In November I took a great trip to Mendocino. In between sunny walks on the beach and gazing into the fireplace, my boyfriend and I ate at two of the more venerable establishments in town, the Moosse Café and Café Beaujolais. While pleased with the ambiance and service (both are extremely charming converted houses), we were somewhat let down by the food. Of course we are completely spoiled by living in San Francisco.
We had lunch at the Moosse. I ordered a bean soup with a very rich broth. Excellent, though I sensed it was prepared days beforehand and I was having the dregs. I followed with a Caesar. Good, but nothing to write home about. My bf had a salad with albacore poached in olive oil with some goat cheese? toasts. He thought the fish was overcooked and in his opinion simply drowning in oil. An OK wine list overall, heavy on California.
Oddly, what I really remember about the place – besides the beautiful patio seating next to a garden buzzing with hummingbirds – is the ice tea. It’s a mix between black and orange spice (was it Constant Comment?). So good.
After much debating between Cafe Beaujolais and Ukiah 955, we made a dinner reservation at Beaujolais. Our reservation was for 8:45 p.m.ish, but after we arrived we weren’t seated for at least 20 minutes. From what I can remember: my boyfriend had a roasted Cornish game hen. I had duck breast with mushrooms. Both came with a nearly identical assortment of vegetables: snap peas and carrots. While the dishes were ok (and absolutely drowned in butter), I came away unimpressed. Our waiter, who was very gracious, was totally clueless about the wine list.
And at that price, we could’ve had a really good meal in San Francisco. But considering our other options within walking distance – pizza/ice cream place or bars – this was pretty good. I wish, though, that we had gone to Ukiah.