Taylor’s got a pretty good stroke for a surfer. Last month, when she came up to visit, we had the chance to go kayaking on Big River. Together we slipped silently up the river in the early morning mist and watched the harbor seals sun themselves and the otters fish.
Many of our guests marvel at the flowers on display at the inn. Most think that we have a florist that brings in the fresh flowers on a regular basis. But the truth is, we have our own in-house resident flower magician, Margi Gomez.
In addition to being a talented horticulturist, Margi is also an accomplished painter and a founding member of Pura Vida, a 7-piece Afro-Caribbean group (http://www.puravidamendo.com). In her spare time, Margi anchors our Guest Services desk weekday mornings.
Thank god Jeff and Barbara left the garment industry in New York and found their way to Mendocino. In fact, I try to go in at least once a week to thank them. And as long as I am there, I have one of their burgers.
Actually, I think burger may be too common a term to describe the incredible creation Jeff prepares. Using only Roundman’s grass-fed beef (or for a dollar more, you can have natural beef from the John Ford ranch), Jeff char-grills the burger over an open flame (it looks just like the wood-carved sign pictured here). Smothered in sauteed onions, crisp lettuce, tomatoes and cheese, you think you’ve died and gone to burger heaven.
Along with the burgers, they make some amazing fries (fresh-cut while you wait), and thick malts. Gigantic all-beef dogs, split down the middle, grilled and served up on a hamburger bun; fish and chips; grilled chicken; and steaks are all also found on the menu.
A visit to Mendocino is not complete until you’ve visited Mendo Burgers.
If you are heading up to the Brewery Gulch Inn from the Bay area, you will pass by Geyserville. Two exits on Highway 101; be careful, don’t sneeze or you’ll miss it.
Over the past few years, this sleepy Alexander Valley town has slowly begun unfolding its wings. Several galleries, a couple of tasting rooms, and an amazing Italian restaurant, Santi, now draw visitors down it’s main street. This past summer, Santi’s chef-owner Dino Bugica opened Diavola just a few doors down the street from its big brother.
Dino’s latest venture is a pizzeria/salumeria housed in a century old, brick-walled/hardwood-floored building. Here Dino practices the time-honored tradition of using the most basic locally-available ingredients, combined with recipes passed down through the centuries. From the house-cured salumis and sausages, to the thin-crust, wood-fired pizzas, Diavola’s cuisine is truly amazing.
Open for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Monday, Diavola is located at 21021 Geyserville Ave.
Sallie Mac will once again transform their garden into a Paris Flea Market for Columbus Day Weekend, Friday, October 10 through Sunday, October 12. Early birds in line on Friday will be treated to hot coffee and French goodies. Unique items from the European countryside and one-of-a-kind vintage pieces will be marked down up to 50%. It’s a great opportunity to browse, Parisian-style, and find a great accent piece for your home, or just get a jump on your holiday shopping.
Greg Gorman, a photographer who splits his time between Los Angeles and Mendocino, had held a photography workshop for a small group of students during the week prior. At the end of the week, he had a small dinner to showcase the work the students had done (really amazing; it made me want to toss my camera in the trash). I was lucky enough to be invited. His friend, Ottmar, was there.
In the studio housed in a converted barn perched on the cliffs above the ocean, after an incredible dinner highlighted by a Pinot from the 25 acre Ampelos Vineyards in Los Olivos, I heard flamenco guitar the way it was meant to be played: acoustic and intimate. It was the first time I have had the opportunity to see, up close, the passion in the face of an accomplished musician as he played. It was an experience I will never forget.