Vegan fine dining on the Mendocino Coast? It sounds too good to be true, but in fact the Ravens Restaurant at the Stanford Inn offers some of the premiere vegan and healthful dining in California. Composed of a world-class team of creative artists, and utilizing local and organic produce (much of it grown on their own property), this is the perfect destination for those who abstain from animal products, those wanting a healthier fine dining option, or simply those wishing to try something new.
The Stanford Inn is an eco-resort located just north of the village of Mendocino, and the Ravens Restaurant is located within the main building. Before your meal, you may want to walk the beautiful grounds – including strolling through the enormous organic (CCOF) vegetable garden, from which the restaurant gathers much of its fresh produce. These gardens are truly remarkable, serving as a source of beautiful fruits and vegetables, and lovely scenic attraction, and an educational experience for visitors.
The mission of the Ravens Restaurant is simple: To provide guests with excellent food that rivals the finest restaurants in the world, while creating it in the context of what is healthy and sustainable ethically and environmentally. This ethos drives everything they create, and the menu offers a range of options – from raw to gluten free to heartier dishes that can satisfy even a carnivore’s cravings.
The Ravens Restaurant is open for both breakfast and dinner. Breakfast will be an eye-opening experience for those who think the earliest meal of the day must include eggs and dairy – these vegan delights have changed many people’s minds about what’s required for a delicious breakfast. Favorites include the citrus polenta with sautéed garden greens and cashew cream sauce, the vegan ranchero with salsa cruda, and the florentine.
Dinner takes vegan dining to an extremely high level, with a constantly-changing selection of fine-dining dishes. The signature dish here is the Sea Palm Strudel, a delightful Asian-inspired dish consisting of locally-harvest Sea palm (a sea vegetable you will undoubtedly see on the rocks during your visits to the ocean) and a medley of vegetables in sesame phyllo with umeboshi plum. The wine selection here focuses exclusively on Mendocino County wines, offering a huge range of boutique and rare wines, with an emphasis on world-class Mendocino pinot noir.
If you’re visiting on a Wednesday evening, you may also want to sample their Ethnic Night, where they highlight vegan selections of a particular food culture. Past nights have included Ethiopian, Honduran, Indian, and Thai.