MENDOCINO Co., 5/11/23 – It’s going to feel more like summer in Mendocino County this weekend, especially inland where temperatures will hit the nineties in Ukiah and Hopland. The hot weather is a great excuse to visit air-conditioned establishments like a local museum or movie theater, or head out to the coast for a little ocean breeze and fish and chips at Noyo Harbor. After the usual weekend tasks of cleaning house and laundry this weekend, I’m looking forward to enjoying an ice-cold beverage on my shaded porch. For me, that likely means a Mendocino Spirits Dry Gin and tonic with a squeeze of lime. What’s one of your hot weather, go-to local beverages?
Mother’s Day is on Sunday, May 14. Restaurants throughout the county are offering Mother’s Day specials. If my mom was visiting from Indiana, she’d want to go to the Brickery at Cafe Beaujolais in Mendocino for a margherita pizza, a bottle of pinot noir and fresh ocean air. If my stepmom was visiting from Sonoma, we’d head to Left Coast Seafood in Ukiah for its over-the-top prix fixe menu featuring an entree option of three different lobster dishes (surf and turf, lobster thermidor or a whole Maine lobster). Two different moms, two different tastes, both loved equally.
Happy Mother’s Day to the moms out there and for everyone who doesn’t have a mom to celebrate with this year or has other circumstances that make this holiday a tough one, know that you’re loved.
Greenwood Restaurant reopens with chef Ryan Seal at the helm; old Bridget Dolan’s Pub set to reopen as the Elk House
After a long closure, Sacred Rock Inn’s Greenwood Restaurant in Elk has reopened with Ryan Seal serving as executive chef. A native of California, Seal graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and earned his chops at posh restaurants including Calistoga Ranch and Solage in Calistoga, Morimoto’s in Napa, and the Michelin-starred SPQR in San Francisco. He’s also seasoned with wine and food pairings, having served as winery chef at Round Pond Estate and Joseph Phelps Vineyards in Napa Valley.
With the addition of Seal, Greenwood Restaurant is set to add itself to the Mendocino Coast’s growing number of gourmand destination restaurants. Seal is sourcing locally for ingredients, hoping to create a “sense of place” through his dishes. From the photos coming out of the kitchen, he’s well on his way of gaining the attention of Michelin reviewers and foodies who will travel far and wide for tasty fare.
Greenwood Restaurant reopened as a three-meal restaurant. The breakfast menu features waffles, granola and yogurt bowls, breakfast sandwiches, scrambles and more. For lunch, guests can enjoy seasonal soups, salads, charcuterie boards, burgers, fried chicken sandwiches and bao buns. For a gourmet coastal restaurant, the breakfast and lunch prices are reasonable (dishes range from $10 to $20).
It’s the dinner menu that appears to be where Seal gets to show off his talents. In addition to salads and soups, the current menu includes starters of hamachi crudo with grapefruit gel, toasted peanuts, avocado, cilantro oil and purple daikon ($24); and charred octopus with cauliflower, arugula, blood orange, and jasmine rice crisp ($26). Entrees include Mendocino black cod with Yukon Gold potato foam, nasturtium, smoked cod belly, and Tsar Nicoulai caviar ($46); parsnip ravioli with vadouvan curry cream, wood sorrels, and brown butter crumble ($30) and a risotto with locally foraged mushrooms ($36). One of the boons of Greenwood Restaurant, unlike other high-end coastal establishments, is that you don’t have to stay at the hotel to dine at the restaurant and the menu is a la carte, meaning you don’t have to commit to a multi-course meal of predominantly small plates.
In addition to the Greenwood Restaurant, the old Bridget Dolan’s Pub will soon reopen as the Elk House. With the recent closure of Queenie’s and the pub being closed for a few years, Elk has been without a casual sit-down restaurant. The pub will reopen soon with a face lift and a new casual dining menu with the hopes of re-establishing itself as the go-to casual place for locals and visitors alike to gather in Elk. Seal is overseeing the pub’s menu.
Tom Halen, Sacred Rock Inn’s general manager, is as excited about Seal joining the Elk culinary community as much as local foodies are. “We’re thrilled,” said Halen, “[Seal’s] culinary expertise, combined with his passion for showcasing local flavors, will undoubtedly elevate the dining experience for our guests and make Sacred Rock Inn and Elk a true destination for food and wine lovers.” Greenwood Restaurant is located at the Seal Rock Inn at 5920 CA-1, Elk, (707) 877-3422, sacredrockinn.com.
McCarty’s Bar acquires food truck, building new outdoor space
McCarty’s Bar in Redwood Valley has acquired a food truck to serve food at the bar. Ownership announced on Facebook that the new food truck would be up and running in a few months and that they “are looking forward to providing some tasty food options in the near future.” This is the second major piece of news coming out of the bar in the past week. On Wed., May 3, the owners shared that they are building a new outdoor space after clearing a large piece of property adjacent to the bar. The new space will be planted with redwood trees and have picnic tables, shaded areas, lighting and cornhole. While an opening date for the space has not been announced, the owners hope to throw a Hawaiian luau to celebrate when the new space opens. 6951 East Rd., Redwood Valley, (707) 485-5108.
Burger King in Willits closed for renovations
Willits residents will have to cope with the lack of french toast sticks and Whoppers while the local Burger King undergoes renovations. According to signs on the doors, the fast food restaurant is closed for approximately six weeks. 1355 S. Main St, Willits, (707) 456-9175, burgerking.com.
Fort Bragg is one step closer to getting a 🎶 Grocery Outlet, bargain market 🎶
On Wed., May 10, the Fort Bragg Planning Commission met to discuss the proposed building of a Grocery Outlet store on Franklin St. The proposal includes demolishing an existing vacant office building, constructing a new retail store and parking lot, and hiring 15 to 25 full-time employees to operate the store. Frank Hartzell of the Voice has the scoop here.
North Coast Brewing Co.’s Old Rasputin awarded Asia’s biggest beverage award
Fort Bragg’s North Coast Brewing Co. won two awards for its iconic Old Rasputin beer at the 2023 FHA Food and Beverage awards. The competition is organized by Food & Hotel Asia, the largest food and drink trade event in Asia. Chefs, supermarkets, restaurants, hospitality companies, hoteliers, and others gather at the annual convention to taste and learn about high quality products from around the world. This year’s convention took place in late April in Singapore, where Old Rasputin was crowned Best Stout and Best of Show Beer during a blind tasting by a jury of brewers, distributors, buyers and journalists. 445 N. Main St., Fort Bragg, (707) 964-2739, northcoastbrewing.com.
Annual drive-thru barbecue supports Plowshares Peace and Justice Center, May 13
Plowshares Peace and Justice Center is hosting its second annual BBQ on Wheels event. The drive-thru fundraiser will raise funds for the Meals on Wheels program which provides free, healthy meals daily to approximately 150 disabled and homebound seniors totaling 50,000 meals annually. A $75 ticket includes a meal for four with your choice of tri-tip or chicken, potato salad, green salad, bread and a dessert of your choice. For $100, ticket holders can get both tri-tip and chicken. There is a vegetarian option and an extra add-on option of mac and cheese. The event is sponsored by Big Earl’s BBQ and the Ukiah Redwood Empire Lions Club. Sat., May 13, 4 to 7 p.m., 1346 S. State St., Ukiah, (707) 462-8582. Tickets on sale here.
Supper club-themed farm-to-table dinner to support Little Lake Grange, May 13
A black-tie fundraiser will be held to raise funds for the building maintenance costs of the Little Lake Grange in Willits. The dinner, which has a candlelight supper club theme, will feature a steakhouse-inspired dinner by Black Dog Catering, Mendo Ferments, Mindful Meals, and Grant’s Goodies; live music from San Francisco swing jazz band the Velvet Vipers; special jazz performances by members of the Real Sarahs, Funkacillin and Pura Vida, and more. A no host bar will be available and a silent auction will take place. Tickets are $100 and available at Flying Dog Pizza (65 S. Main St., Willits, (707) 459-4747). For more information contact [email protected].
Dine and donate to support Noyo Center for Marine Science, May 18
The HarborView Bistro and Bar in Fort Bragg will donate 10% of all sales on Thur. May 18 to the Noyo Center for Marine Science. Funds raised will support the center’s research, education programs, citizen science projects and events. HarborView serves breakfast and lunch from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., happy hour from 3 to 5:30 p.m., and dinner starting at 5 p.m. nightly. HarborView Bistro and Bar at the Noyo Harbor Inn, (707) 961-8000, 500 Casa Del Noyo, Fort Bragg, noyoharborinn.com.
Tickets on sale for 24th annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival, May 19-21
Anderson Valley Wines hosts its annual weekend of all things Anderson Valley pinot noir. The weekend features over 50 wineries from Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma counties that craft pinot noir, sparkling wine, and rosé made with Anderson Valley fruit. The weekend includes a grand tasting; winery open houses; tasting seminars with winemakers; barbecue party; silent auction; food pairings and more. Tickets range from $75 to $150. Learn more here.
May register round-up in Ukiah supports the Humane Society for Inland Mendocino County
Shoppers at Ukiah Natural Foods in Ukiah can round-up their purchase at the register to support the Humane Society for Inland Mendocino County. 721 S. State St., Ukiah, (707) 462-4778, ukiahcoop.com.
Small but equally important updates
Café Poppy in Hopland is now open later on the weekends, serving coffee, pastries, sandwiches, salads and more. The cafe is open Mon-Thur 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., Fri-Sun 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is located inside the Thatcher Hotel at 13401 US-101, Hopland, (707) 723-0838, thatcherhotel.com.
Boomer’s in Laytonville is now open on Sundays serving food and drinks until 5 p.m. 45020 N. Hwy 101, Laytonville, (707) 984-6534, boomerssaloon.com.