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Mendocino area restaurants?

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I'm doing some early investigative work for a weekend in Fort Bragg in November. Never too early to start!

I've searched the old posts and found some recommendations for Albion River Inn and Cafe Beaujolais. But some warnings about downhill food at Cafe B lately. Do these still hold true? Also, would the Albion River Inn be a good place to go to for a romantic, dress-up dinner? I guess I'm looking for a place where I could wear a nice dress and my date could wear a jacket and not be out of place. Any other suggestions are definitely welcome.

I'm also seeking recommendations for casual lunches and a dinner. I've seen posts about North Coast Brewing Co. for pub food and Little River Inn, although it's closed/under new ownership. Any can't miss places?

Thanks for helping! I'll be sure to give a full report in November when I come back.

Yvonne

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  1. First of all, Little River Inn is "alive and well" and is owned by the same family that founded it. Had dinner there last week and it was excellent---I definitely think their food has improved over the years. I think perhaps you're confusing it with the Little River Restaurant that used to be across the street and is now, unfortunately, closed.
    Haven't heard any raves about the "Beauj" lately. It's still there, we locals just don't hear much about it anymore (or at least I don't!). The Albion is always good--my only objection about it for a romantic evening out is the fact that it is always very NOISY, something which my husband and I find cancels out the "romantic part" if you have to shout instead of whisper! The place we both agreed we'd choose for a "romantic dinner" would be Stevens Wood in Little River at Stevens Wood Inn (they have a website complete with menu). You'd also, I think, feel much more at home there being a bit dressier--at the Albion, you'll see a whole spectrum of dress plus it holds a greater number of diners by far.
    For casual, I'd pick the bar at the Heritage House! Jonna is a GREAT bartender, it has lovely atmosphere with a huge fireplace, and we love their burgers (you can also order off the full menu if you choose).
    North Coast Brewing does have good "pub food", but I've never much cared for the atmosphere--not even keeping in mind that it used to be the mortuary!!
    Lunches are tough in that there just aren't many great places up here! If it's a nice day, I would choose either the Mendo Cafe in Mendocino which has an outside deck with a good view of Mendocino Bay and interesting food such as Thai burritos or, should you wish to be in Ft. Bragg, go down to Noyo Harbor to Sharon's By The Sea and have fish and chips as you watch the fishing boats come in under the Noyo Harbor Bridge! That's always kind of fun, and a whole different "world" compared to either FB or Mendo!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Ms. Ghost

      Thanks for the recommendations. You mentioned some options for eating outside. I'd love to do that and soak in the scenery. What's the likelihood of that in November? I'm not familiar with the weather in the area.

      1. re: Yvonne

        Close friends and dining pals of mine were in Mendocino two weeks ago. They confirmed the downhill slide of Cafe Beaujolais (which actually began more than 4 years ago), but said the breads were still good.

        1. re: Yvonne

          Re: the weather.......you just never know! True, the winter rains do usually start in November, but on the other hand we could have sun and (relative) warmth--think layers--and it could be nicer and warmer than the fogbank that currently surrounds Mendocino! Do be prepared for rain, but that, too, can be fun if you have a room with a fireplace! At any rate, all of the restaurants do have pleasant indoor areas!

      2. a
        Aging Hippie

        In Albion, south of Mendocino, the Ledford House. Great food, good looking presentation. Pleasant, friendly atmosphere, great view of the ocean. Not terribly crowded(but I eat early).