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Farmstead set to open in St. Helena

A new dining destination in St. Helena is scheduled to open by mid-month.

Sheamus Feeley is excited about providing locals with the latest spin on farm-to-table dining at Farmstead, located in a former nursery barn at the south edge of St. Helena.

Long Meadow Ranch Winery & Farmstead is a sustainable food, wine and agricultural center located on a two-and-a-half-acre tract with a lengthy agricultural history. Site of a tasting room, restaurant, fruit and vegetable garden, seasonal farm stand and organic nursery, the entire property is solar powered and maintained using traditional, sustainable and certified organic practices long employed at St. Helena’s Long Meadow Ranch.

Owned and developed by Long Meadow Ranch’s Ted and Laddie Hall and their son, Chris — who’s overseeing all aspects of the project — the 738 Main St. site is expected to attract wine and food lovers due to the mix of restaurant, farm stand, wine and olive oil tasting as well as educational efforts.

The tasting room is located in the historic Logan-Ives House, built in the 1870s and faithfully restored to its classic Gothic Revival farmhouse design. It is open daily to the public and incorporates a pair of private rooms for group tastings and daily food and wine pairings.

Housed in a former nursery barn, the 110-seat Farmstead restaurant features a central open kitchen as well as booth and table seating, a community dining table and a full bar. During warm weather months, diners will be able to enjoy alfresco meals among espalied apple trees as well as drinks at an outdoor bar shaped liked potting tables, adjacent to an authentic wood-fired forge.

Guided by the Halls’ sustainable philosophy, EDG Interior Architecture + Design reused discarded redwood framing from the property’s historic residence as cladding for the Farmstead bar front.

The rough granite material for the bar top evokes the massive granite wheels of Long Meadow Ranch’s olive oil mill. Tree stumps from the site were refashioned as side tables. Salvaged hay hooks, a hay fork and poultry feeders have been transformed into eye-catching light fixtures by local lighting artist Jim Misner.

Meals will be prepared on a grill, a plancha or in an oven, all fired by wood. The “American farmhouse” style of fare on Farmstead’s menu is the handiwork of Arkansas native Sheamus Feeley, who most recently served as executive chef/research and development for Hillstone Restaurants at Rutherford Grill.

On average, 10 starters will be offered daily, ranging in price from $8 to $12, including such items as stirred rice with braised oxtail, caramelized beets with goat cheese and greens, seared grass-fed beef with arugula and Vella dry jack cheese and potted pig with mustard and griddled bread. Including a grass-fed beef cut of the day, a like number of second courses include meatloaf with roasted root vegetables, short rib and potato hash (the chef’s spin on red flannel hash), brick-cooked Petaluma chicken with flageolets, wood-grilled Pacific cod with housemade sausage, clams and potatoes, plus a cheeseburger and a chicken-fried steak sandwich (“without greasy gravy,” advises the chef). The main courses range in price from $14 to $26. Tempting sides include creamy macaroni, ridgecut grits, Rancho Gordo beans and fried potatoes with onions.

An extensive wine list that includes a substantial offering of Napa Valley offerings, as well as a raft of Old World wines that extend to Eastern Europe, has been put together by Chris Hall. Hall is quick to point out that there will not be a corkage charge for those who choose to bring in their own wines, and that wine list pricing features a “one-time markup.”

Whiting Nursery, which has served the local community since 1957, will continue nursery operations on the site.

Slated to open mid-month, Farmstead restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner daily from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Once the restaurant opens, reservations can be made by calling 963-9181. Serving as Farmstead general manager is hospitality industry veteran Adam Kim.

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