When in Mendo, Eat Where The Mendos Eat: MacCallum House Restaurant

OK, I’m convinced. I’ll have a wonderful time in Mendocino at the Stanford Inn by the Sea, but WHERE SHOULD WE EAT?” Oh, I’m so glad you asked: particularly since I ate 12 meals in 3 days, just in case inquiring minds wanted to know.

You will absolutely be guaranteed a delicious dinner at either of the above inns, and can drink all the wine you want if you’re staying there. But eventually you might want to go off-property and explore a little.

The dark clouds couldn’t get any blacker. After holding back all day, they decided to dump their chilly rain just as we were pulling up to the MacCallum House Restaurant.

So we were dripping wet and shivering as we noisily ran into the “Mac”, which probably spoiled the mood for all the couples quietly enjoying a romantic, candelit dinner. The exceptionally well-trained staff thoughtfully took us through the main room into the back dining area, formerly the library in this still magnificent gingerbread Victorian built in 1882, and set up a table for us — right in front of the roaring fireplace.

When we met the Executive Chef, Alan Kantor, and he told us that ��?absolutely everything we serve you is prepared in our own kitchen, including breads, hand-rolled pastas, and smoked meat, fish and poultry. We use only the freshest seasonal ingredients and feature local and regional organic and wild crafted products whenever possible,” we knew that we were in for some good eating.

It didn’t take much to convince ourselves that since we had braved the “Big Storm,” that we deserved to indulge in the seasonal five-course tasting menu, complete with numerous amuse bouche, and imaginative wine pairings.

The basket of homemade hot sourdough bread was so addictive that I had to make them take it away — after my third piece. The two seafood starters received a split decision. I was won over by the ethereal Dungeness Crab Gnocci baked in a ham (house -cured) and cheese sauce. My friend cast her vote for the Pan Seared Sea Scallops endive, shaved fennel, roasted golden beets and candied citrus zest salad, Stella Cadente Meyer lemon olive oil, hibiscus reduction, which was a little too busy for my taste.

The Pan Seared Liberty Farm Duck Breast napped in a blood orange port sauce, and an amazing duck confit-fromage blanc bread pudding and the Grilled Niman Ranch Filet Mignon cabernet reduction, arugula, roasted shallot and walnut salad, Point Reyes Farmstead blue cheese popover had us both fighting over the last mouthfuls. It is a testimony to the culinary skills of this CIA trained chef that every dish came with completely different sides that were highly imaginative and well-conceived yet never overwhelming.

Although we were more than full, there’s always room for dessert, so we “just sampled” the Chocolate Tasting Sampler, which included a bittersweet chocolate pot de crème with toasted coconut meringue, chocolate ginger truffle, AND a scoop of chocolate Rumpleminz sorbet, which provided the perfect minty ending.

MacCallum House
T: 707.937.0289 | 800.609.0492
A: 45020 Albion Street | PO Box 206 | Mendocino, CA 95460
W: www.maccallumhouse.com/

By Vagablond’s Token Redhead.

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