Savor Farm Fresh
Dining at California B&Bs
Bed and breakfast inns throughout California draw from the bounty of local farms, foragers, fishermen, ranchers and winemakers to create culinary dishes that are both regional and seasonal. Some, like the venerable eco-resort, Stanford Inn by the Sea, serve vegetables and herbs harvested straight from their on-site, certified organic gardens. Others, like the Historic Requa Inn along a remote stretch of the Klamath River, serve fresh salmon caught just 200 yards from the inn. Below is just a sampling of California inns that feature fresh, local organic fare at its best.
Overlooking the Mendocino coast, Stanford Inn by the Sea is perched on a hillside nestled amid certified organic gardens. All of the vegetables and herbs for the inn’s nationally-acclaimed Ravens’ Restaurant come from the on-site gardens and other local, organic growers. The gardens use French intensive, bio-intensive and organic methods to raise a wide variety of lettuces, cabbages, spinach, radishes and gourmet vegetables such as radicchio, mizuna, arugula, and tah tsai. The restaurant’s vegetarian and vegan dishes are based on locally harvested products ranging from seaweed to morels. Breakfast is served daily from 8 to 10:30 a.m. and on Sundays, brunch is served until noon. Dinner is served daily beginning at 5:30 p.m. The menus are continually changing in relation to the availability of ingredients, the seasons, and the creativity of the chefs. Reservations are advised. The eco-friendly Stanford Inn is the only vegan resort in the United States. The inn features elegant guest rooms with wood-burning fireplaces, an indoor pool, sauna and hot tub, free mountain bike rentals and a wellness center complete with massage, bodywork, Ayurvedic treatments and yoga and tai chi classes.
On the banks of the Klamath River just a mile from the ocean, the Historic Requa Inn is a 12-room bed and breakfast nestled among the redwoods. The culinary offerings at the inn focus on fresh organic and regional ingredients with a simple, straight forward presentation. Chefs Thomas Wortman and Paul Hess have set out to create a new American, regional cuisine based in the traditions of fine modern American dining. The dinners at the Requa Inn showcase the natural abundance of the area, including salmon caught less than two hundred yards from the inn, the wild mushrooms and greens foraged by the chefs seasonally, the modern use of traditional Yurok delicacies, and produce and livestock raised by local farmer friends. Four-course dinners are served Wednesday through Sunday at 7:00 p.m. May 15 through October 31, and Tuesday through Sunday at 6:30 p.m. in the off season. Reservations are required. Hot, hearty breakfasts are served each morning featuring organic eggs from a local farm, breakfast meats, and an array of homemade offerings including buttermilk hotcakes, whole-milk yogurt, granola, whole wheat toast, and more. Breakfast is included in the room rate for guests of the inn. The 1914 inn features well-appointed rooms with antiques and claw-foot bathtubs, a hot tub, and wildlife viewing opportunities.
The new owners of the Hotel Charlotte in Groveland are excited to share the bounty of the Sierra Foothills with their guests. The inn’s adjoining restaurant, Charlotte Bistro & Bar, which just opened April 25, sources all of its produce from local, organic farms and also features wine from the Sierra Foothills. “We’ve found a different kind of bounty here in Gold Country. From the vineyards to the farmers, it’s a story of great people producing exciting products,” said owner Jenn Edwards. “We believe that supporting farmers who are directly connected to the land near our restaurant can create food that is naturally indigenous to this part of California and unfold with the changing of the seasons.” Under the direction of Edwards’ husband, Chef Doug Edwards, the restaurant features innovative, modern American fare with a focus on the natural flavors of the ingredients and minimal use of butter and cream. Charlotte Bistro & Bar serves dinner six nights a week from 5 to 9 p.m. and is closed on Tuesdays. The Hotel Charlotte is a 10-room, Gold Rush-era inn located 24 miles from the Big Oak Entrance to Yosemite National Park.
On the San Mateo coast between Santa Cruz and San Francisco, Pescadero Creek Inn takes breakfast very seriously. The inn’s gourmet breakfasts features organic produce and fresh eggs from Pescadero area farms. Typical menu offerings include asparagus and Harley Farm goat cheese quiche, garlic rosemary roasted potatoes, oven pancakes with fresh raspberries and cream and Arcangeli pork sausage. The inn’s afternoon wine and cheese offerings include creations from Pescadero’s own Harley Farms Goat Dairy and local wineries Bonny Doon and Hallcrest Vineyards. The beautifully restored 1890s farmhouse on Pescadero Creek sits at the edge of town amid rolling green hills, vast farmland and redwood forests. The inn has three rooms in the main house and a two-room cottage with a fireplace and a private deck overlooking the creek. Each room has queen featherbed, private bath with clawfoot tub and antique furnishings.