The Stone Barn makes wood-fired gourmet pizza outside of Nelson, Wisconsin. The Stone Barn is open from 5-9 PM on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and is closed in the winter months. They also feature an antique store and bakery.
We ate recently at The Stone Barn for the first time, and I have slightly mixed reactions.
To start, let me say that the pizza we ordered was delicious. Pizzas at The Stone Barn are made in a custom wood-fired oven. I love wood-fired pizza, and these were some of the best I've ever had - very thin crust, perfectly baked, with a pleasant hint of wood smoke. We had a pizza based on garlic-flavored olive oil, with mozarella, parmesan, and feta cheeses, with the addition of the Stone Barn's home-made sausage. This was all very tasty, and had almost enough garlic flavor for my tastes, which is saying a lot. I really couldn't be happier with the taste of the pizza, and we enjoyed it along with a glass of a very good, inexpensive wine from the somewhat limited selection of wines (and beers) available.
So why mixed reactions? It mostly has to do with the ambiance of the restaurant. It is located outside of Nelson, in a stunning natural setting (perhaps it seems stunning to me because it looks a lot like our farm, but if anything more beautifully rural). The restaurant is in a restored stone foundation barn, which is a great idea.
However, the restored part of the barn that houses the restaurant proper has some flavor of a stone-walled pole barn. Not unpleasant, but a little more industrial than I'd expected. On the other hand, the outside dining area enclosed by the remnants of the rest of the barn is extremely pleasant, and also houses the restaurant's abundant herb garden, which is one of the things that makes the pizzas memorable.
Service was not at all what I'd expected - it's much more like what I'd expect at a local pizza joint than a place offering artisanal pizza and bread. You order your pizza at the bar, along with your drinks, and then find a spot to sit. The wine and beer are served in plastic glasses, and you eat the pizza off of paper plates with plastic utensils. The pizza is served to your table in the ubiquitous cardboard pizza box.
I had a very nice time at the restaurant, but being served food this good in such an off-hand manner is somewhat jarring. I am bringing this up not to discourage you from visiting The Stone Barn, but to prepare you for the fact that you will be getting lovely (but limited) food selections in a pleasant setting, but served in a way that seems very out of place with what your mouth will tell you to expect.
Pizza $15-20 for a generous wafer-thin crust wood-fired pizza - plenty for two.
No salads or other side dishes available, although they do have occasional non-pizza specials. Dessert is ice cream cones filled with Chocolate Shoppe ice cream from Madison.
Wines by the glass or bottle (very reasonable but limited selection) and multiple beers by the bottle.
Indoor and outdoor (sheltered) seating.