Farmhouse Inn Restaurant

Forestville’s destination dining room

Long before 25 luxurious rooms and suites blanketed its six Sonoma County acres, Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant was primarily the latter. Originally situated within the inn’s restored 1873 weatherboard farmhouse for which it is named, the restaurant was the property’s marquee destination.

Fifth-generation locals and siblings Joe and Catherine Bartolomei purchased the premises in 2001, immediately refining and reimagining the hotel, restaurant and its menu. With executive chef Steve Litke at the helm, the team found the right combination to showcase farm-fresh Sonoma ingredients with a fine-dining flourish.

Still housed in the now fully restored farmhouse and today surrounded by poshly appointed accommodations, Farmhouse Inn Restaurant is the definition of a destination dining room.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • You won’t want for variety at Farmhouse Inn Restaurant. Select a three-, four- or five-course option and mix and match at will from four menu categories: first, second, main and dessert — diners have been known to select more than one from the latter portion.
  • Wine pairings curated by food and beverage director Matthew Brown and his sommelier team include a vast array of local varietals as well as international pours. A dashi-bathed scallop, for instance, might be paired with a polished sake.
  • Not a wine or beer drinker? Farmhouse makes handcrafted, non-alcoholic, artisanal juices with local ingredients such as fresh herbs, honey, grape varietal vinegars and sparkling water. Choose the pairing option, for which advanced notice is requested to source the freshest ingredients.
  • Tables are well spaced for quiet conversation. The main dining room has a vaulted ceiling with wood chandeliers, a corner fireplace and frescoed murals depicting Bartolomei family scenes; jazz standards play softly in the background.
  • The restaurant team recently introduced Farmstand to satiate mid-day appetites and casual evening cravings. This permanent food stand serves farm-driven dishes and beverages poolside, in your room, at the spa and on the inn’s sun-dappled terraces.

Things to Know

  • The Sonoma restaurant is open to the public for breakfast and dinner.
  • The dining room is open for dinner Thursday through Monday year round, but it closes on Super Bowl Sunday, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
  • Farmhouse Inn’s wine list is extensive, but this is wine-tasting country after all, and personal hauls are welcome with a corkage fee of $50 per bottle.
  • The dress code at Farmhouse Inn for dinner is “wine country casual.” Jackets and ties are not required, but shorts are definitely not up to par.
  • Children eight years of age and older are welcome in the dining room for dinner.

The Food

  • Many ingredients on the ever-changing menu come directly from the nearby Bartolomei ranches or from local Sonoma County sources. Litke relies exclusively on what is fresh and seasonal.
  • Litke’s Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit dinner entrée is a menu staple and serves the protein three ways: applewood-bacon-wrapped loin, roasted rack and confit of leg with fingerling potato and whole grain mustard cream sauce.
  • Four wildly varying items are listed under each of the four dinner menu categories, allowing for exploration. Step outside your comfort zone with dishes like antelope carpaccio or ricotta Swiss chard ravioli with goat bolognese.
  • Overseen by chef de cuisine Neil Corsten, breakfast features everything from standards such as eggs and bacon (though there’s nothing basic about Bartolomei farm-fresh eggs and Hobbs bacon) to an of-the-moment macro bowl that might be packed with kimchi fried rice and pickled mushrooms. Daily treats are baked each morning by pastry chef Vanessa Garrido.
  • Farmstand churns out nibbles such as a plate of artisan cheeses, a stellar Caesar salad, fish tacos, a grass-fed Sonoma County beef burger on a housemade brioche bun, and pozole stew with braised pork, hominy, cabbage, avocado and cilantro. Local wines, beers, juices and fruit smoothies round out the offerings.

The Chef

  • Litke has served as executive chef of Farmhouse Inn Restaurant for nearly 20 years, a term of longevity rarely encountered in the industry.
  • Prior to his position at Farmhouse Inn Restaurant, he sharpened his skills at notable eateries such as Hot Tomato's in Hartford, Connecticut; Gordon’s in Aspen; Bistro Ralph in Healdsburg; and Maxwell’s Plum in San Francisco.
  • An avid gardener, Litke was an early proponent of the slow food movement and was one of the first American chefs to prepare a meal at the Terra Madre Salone del Gustoslow food showcase in Turin, Italy.

Resort casual
Getting There
7871 River Road, Forestville, California 95436
Farmhouse Inn Restaurant
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