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Reporting back on Manka's Inverness Lodge Dinner - longish

babyfork | Dec 15, 200301:40 PM

I stayed at Manka's this weekend and I have to say, my husband and I agreed that it was one of our best times ever, anywhere. We live in San Francisco and are often in the Point Reyes/Olema/Inverness area, but part of the success of our trip was just that: we're local so we practically never left Manka's the whole weekend. We thoroughly enjoyed every second we spent there. I'm going to talk about the food in a second since this is the Chowhound site, but first I want to recommend staying at Manka's especially if you're local. We found that since we knew the area well we didn't feel compelled to rush around sightseeing and instead we got our money's worth since we stuck around the joint. It didn't hurt that we stayed in the Fishing Cabin and it was awesome (outdoor hot tub AND an outdoor shower with the biggest rain shower nozzle ever - I never enjoyed a shower so much before). And there was a real bearskin on the floor in front of the fireplace. OK, I'll stop talking about our stay and get to the food. If you're interested in finding out more about the lodge they have a website.

OK, the dinner was a set menu. Our server was wonderful (we'd met the night before when we were just having drinks in the lounge/lobby area and liked him so much we wanted to sit in his section for dinner). I'm going to be lazy and just give the menu verbatim here:

A Supper Party in Celebration of Saturday Night

A soup of crimson Bolinas beets served with puffs of local Matos cheese

A rustic sausage of coastal rabbit nested in fire grilled leaves of local romaine encircled in a bunny sauce

Crab from surrounding seas tumbling over a risotto cake with a center of Cindy's goat cheese

A clearing ice of Rosa's Meyer lemons

Bill's lamb grilled in the fireplace served alongside Peter's crushed potatoes and porcini pillaged from the Point

Watercress from alongside an Inverness stream dappled with almonds sweetened with West Marin honey

A wedge of deep chocolate and an ice of local dairy cream and tangerine

That was the menu. We enjoyed everything we ate. I especially loved the lamb. We got some lamb ribs that had been smoked and cooked until the meat was amazingly moist and tender. It was delicious - like bacon lamb or something. My husband said "it brings out the dog in me." With the ribs you also got some lovely, tender rare slices of lamb.

The bunny sauce was delicious over the romaine. The romaine had a nice grilled flavor and the sausage was nicely salty and flavored with fresh thyme.

The crab dish had one fat claw over which was resting some crab meat in a sauce. The risotto cake was mostly goat cheese which was just fine with me!

The beet soup was delicious. I wish I had the recipe.

The Meyer lemon ice was tart and creamy. My husband wished he had another one.

I'm not a wine fanatic, but I had two nice glasses with dinner. The night before we had two bottles of very nice champagne with a lovely cheese plate. My husband fell in love with a red wine and drank way too many glasses (not with the dinner, but on our first night after the champagne. I forget the name, but he LOVED it. I'll ask him for it if anyone is interested).

All in all, a wonderful, wonderful experience.

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