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Sep 26, 2013 08:43 PM

Thanksgiving suggestions

I was originally planning for a long weekend in Yosemite but our favorite rooms and cabins at the Ahwahnee are sold out and with all the recent travel we've been doing, we're looking to something more low-key/low-budget. I'd also considered The Pelican Inn in Marin by Muir Beach but same deal with the rooms and I also don't particularly feel that it's destination worthy dining without the added overnight stay; it's not as much fun. What I'm ideally looking for would be something like Harley Farms seasonal barn dinners, however they only have one scheduled at the beginning of the month and everything on the calendar has been long sold out. Next best would be something like Bella Vista in Redwood City (RIP!) - mid century timewarp dining in the mountains. I'd be willing to drive several hours for a worthy comparable. Preferably in a rustic/scenic setting. Manka's Inverness Lodge would have been another contender (Again RIP!) - Does anything else like this exist in Northern California? I would really like to do something fun over Thanksgiving; either making an overnight stay out of a food worthy destination dining experience or just a short roadtrip from SF and back. Does anyone have any suggestions at all? I'm not looking for Michelin restaurants in wine country or anything like that. Some place with ambiance to spare (and a bit of history is always appreciated!) with good food a second though still important factor. Does such a place exist?


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  1. What goes on at Erna's Elderberry House? I can't think of elderberries without flashing on "Arsenic and Old Lace."

    3 Replies
    1. re: wolfe

      We actually ate there a few months ago, lovely setting and exceptional meal, service and all. It would be a very nice overnight although it's a bit of tease given the fact that we won't be staying in the park. For that reason alone, I think we'll pass. It's like driving your kids to Anaheim but not stopping at Disneyland. :)

      1. re: OliverB

        but it would be an easy trip into the park from there...

        1. re: rmarisco

          Yes, but I'm really fussy and would want to stay inside the park when taking a trip like that. I love Erna's but usually reserve it for pre or post Yosemite dining, on our way in or out; sometimes an overnight to break up the drive when coming home from a long weekend in Yosemite. As lovely as the b&b is, the town itself is not very pretty and driving into and back out of the Valley is still kind of a drag.

    2. You can still stay at Manka's and eat at their new restaurant: Sir and Star at the Olema Inn.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        Ruth, I just spent several days at Nick's Cove on Tamales Bay and ate at Sir and Star one evening; we had a great meal. We drove by Manka's as well just to see the place, and sadly it's not the same without the main lodge building. I wouldn't go back to the Point Reyes area so soon however. I was just trying to illustrate the type of environment that I'm ideally looking for. Something upscale in the woods. Rustic setting with sophisticated food. I'd even be willing to consider something like a Clearman's North Woods type of restaurant, however in a more authentic surroundings. I wonder if this still exists in Northern California.

        1. re: OliverB

          Does Big Sur count? Ventana, or Big Sur Lodge or Post House?

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            Big Sur was also among my first picks; we love to stay and eat at Deetjen's but all of the rooms are sold out over the long weekend and I don't want to drive up there just for dinner and have to come back afterward. I wish I had planned this out much sooner!

      2. You could take a look at the Costanoa Lodge, on the coast south of Pescadero. I have never been there and I don't know what they offer for T-giving, but it is worth a look.

        1 Reply
        1. re: DavidT

          Costanoa is nowhere near as luxurious, nor is the food as sophisticated, as what he's looking for.

        2. I ate well at St. Orres in Gualala:

          I went by the CazSonoma Inn, nice setting, no idea about the food or lodgings:

          The food at Costanoa was surprisingly good when I stayed there a few years ago. Big place, kind of corporate but comfortable.