Willi’s is located just north of the Healdsburg Plaza on Healdsburg Avenue.

Scopa Restaurant - tasty restaurantScopa
This small, intimate restaurant is located on Plaza Street directly across from the Healdsburg Plaza. It can be difficult for first-timers to find because the sign above the restaurant says “Barber Shop”. This is the place to enjoy delicious Italian food in a casual atmosphere. Favorites here include Tomasso’s Sugo Calabrese and Nonna’s Chicken served with sauteed greens and soft polenta. Make reservations well in advance!

Baci Restaurant Healdsburg
Baci Cafe & Wine Bar
Baci’s is an incredible Italian restaurant located north of the Healdsburg Plaza on Healdsburg Avenue. Everything about this restaurant is amazing. The service is friendly and attentive. Waiters are knowledgeable about both the food and the wine. The food is full of fabulous flavors. Favorites at this restaurant include Stinco d’Agnello al Forno, a slow braised lamb shank and Pollo alla Livornese, pan sauteed chicken breast served with polenta and fresh vegetables. Don’t leave without trying the flourless chocolate cake topped with vanilla bean gelato!

Healdsburg Tours: Fun Things to Do

Wine Tasting

Wine Tasting HealdsburgHealdsburg is surrounded by some of the best wine regions: Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, and the Alexander Valley. It’s a short drive from Healdsburg to visit any of these wine regions.

It’s also possible to park your car and walk to more than a dozen wineries with tasting rooms in downtown Healdsburg: La Crema Winery, Windsor Vineyards, Hartford Family Winery, Thumbprint Cellars, Stonestreet Tasting Room, Toad Hollow Vineyards, Portalupi Wines, Mueller Winery, Cartograph Wines, Banshee Wines, and C. Donatiello Winery, Partake, Sanglier Cellars, and Valdez Family Winery.

Canoe Down the Russian River

Canoe Down the Russian RiverIt’s a blast to kayak or canoe down the Russian River. There are a number of businesses that offer rentals right on the river. Pack your lunch and you’re ready for a relaxing day on the river.
Learn More

Ride a Segway

Ride a Segway
Tour Healdsburg on a segway. Enjoy the beautiful scenery as roll along the river and through vineyards. If you have not ridden a segway before, there’s time to practice before you start. Learn More

Visit Lake Sonoma

Lake Sonoma - Healdsburg
Visit Lake Sonoma for fishing, swimming, boating, kayaking, hiking, camping, horseback riding, mountain biking, and picnicking. This lake is just 10 miles west of downtown Healdsburg. Learn More

Click Here to Learn How to Save Money on Wine Tasting Fees

Enjoy fabulous Healdsburg tours in the heart of the Sonoma Wine Country!

Please comment below. We would love to hear what you are thinking!