Small Surprises Make for Big Contentment at Forestville’s Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant

Small Surprises Make for Big Contentment at Forestville’s Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant

In and of itself, Farmhouse Inn always delivers a luxurious experience. The country-chic, 25 room inn, located in the bucolic town of Forestville, features spacious and sumptuous accommodations, a central pool and hot tub, verdant gardens in which to stroll, a pampering spa, and destination dining. It’s also surrounded by a multitude of Northern California’s finest wineries, the vintners of which welcome the Inn’s guests with open arms. Yet despite these overt charms, it’s the smallest of niceties that set Farmhouse Inn apart from Sonoma County’s hospitality crowd.

Attributes enough to warrant a stay include the warm welcome you’ll receive from an attentive staff who can help you make dinner and wine tasting reservations. They will gladly recommend trails on which to bike or hike, and they can direct you to the best boutiques. Here, you’re guaranteed a cozy bed with plush linens. You’ll find fireplaces and firepits to provide warmth on cooler days, and when the sun is shining, you’ll be invited to lounge on a chaise by the swimming pool while sipping your favorite beverage.

Farmhouse InnFarmhouse Barn Junior Suite

Farmhouse InnFarmhouse Cottage Petite Suite

But the true measure of a Farmhouse Inn stay is in its less obvious offerings. It’s in the lobby located glass vitrine, filled daily with house made cookies such as chocolate chip shortbread infused with orange zest. It’s in the hot chocolate bar—deliciously rich melted chocolate with your choice of flavored syrups (try the peppermint), crumbled toppings, and whipped cream. It’s in the bath bar—a colorful display of select-your-own organic soaps, scrubs, and oils. It’s in the nightly s’mores bar, adjacent to the two poolside firepits. Select house made grahams, Valrhona chocolate, and gourmet marshmallows, and roast to your heart’s content.

And the list goes on: guests are invited to complimentary on-site afternoon wine tastings, hosted by local vintners. The snacks found in-room are also complimentary—delicious, locally made Comet Corn popcorn and Farmhouse branded trail mix. Help yourself to the sodas and Pellegrino in your mini fridge. Evening turn down service includes the delivery of house made chocolate chip cookies.

Farmhouse InnFarmhouse Wellness Barn Interior

Farmhouse Inn proprietors and siblings Joe and Catherine Bartolomei do their absolute best to make sure their guests feel not only “at home,” but pampered. In 2001, the duo purchased the premises on which their grandfather once lived, and over time, they’ve turned the six-acre property into a luxury hospitality gem of posh, country-chic flair, inspired by the classic old farm estate that it once was. From cozy Farmhouse King rooms atop the property’s original building to charming cottages to sumptuously large Barn Suites with separate, barn door-divided sitting area, each features fresh flowers and a personalized chalkboard welcome. Bathrooms here are reason alone for a stay. Large soaking tubs overlook oak tree-studded hillsides. Steam showers ease aching muscles, and even on the warmest California day, heated floors are a more than welcome indulgence.

Farmhouse InnFarmhouse Restaurant Dining Room

Farmhouse InnFarmhouse Restaurant Chef de Cuisine Craig Wilmer

No Farmhouse Inn stay is complete without dinner at its fine dining restaurant where Chef de Cuisine Craig Wilmer (formerly of San Francisco’s Petit Crenn and Coi and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park) creates a bit of wine country magic, and where the Farmhouse Inn practice of small surprises continues. Case in point—a pairing of exquisite sake with a starter of tantalizing and savory off-menu bites. Wilmer’s six course (really ten courses when you count the amuse bouches, bread course, dessert, and mignardises) prix fixe dinner menu presents both flavors and plated aesthetics rarely experienced, such as his Barfin Flounder with Rare Citrus—a colorful and delicately “scaled,” Instagram-worthy dish. Fourth course Roe Carbonara, already rich and satisfying, features a table shaving of cured salmon. And the most decadent surprise of all? A generous shaving of white truffle, over…dessert—caramel drizzled Moon Cake. Truffle makes this item unique, unusual, and absolutely delicious.

Farmhouse InnFarmhouse Chef Craig Wilmer's dishes are as beautiful as they are delicious

Farmhouse InnFarmhouse 30 day dry aged Masami Ranch supreme strip loin

Sommelier Jared Hooper more than keeps-up with Wilmer’s culinary creativity by selecting off-beat pairings, such as the sake starter, and a mid-meal flute of Vincent Joudart, Brut Reserve, Cotes des Blancs Champagne, served with a fifth course abalone offering. Just as his wine choices beautifully complement each dish, Hooper’s convivial nature complements the quiet modesty of Wilmer. It’s a match made in potential Michelin heaven.

Farmhouse Inn also features the more casual FARMSTAND, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner service out of its food-truck-esque kitchen. Try the bakery basket in the morning and hope that scones are on the schedule, and later in the day, don’t miss the simple and simply tasty wood-fired pizzas.

Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant: 7871 River Road, Forestville

Photos courtesy of Farmhouse Inn