Chapter and Moon
Spent a wonderful Thanksgiving in Mendocino. We have been going up to Mendocino coast for over 33 years. After eatting turkey and leftovers for three days we decided to go out to eat at Chapter and Moon, a Zagat recommended seafood restuarant in Ft. Bragg (Noyo Harber). It was one of the worst meals I've ever had. Supposed to serve seafood -just salmon was on the menu. No crab in the height of crab season. Very bad service and poorly prepared food. And the presentation was one step above Howard Johnsons. Another example of how not to trust Zagat.
Have been going up to the Mendocino coast for the past 12+ years. Being quite finicky about trying new places, Chapter & Moon didn't seem to be a place to try (from a distance and not being overly-advertised). But, given disappointing plates from others in Noyo Harbor thus far, we were open to trying something different...and would now eat at C&M daily if we could. Service was impeccable; my sister and I got into a disagreement - she ordered the 1/2 portion of another entree and then kept encroaching onto mine throughout the eve (after eating hers!).
So what were these entrees that were so wonderful? When (how recent) was your last visit? You'll have to forgive some of us, but when we see a glowing post that is diametrically opposed to another experienced hound we become skeptical, not because this is your first post, but for the lack of details.
Sorry! This was my first post - thanks for the gentle reminder to include more specific details. I was at Chapter/Moon on 3/10/07. Visited with my sister and brother in law - the restaurant was recommended by a Mendocino local when we mentioned wanting fresh (and not too expensive) dinner options.
Service - We were seated right away, arriving w/o reservations at 6pm on a Saturday. Since we weren't *too* hungry, the waitress suggested that we consider ordering 1/2 portions of entrees (not stated on the menu). I had concerns about the riesling being too sweet - the waitress couldn't answer some of my questions and brought the owner (?) over instead, who after a few questions suggested that I try the house wine (Navarro winery muscat grigio varietal) instead. It was perfect - not too dry but not sweet!
Entrees - My brother-in-law ordered the regular portion of the fish tacos (2 - both arrived in crisp tortilla shells), with clam chowder as a side. He shared the clam chowder (which we found to be quite chunky and flavorful, w/o too many potatoes) and finished the fish tacos before my sister or I were done with our 1/2 entrees. He found the portions to a bit small for him, but then again, he said he wasn't hungry when he ordered!
My sister ordered the 1/2 portion of the fish stew (on the specials menu) - she liked the variety of fresh seafood and balance with veggies. But...the decadent dish of the eve for us was my lightly smoked wild salmon entree (one of the specials). I ordered the smaller portion, not quite knowing what to expect - it came out perfectly moist, with a light apple-smoked flavor and was served with rice pilaf and perfectly sauteed veggies (red onions, broccoli, green beans, etc.).
But alas, my sister can be a bit of a foodie. I was trying to savor my dish, saving a good size portion of the salmon for the end (thinking I was covered since my sister had already sampled my dish). Sitting next to me, she managed to finish her fish stew whilst eyeing MY salmon and finally asked if she could have another "sample" since I didn't seem to be able to finish it! So much for saving the best for the end!
The bill arrived and since the suggestion was for a 'smaller' portion of the salmon and wild salmon is not in season right now, I expected to be charged for more than a 1/2 portion. This $40 pre-tip dinner (for 3 and including one glass of wine) was WAY more decadent than the previous eve's $90 one at the Noyo Harbor restaurant next to it. We usually take pics, but forgot the camera - so sorry that I don't have any to share for this post...
Hey, it sounds like you made a great choice! I have to admit, that totally surprised me. We were there about an hour and a half before you to check the menu...might even have passed you in the harbor! My heart was kind of set on Mendo Bistro (hubby's birthday trip though...), but seeing as hubby wanted to check out seafood. I think the upshot is we were both happy with our choices, and that's what it's all about!