About 45 minutes South of Menomonie, tucked away in the hills of the riverside village Nelson, Wisconsin, lies a secluded yet bustling restaurant. What does this eatery serve you might ask? Gourmet Pizza! And guess what… it’s in a barn.
The “Stone Barn” is the name of this countryside gem, which is open just on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from five until nine P.M. To be sure I had the best possible spot, my boyfriend Lucas and I arrived an hour early. Once we arrived, we saw at least five families and couples already lined up!
Some, who said that they were regulars, who lived in the nearby towns of Durand and Mondovi, and some, who claimed they were first-timers, hailing from Minneapolis and Rochester! At this point, I was highly anticipating the yummy goodness that awaited Lucas and I. After what seemed like only a few minutes of small talk, the doors were open, and I along with the rest of the line of guests which had exponentially grown, scrambled for a table outside (the best place to sit!) and put in our orders.
Lucas and I agreed on the Thai Pizza, which was brand new this summer, and had ingredients such as cilantro, spicy red pepper, crisp onion, a peanut sauce base, and teriyaki chicken, prepared by hand using produce straight from the barn’s herb and vegetable garden, then fired in a brick oven. Before we knew it, almost 100 families had filled the venue, and we were feeling pretty smart for showing up when we did! As we enjoyed our pizza, we looked out upon the rolling hills ripe with corn crop nestled along an untouched forest that seemed to stretch for miles.
To our right existed a waterfall, crystal clear pond, and antique shop filled to the brim with vintage treasures from local dealers throughout Buffalo County. Lucas and I walked, we talked, and then indulged ourselves with some mint ice cream for dessert. The clouds started to boom with thunder, and as the sky grew darker, it began to rain. With our tummies full headed back to Menomonie. Our evening spent at the Pizza barn was a reminder to me how lucky I am to live in the Midwest, how beautiful the land is, how friendly the people are, and how hearty and awesome the food is. Moreover, I am lucky to live in Menomonie, which as it is said, it truly in the middle of everywhere.