Extensive renovation creates The Gather Table

SYV Star Staff

In 17 days the entire look and taste at the Ballard Inn got a makeover.

Budi Kazali, the owner and chef, has revealed an extensive ground floor renovation and redesign that features a modern farmhouse ambiance for the restaurant, which has been named The Gathering Table.

The renovation of the ground floor, which was completed in 17 days, incorporates a modern farmhouse design with a Colonial influence.

“When we bought the inn many years ago I feel like I inherited someone else’s style. It took me a long time because I know how our guests liked the feel of the old Ballard Inn, but it needed to have a fresh look and update with my own style,” Kazali said.

Nestled in the historic town of Ballard, the property was purchased in 2004 by Kazali and his wife Chris. The inn has enjoyed a reputation as a warm and inviting wine country retreat over the past 13 years, earning accolades for its romantic ambiance and award-winning cuisine.

The renovation, which included the entire ground floor, incorporates a modern farmhouse design with a Colonial influence. Created by local interior designer Heather Saarloos, the space is bright and sophisticated yet still cozy with rustic elements.

“Through the years our restaurant was known for upscale fine-dining, which was great, but I wanted a more family-style restaurant that was great for date night or to bring the family,” he said.

With a long communal table and a menu featuring shared plates, The Gathering Table is “meant to be a gathering place for locals and visitors, a fun and inviting place to gather over incredible food,” Chris Kazali said.

The food portions are meant to be shared among the group, so people can get a well-rounded sense of the menu.

Budi Kazali, voted one of the area’s top chefs and whose cuisine has been featured in such notable publications as Food and Wine and The Wine Spectator, has created a menu that features a large variety of creative shared plates and signature dishes highlighting local, seasonal produce and seafood.

As part of the unveiling of the renovation and new restaurant concept, the Kazalis plan to offer several events and partnerships with local winemakers, including a winemaker dinner with Rick Longoria April 22. Chef Budi will also be participating in the unique open-air feast, Outstanding in the Field, at Ampelos Cellars in October.

The Inn’s 15 guest rooms, which have undergone various updates throughout the years, will also be refreshed to convey a sense of continuity throughout the entire space.

To learn more about Ballard Inn & The Gathering Table, visit www.ballardinn.com.