Harbor House Restaurant (update), Elk, CA., 3/25/23

view – 5600 CA-1, Elk, CA, 95432

One of the aspects of Harbor House Restaurant that I haven’t written much about is its status as a sustainable site.  In 2020 they received a Michelin Green Star for their efforts in recycling and local sourcing. Nothing is wasted.  For example, they make their candles from recycled fryer oil and beeswax, they repurpose wine corks for mulch and re-use vegetable rinsing water to water growing plants – and that’s a small accounting of their efforts.  It’s wonderful to think you can come here and have the elegant and sophisticated experience of a 2 Michelin star restaurant and still not leave a huge carbon footprint as a result.  It’s excellent food and the staff is first rate.  Frankie enjoyed visiting with a number of the team during our visit.  Make your reservation for this tasting menu today!


dining room
white wine
red wine
Sommelier Jason and Frankie


Tasting Menu

The menu started with a Savory infusion of sea vegetables.  This dashi broth is to ready your palate.

moist cloth
Savory infusion of sea vegetables
from the top
Frankie liked the flowers


Petrale sole and hyssop were cured on citrus with anise for a mild and smooth end result.  A touch of citrus was in the gel below the fish and was a perfect pairing to start with.

Cured Petrale sole


Abalone poached in sake was with offal sauce.  Tonight the abalone was chilled and accented with nori and pickled mustard.  You could still see the striations but the chilling seemed to make it sweeter.  Mixed with a pickled flavor it was outstanding.

Abalone, offal sauce


Dungeness crab, dulse, and chopped custard were next.  Tonight the crab body meat was on warm custard and it was a divine combo.   Wakame and cabbage made up the greens.  The leg meat had been painted with crab butter which very much enhanced the flavor.  It was worth getting every bit out of that claw.

Dungeness crab, custard
crab and custard


Sourdough bread and cultured butter, sea lettuce was again the fine crusty bread with a doughy, chewy interior.  We even asked to have some on our breakfast tray rather than the brioche bread – it’s that good.

Sourdough bread and cultured butter
Chef Natalie and Frankie


Fried Maitake mushroom came with a mushroom infusion.  On top of that delicious mushroom was red sea urchin cured in sea urchin broth.  The wonderful urchin blended into that crisp mushroom for an explosion of taste and texture in the mouth.  The broth was like a liquid mushroom without the urchin.  Incredible.

Maitake mushroom, red sea urchin, infusion
mushroom and urchin
mushroom infusion


Sunchoke was poached and fried with a purée of black trumpet mushrooms, a yogurt & sunchoke sauce and turnips.  Tonight I tried the purée on some of the bread and it was great.  The sunchokes were very good and worked well with the turnips too.

Sunchoke poached and fried


Skate smoked over bay laurel was on calhikari rice mixed with yellow foot mushrooms and a leek sauce.  The fish was cooked perfectly and again, so very good with the sauce and rice.  Some pickles on the side added that bit of tart and crisp flavor to make it a delightful dish.  A real winner.

Wonderful staff member Adrienne serves the fish
Skate smoked and rice
closer skate
Friendly server Adrienne and Frankie


Devil’s Gulch chicken, was with farm thinnings and jus.  There were pieces of white and dark meat from the  Bresse chicken.  Both were extremely moist but the dark had the skin well crisped.  The breast meat had been braised in butter solids and the thigh had been confited and then grilled.  The bones were used to make the jus.  It had fantastic chicken flavor and was a real treat.

Frankie found an H on the knives
Devil’s Gulch chicken
closer (dark uncovered)


Layers of Makrut lime, passionfruit and pineapple sage made up the first dessert.  It was basically the flavors we had last night but seemed more whipped or thickened.  It was totally tasty.

Layers of makrut lime, passionfruit, pineapple sage


Kombu ice cream was topped with matcha sauce.  Chef Matt Kammerer came tableside to whisk the matcha sauce into the desired thickness.   It was a fun sweet treat.

Chef Kammerer makes matcha sauce
Kombu ice cream, matcha


Infusion of garden herbs was with grilled honey and lemongrass.  It made a lighter tea than the night before and was quite nice. Treats on the side were the same – Umeboshi caramel, candy cap mushroom macaron, Pâte á Choux, grilled miso and apple cider gel, winter citrus, hojicha – and I enjoyed them all.  You just can’t get a bad meal at this place!

Infusion of garden herbs, grilled honey, lemongrass, and final treats
final treats


Some of the talented kitchen people

Chef Lucas in the kitchen
Chef Natalie in the kitchen
Chef Marlana in the kitchen
Chef Tuna and Frankie


2 thoughts on “Harbor House Restaurant (update), Elk, CA., 3/25/23

    1. Thanks! Chef Matt Kammerer is truly gifted in his cooking artistry and a nice human being too. I hope you can go and tell them Frankie sent you – they’d get a good laugh at that one.

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