Harbor House Restaurant (update), Elk, CA, 7/7 & 8/22

exterior –5600 CA-1, Elk, 95432

Frankie and I have visited Harbor House Restaurant before and it is on this site numerous times.   Every time I go back I think I’ll just eat there and not do another write-up but the food is so good I really hate not to share the photos.  We were lucky enough to dine there 2 consecutive nights so Chef Matthew Kammerer was kind to vary the menu some but other courses just need to be repeated – and you don’t mind.  He continues to win awards for his culinary talents with the restaurant now having 2 Michelin stars.  Their ranch is also now producing some incredible produce which he includes in the dishes.  The wine program continues to evolve under the capable leadership of Wine and Beverage Director, John Miller.  Both nights he managed to delight us with interesting choices from the area.  The final component of the experience is the staff, which are all terrific.  Friendly and knowledgeable (many of our other dining choices came from their suggestions) they make a 2-star Michelin meal feel like you’re dining in a friend’s home.  The hotel it’s in, is a lovely place to stay, if you get the chance.  My highest recommendation here – I’ll go again and Frankie hopes to see you there too. Continue reading

Franny’s Cup and Saucer, Point Arena, CA., 7/8/22

building – 213 Main St., Point Arena, CA, 95468

Franny’s Cup and Saucer is a tiny shop on the main street of Point Arena.  There is no seating inside or out but don’t drive by because it’s filled with wonderful bakery treats.  It was opened in April 2006 by Franny and her mom who is an experienced, professional baker.  Franny bakes too but she also has picked out some trinkets to sell and fill out their small space.  They have sweet and savory baked goods as well as coffee and tea, but all items are to go.  They are open Wed – Sun and accept only cash or check.  If you are in the area, definitely go by.  We sampled a salted caramel pecan brownie and an oatmeal anzac cookie.   The cookie was huge, crisp, thick and filled with oatmeal, raisins and lots of other flavors.  The brownie was very fudgy and moist with nicely roasted pecans on top and inside.  The texture was great as was the flavor.  Can’t wait to go back and try more items. Continue reading

Sea Pal Cove, Fort Bragg, CA., 7/7/22

from the parking lot – 32390 N Harbor Drive, Fort Bragg, CA, 95437

Sea Pal Cove is on a local fishing pier in Noyo Harbor with all outdoor seating.  The assortment of tables overlooks boats going by.  The small walk-up window has beer and wine to go with your choices as well as non-alcoholic options.  Dogs are welcome and the service was very efficient.  They are known for their really fresh seafood but also have other options.  We tried the fish and chips but what was extra fun were their prawns and chips.  The fish was very moist with a really crisp coating that wasn’t so thick that it smothered the delicate fish.  Not too greasy either.  It was perfect with the tasty tartar sauce they supplied.  The prawns were dynamite.  Sweet and juicy with that fantastic coating, they needed no dipping or seasoning.  The tray also provided lemon and malt vinegar.  The fries were uninspired but adequate.  Some crisp ones and all with nice potato flavor, but they were a frozen slab variety.  Ketchup packets were also on the tray.  All in all a fantastic find that I’ll certainly go back to. Continue reading

The Ledford House Restaurant, Albion, CA, 7/6/22

entrance – 3000 N. Highway 1, Albion, CA, 95410

The Ledford House Restaurant is south of Mendocino on a bluff overlooking the Pacific ocean.  They can serve 65-90 people in 2 adjacent dining rooms that both are lined with windows looking through to the coastline.  It is owned by a couple Tony and Lisa Geer, where she manages the kitchen and he the front of the house.  The cuisine is influenced by southern France and the Mediterranean with an emphasis on using sustainable sources.  Open Wed – Sun for dinner, they have nightly live music but not sure when it begins as it wasn’t happening when we were there, but we were in early.  In addition to the menu, they have a 3-course bistro special and nightly appetizer and entree specials.  There is a full bar with seating and people were eating there too.  Both rooms had fireplaces and piped-in music in the background. There was plenty of parking out front and tables somewhere outside.  Inside had open windows.  Staff were all friendly and efficient.  It’s not a wow place just good solid food with fun choices. Continue reading

Mosswood Market, Cafe and Bakery, Boonville, CA., 3/14/22

building – 14111 CA-128, Boonville, CA 95415

Mosswood Market is a Cafe and Bakery selling bakery treats, coffee drinks and lunch fare in downtown Boonville.  It is small with some outdoor tables and lots of to-go business.  The sandwiches and wraps are made to order, as are the coffee drinks but the bakery items come straight from the counter to you.  You order at the counter and there is a separate place to pick up flatware and napkins, then they bring the hot food to you.  Music was in the background and many windows to the street provide lots of light for this daytime place.  The market is next door and you can walk through to it – it has the bathroom.  The Cafe’s interior was decorated with photos of cats in Morocco so Frankie and I loved that. Continue reading

Harbor House Inn, Elk, CA., 3/12 &13/22

exterior – 5600 CA-1, Elk, CA 95432

The Harbor House Inn most importantly houses a fine 2 star Michelin restaurant but it was built in 1916 by the Goodyear Lumber Company as a place to entertain and showcase their redwood empire.  It is a lovely place to stay when, especially when you have reservations for dinner there.  I think a 2 night booking is mandated and they have rooms on two levels in the main house and several independent units on the property.  All come with breakfast in the morning, delivered to your room.  There is also an option to have dinner delivered to your room.  I wanted to share our delicious breakfast trays and a few photos of the grounds and wonderful staff. Continue reading

Harbor House Restaurant (second visit), Elk, 3/13/22

exterior – 5600 CA-1, Elk, CA 95432

Harbor House Restaurant had made a couple changes since our visit last summer.   Most importantly the wine list has really ramped up to include lots of French and Italian along with the large selection of Califorinia ones.   It’s an exciting list and Beverage director John Miller will lend wonderful help if you need it.  They also have added a pack of information cards to the table for you to take with you  and learn about the details of the place.  They cover the philosphy of the meal from Chef Matt Kammerer, a little history on the inn where it’s housed, about their new garden and ranch, their sustainability, cooking techniques and plateware and ceramics.  For their efforts to sustainability they’ve been awarded a Michelin Green Clover designation.  I can’t urge you enough to visit and enjoy a meal here! Continue reading

Trillium Cafe and Inn, Mendocino, CA., 3/13/22

exterior – 10390 Kasten St, Mendocino, CA 95460

Trillium Cafe serves lunch and dinner Friday thru Tuesday with indoor and outdoor seating.  It is on the bottom floor of the Inn of the same name in the heart of Mendocino.  On the second floor are several hotel rooms for guests.  Small tables are well spaced in the interior dining room and the patio winds around with a good supply of seating.  When you make reservations you can specify indoor or outdoor.  As it’s in an historic home, there are lots of windows to the street and a fireplace.  Art for sale is on the walls and there ‘s plenty of street parking.  It has obviously been restored with the old wood floors in good shape and the light fixtures replaced with those made by local artisans.  A bar was in a room to the right, when we entered but I only saw 2 vacant stools in front of it.  Service was friendly and efficient but not particularly knowledgable about the history of the place.  There were no daily specials just the changoing soup of the day flavor.  However when I compared the menu we had to what was on line there were some changes. Continue reading

Harbor House Restaurant, Elk, CA., 3/12/22

Harbor House building – 5600 CA-1, Elk, CA 95432

Frankie and I last visited the Harbor House Restaurant in Aug of 2021 and they were as pleased to welcome us back as we were to be there.  The 2 star Michelin Restaurant is run by Chef Matthew Kammerer in an inn built in 1916 by the Goodyear Lumber Company, to showcase their redwood empire.  They offer a tasting menu only that is determined by what is seasonally and sustainably available.  They have started a ranch/garden from which that bounty is now adding to their quality offerings.  Courses are thought out in detail but not overwrought with tweezer and squirt bottle decorating.  Many of their serving pieces are made by local artisans that add plenty of visual enhancements.  Service is top quality as is the view of the coast from the dining room.  This place is surely destined for a third star so book your reservation while you can still get in and if you can splurge for a room at the inn.  The breakfast the kitchen puts out for you the morning after is icing on the cake. We were lucky enough to get 2 nights there, so look for another array of lovely dishes from Chef Kammerer in a few days. Continue reading

Rollerville Café, Point Arena, CA., 3/12/22

building – 22900 Shoreline Hwy, Point Arena, CA 95468

Rollerville Café is a classic café serving lunch and breakfast in Point Arena, CA.   It opened in 2007 and is adjacent to a Lighthouse Pointe Resort that both claim to be the last stop before going to Hawaii and for fueling up to tour the nearby lighthouse attraction.  The interior is small but there is a patio with additional seating outside.  Some of the well spaced tables have fun salt & pepper sets as decorations.  There was faint music in the background – possible a radio in the kitchen and plenty of light in the room from all the windows.  There were daily specials for breakfast and lunch but serving time seemed to be divided by 11:00 am or noon on the weekend.  Service was friendly and efficient. It’s worth a visit. Continue reading

Café Beaujolais (The Brickery), Mendocino, CA., 7/23/21

indoor restaurant

The Brickery is the pizza part of Café Beaujolais’, a complex of restaurants in the artsy town of Mendocino.  On the street is Café Beaujolais, a fine dining option open for dinner and in front of the Brickery is The Waiting Room which is a coffee and pastry shop till dinner time when it becomes a lounge.  It is a bit confusing at first but we followed the path between the buildings and found ourselves in a lovely garden area furnished with an assortment of tables and a window to place your order.  The daily menu and specials are written on chalkboards that hang on either side of the order window.  Inside you can see the fired brick oven where the pizza is cooked.  They also sell beer and wine along with offering a free jug of iced water.  After you order you get a buzzer that makes a noise when you can walk back to the other window and pick up your pie.  It is a truly lovely spot with good pizza.  You can visit the Waiting Room up near the street if you need a bathroom break. Continue reading

Harbor House Inn Restaurant (update), Elk, CA., 7/22 & 23/21

exterior (5600 CA-1, Elk, CA, 95432 / (707)-877-3203)

The  Harbor House Restaurant is the Michelin starred restaurant in the Harbor House Inn in Elk, CA (Mendocino County).  Super talented Chef Matt Kammerer and his excellent staff continue to turn out innovative and delicious tasting menus and thus Frankie chose to re-visit.  The Inn is still lovely and they are now able to seat guests inside as well as outside, all over-looking the beautiful coast line.  We were lucky to eat there 2 consecutive nights and Chef Kammerer was kind enough to make changes for the second night’s dining.  They have a small kitchen so some dishes were repeated but there were a number of different dishes.  I’ll present the two night’s meals but may omit photos for repeats, depending on which night I got the better photo.  Frankie and I highly recommend visiting and if you can even stay at the Inn.  The staff will make you feel very welcome and do allow several hours for the meal. Continue reading

Catelli’s Restaurant, Geyserville, CA., 7/22/21

exterior

Catelli’s has been around since the 1930s in Geyserville, CA.  Opened by Italian immigrants, it is now run by third-generation siblings in the Catelli family.  They feature local ingredients, hand-craft their ravioli and have many local wines.  They currently offer patio and indoor seating as well as takeout on Wednesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner. Located in a two-story brick building on the main drag of Geyserville, it is a large place.  The entry room contains a long bar and the other 2 rooms have bench seating around the walls with bare wood tables  and some center tables and chairs.  Tables are set with a cloth napkin that contains the flatware.  Music is in the background, acoustic tiles are in the ceiling and windows are uncovered to the street.  Some decorations and art are placed about as well as historic photos.  Service was friendly and efficient, but be aware of numerous upcharges on innocently offered personalizations. Continue reading

Harbor House Inn, Elk, CA., 8/13 & 14/20

Harbor House Inn

The property where the Harbor House Inn is today was used as a place for the families brought in to work in the lumber industry in the late 1800’s. Goodyear Redwood Company bought the lumber mill and land in 1916 and hired Louis Christian Mullgardt to build a home that would showcase the beauty of the redwoods. Elk Redwood Company bought it in 1932 and from then it changed hands a number of times. In 2005 Jin and Eva Lu purchased the Inn and then closed it in 2013 when they did a 5 year renovation project. They have 6 traditional rooms in the main house and 5 standalone cottages that are on the grounds. We were lucky to stay in the Redwood Room of the main building. Normally I don’t post hotels on this blog but last post here was of the restaurant in the inn and I wanted you to also see the breakfasts that come with the rooms.

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Harbor House Restaurant, Elk, CA., 8/13/20

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exterior

Harbor House Restaurant had a 25 seat dining room but now offers seating on its back deck overlooking the Pacific coastline.  The Inn is in a 1916 logger’s retreat that has 9 rooms which were restored in 2018 by a 5 year remodeling.  Chef Matthew Kammerer uses exceptional local products based on the season to produce a seafood based tasting menu that is cooked with fire and steam.  The restaurant has one Michelin star and Chef Kammerer was named as a Best New Chef in 2019 Food & Wine Magazine.  They serve only a tasting menu of 9 savory and 2 sweet courses, with wine pairings available.  It is a pre-paid menu and not available on Tuesday and Wednesday.  There is plenty of parking out front and a selection of accommodations if you wish to stay there also.  The view is as magnificent as the food and they have a couple large awnings to provide some shade when the sun is up.  Later in the evening they roll those back and turn on the lights that are strung above and the portable heaters.   Staff were all friendly, helpful, masked and gloved and I noticed even during prep time in the kitchen the staff all wore masks.  Chef Kammerer does come out to serve some of the courses and visit with guests.  It appeared to have only one seating and the pacing was good but plan to spend about 4 hours, although it never lagged it was a nice relaxed pace.  Portion control was good.

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Noyo Harbor Inn Restaurant and Tavern, Fort Bragg, CA., 8/13/20

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building

Noyo Harbor Restaurant is part of the historic Noyo Harbor Inn in Fort Bragg, CA.  They have a good sized multi level patio for outside dining that overlooks the active marina and flowing river.  Many of the metal tables, but not all, had umbrellas to provide shade, were set on the patio’s tile floor, had some heaters and no music was in the  background.  Servers wore masks and each table had a small bottle of hand sanitizer.   The bathroom was inside by the inn’s check-in desk.   The lovely view and multiple levels made it a very pleasant place to sit enjoy your meal.   The restaurant had wild caught and daily catch from the harbor as well as vegetables and herbs from the Chef’s garden.  We were there midday and they had a brunch menu as well as daily specials.  It offered the aforementioned seafood as well as a number of breakfast items.  They had cocktails, beer and wine by the glass or bottle.  Service was friendly but less refined (one of the servers splashed coffee on my blouse while pouring).  I saw some of the breakfast food come out and the plates looked generous. Continue reading

Wild Fish, Little River, CA., 8/12/20

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exterior

Wild Fish was opened on November of 2011 by a British couple, Liz and Kelvin Jacobs, who had relocated to California.  She was a food writer and he a chef and they wanted to create a restaurant that served local, seasonal  and sustainable seafood and organic produce.  They have an additional place in Pacific Grove, CA.  They have been offering take out options but in Little River they also had a small patio behind the restaurant  that overlooked the ocean and greenery leading up to the shore.  There were only 6 small bare wood tables and one actually was on the parking lot.  The restaurant was behind a gas station/convenience store/post office and there were no umbrellas for shade but heaters were there for later in the evening.  There was music in the background, a small bottle of hand sanitizer on each table and  lots of plants on the patio.  Servers were friendly and wore masks.  They had a small but well chosen wine list and many wines were offered by the glass (a good pour) as well as by the bottle.  Each food item had a suggested wine to go with it and we chose to try their suggestions, creating our own tasting. Continue reading