A Assistant Culinary Manager David Murillo, left, and Executive Chef Lanette Dickerson at the Barn.


Culinary staff recommend their favorite food and drink combinations at the Barn.

By Imran Ghori
Photos by Stan Lim

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Assistant Culinary Manager David Murillo, left, and Executive Chef Lanette Dickerson at the Barn.

The Barn at UC Riverside is back with a new look and menu following a two-year, $30 million renovation and expansion. The culinary team has expanded the dining options available at the restaurant complex, which is three times the size of the old Barn and features a spacious kitchen with brand-new equipment. While the main restaurant is open to all diners, the expanded facility includes a new faculty and staff lounge called the Stable featuring a full bar and sit-down restaurant. The Patio Bar features a walk-up window and 12 taps serving wine and beer, including signature UCR citrus-infused beers

crafted at Temecula’s Ironfire Brewing Company with fresh citrus picked from the Givaudan Citrus Variety Collection at UCR. Old food favorites are still available, but the chefs have added a variety of dishes to create a mix of hot entrees, salads, grilled burgers and sandwiches, and deli items. Executive Chef Lanette Dickerson and Assistant Culinary Manager David Murillo shared some of their favorite menu items to pair with the Barn’s new wine and beer offerings.

On The Menu
Hand-Battered Chicken Wings

Hand-Battered Chicken Wings and Phantom Bride IPA by Belching Beaver Brewing

The Phantom Bride IPA is described as a “drinkable mix of citrus and hoppy goodness” and offers a welcome balance against the zing of the spiced wings. “It has a nice, beautiful, bold flavor that pulls up the cumin and chili powder in the chicken wings rub,” Dickerson said of the beer. The Barn also offers a Tango chipotle barbecue dipping sauce made from campus Tango mandarins to pair with the wings.

Smoked Pulled Pork

Smoked Pulled Pork and Red Trolley Irish Red Ale by Karl Strauss Brewing

The strong and flavorful pulled pork, smoked in the Barn’s new full-sized barbecue smoker for 15 hours, is cleansed perfectly by this Irish red ale caramelized for a copper color and toffee essence. “We really wanted to brand the Barn as a great barbecue place with really great barbecue food and house-made barbecue sauces,” Dickerson said.

Barn Classic Burger

Barn Classic Burger and UCR Lemon Lager by Ironfire Brewing

The crisp, refreshing lager contrasts well with the freshly sizzled Angus patty. The citrus lemon flavor, cultivated at the Givaudan Citrus Variety Collection at UCR, offers a nice complement to the light-tasting ingredients that round out this signature burger. “It’s the classic burger updated with fresher, better ingredients,” Dickerson said.

Smoked Brisket and Pessimist Red Blend

Smoked Brisket and Pessimist Red Blend by DAOU Vineyards

The red wine’s fragrant nose is amplified by hints of eucalyptus and cherry that pair well with smoked meats. The tender brisket, like the pulled pork, is smoked over mesquite and hickory wood overnight and is spiced with a Southern rub. The culinary team plans to add more barbecue to the menu, Dickerson said, noting the cooking style is a good fit for the communal atmosphere of the Barn. The chefs also created five barbecue sauces including the Tango chipotle sauce. “We’re trying to develop things and perfect them little by little,” Dickerson said. “We’re taking our time to do it right.”

Harvest Lasagna and Six Ridges Pinot Noir

Harvest Lasagna and Six Ridges Pinot Noir by Kenwood

The full-flavored wine from the rugged Russian River Valley of Sonoma County features earthy flavors that blend with the autumnal distinctiveness of the vegetarian Harvest Lasagna. “It pairs really well with the pinot noir, which adds a little sweetness to the dish,” Murillo said. A new item developed specifically for the Barn, the lasagna features butternut squash, leeks, and oven-roasted sage. “Instead of a marinara sauce, it gets a garlicky cream sauce, and instead of ground beef, it’s plant-based with wonderful roasted vegetables,” Dickerson said.

Smoked Bread Pudding and Chardonnay

Smoked Bread Pudding and Chardonnay by Wente Vineyards

The sweetness of this dessert contrasts well with the bold oak aroma of the chardonnay. A bit of rich tropical pineapple and nectarine flavor provides a full palate cleanse. The smoked bread pudding also makes use of the new smoker, featuring cut-up brioche buns that are grilled for 20 minutes. “The bread takes on a layer of wonderful smoky tones, then you add chocolate and custard, put it in a skillet and back in the smoker,” Dickerson said, noting the dessert is meant to be shared. She is working with her pastry chef to add more desserts to the menu that reflect the Barn’s rustic style, including a hot baked cookie and peach cobbler.

Dining, Drinks, Distractions