by Tiffany Maleshefski
St. Helena wasn’t always just the cute, hip-meets-hippy town one happened to drive through on the way to Yountville. No, back in its prime, St. Helena was where you stopped, had dinner, maybe stayed a couple of nights at a bed and breakfast, so you could stroll around the main square with your hot morning buns and cup of coffee.
Farmstead Restaurant and the Long Meadow Ranch tasting room, a new venture from the people who own and operate the Long Meadow Ranch, might be what makes St. Helena a destination again, not just a picturesque pit stop.
The construction of the new restaurant and tasting room included a top-to-bottom renovation of the historic Logan-Ives house (originally erected in the 1870s and now the tasting room for the LMR Winery). Most of the excess materials produced from that renovation went into transforming what was a former nursery barn into the very rustic-chic Farmstead Restaurant.
Tree stumps have been born again as side tables. Old farm equipment has been transformed into groovy chandeliers. Booths have been upholstered with the hides of the cattle raised at Long Meadow Ranch.
The stones from the Logan-Ives house’s foundation now comprise the outdoor fireplace that promises to be a killer outdoor lounging area that’ll include it’s very own bar.
And while the proprietors are heavy-handed with the word “community,” lest anyone write this off as one more gorgeous Wine Country restaurant that ignores locals, check this out: Farmstead Restaurant will not charge any kind of corkage fee for bottles brought in from the outside. And if it ever does, fee will be nominal and will go directly to a local charity. Ok, that’s a little heart-warming.
In Farmstead’s expansive kitchen is chef Sheamus Feeley, former executive chef of Napa Valley’s beloved Rutherford Grill (and Arkansas native) describes his menu as “the way I eat at home.” And what a home it must be if menu items such as pastrami sandwiches, cheeseburgers served on English muffins, grits with roasted squash, honey, and blue cheese, and highly addictive meatballs with caramelized mirepoix and tomato marmalade, are served there. Meanwhile, an impressive wine list featuring wines namely from Napa Valley, but other parts as the world as well.
Though reluctant to state a hard-and-fast date for opening, the restaurant is aiming to open by the end of February.
And as if that wasn’t enough excitement, come summertime, the ranch will feature an outdoor market for picking up grass-fed beef, eggs, and heirloom fruits and veggies.
You can click on each photo to enlarge.