The Mendo Report Continues:
After our wonderful breakfast at the Brewery Gulch, we needed exercise, so our second day was a hike (well, ok, and a picnic) at the Montgomery Woods Reserve Dinner was at the Rendezvous Inn Restaurant in Fort Bragg, a choice I made based upon an appealing website and the fact that it chef-owned. Upon entering, the casual ambiance in an old converted farmhouse made us feel immediately comfortable. The welcoming amuse bouche, a delicious salmon mousse, set the tone for a very nice evening. As an app, we both had a cup of green garlic soup: creamy, buttery, savory and with just the right amount of bite. Dont miss it if it is offered! Mains were scallops for hubby, which were extremely well prepared, and prawns for me. (rare for me to order two nights in a row, but I was curious to compare with those I had had the night before at Stevenswood). These prawns were delicious, with a really nice accompanying asparagus timbale. The chef was recommending the same Richioli Sauvignon Blanc we had had the night before at Stevenswood as a pairing for the scallops, but I wasnt interested in having it again, (though I should note that it was $7 less at Rendezvous, which has less of a wine mark-up than Stevenswood, a definite plus), so at the Chef's recommendation we went with an Ojai Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, which we enjoyed very much. We skipped dessert, just couldnt make room. Total with tax and tip was about $107. Well worth it, and we will return. Id like to try some of their heavier dishes on a day that wasnt quite so warm: they were offering a wild boar terrine appetizer, which was tempting. Service was warm and as comfortable as the ambiance.
The next day we tried Moosse Café in Mendocino, which several Chowhounds had recommended, for lunch. Cute room, excellent tomato bisque, good grilled chicken on baguette. The service, however, could best be described as perfunctory: I dont think our waiter said more than three words to us, but maybe he wasnt having a good day.. Rather pricey for lunch. Probably worth trying for dinner. Given the good weather, lots of folks were choosing to eat in their pretty, small garden. However, given the prices I think that on a nice day Id prefer to get some fresh sliced garlic turkey at Mendosas (the reasonably well-stocked grocery in Mendo) and take my sandwich down to the headlands. OTOH, if the weather is foggy, that bisque would be just the ticket .
Our last dinner was our biggest adventure. We wanted to try something different rather than go to Café Beaujolais or Albion River Inn, and the folks at Brewery Gulch said that they were curious about The Edge of the World Café, a new place in the Little River Post Office/gas station. (Yes, that is the tiny building across the street from the Little River Inn). We were happy to be guinea pigs and check it out.
This is a tiny resto: seven tables. One server and the chef, who helps bus tables as needed. We got the best table in the place (a two top in a corner with a spectacular ocean front view, if you ignore the parking lot to the side, which is easy to do). Ambiance, service and the server himself were all sixties throw-backs. I half expected him to offer us some of Mendos finest cash crop as an aperitif .However, the chef (whose name I didnt get, and unfortunately I cant find a website) obviously knows her way around the tiny kitchen, which you can observe while you wait to be seated.
Apps: I had a hot ginger pear soup: spicy and out of this world. Hubby had a very fresh spinach salad with strawberries and almonds and a perfect poppy seed dressing. The flavors of that salad just sang. Mains: hubby had a cioppino which was really a seafood stew (no crab) served over rice. Delicious. I had scallops, perfectly cooked, served with a wasabi soy dipping sauce that had a little too much soy and not quite enough wasabi. The scallops came with rice and a medley of perfectly cooked vegetables, which was impressive given the number of different types of veges in the mix (I remember snow peas, green beans, zucchini, carrots .)We chose a bottle of Navarro Pinot Gris from the very well priced list: $24. It is $16 at the winery. This was typical of the list: most wines were under $25. Then again, the waiter poured our first glasses without giving us a chance to taste, so it is probably a good thing that prices are low (and quality is mid-range).
Dessert for me was ginger ice cream, made in house. (I asked). Lots of ginger after the soup, but I couldnt resist, and it was outstanding. Easily of Mitchells quality or better. Hubby had port (sorry, forgot to write down the producer) and jerk balls, which turned out to be miniature house-made chocolate truffles coated in a spicy jalapeno jerk seasoning. One of those strange, how-did-someone-think-this-up ideas that worked amazingly well.
The offerings are seafood and vegetarian only, so if you want chicken or red meat, dine elsewhere. If it bothers you that your server is multi-pierced, wears a splattered apron and a beret, and appears to have his head in the clouds, dine elsewhere. However, Chowhounds looking for excellent food using top-quality ingredients, with a reasonably priced wine list, a great view, and a room with a decided 'come as you are' feel to it, should check it out.
The pour on hubbys port was very, very generous, so I got to drive back 'home' to our inn, though we did stop at Van Damme to enjoy the full moon with a walk on the beach....and so today, back to reality ..
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