Just outside Mendocino, California, intimately tucked atop a bluff overlooking Smuggler’s Cove is the luxuriously unassuming, Brewery Gulch Inn bed and breakfast. The Inn was constructed using beautiful old-growth, eco-salvaged redwood trees that had been reclaimed from the Big River during a construction project of a new bridge. The “sinker” logs as they are known, were well over 100 years old and had been previously lost to the bottom of the river during the logging days of the 1800s.
The Brewery Gulch Inn has a Craftsman-style redwood shake exterior, with a harmoniously contemporary flair on the inside. The Inn has ocean views throughout the property and from ten of its eleven suites—the views are unobstructed by hundreds of acres of unoccupied meadows and protected forests.
When you enter the Inn for the first time, through the large hand-crafted wooden door, you can’t help but be impressed by the expansive open-space great-room…which serves as lobby, reception, wine bar and common area for guests. As you survey the vastness of the room, your eyes take notice of the striking view through the glass doors that open up to a patio overlooking the water below. The focal point of the room is a giant steel fireplace providing warmth from two sides. The space is illuminated with natural light by a 35 foot skylight and kept cozy by radiant floor heat.
Each of the eleven rooms is lavishly and distinctly appointed with a feather bed, Italian linens, a down comforter, gas fireplace and fine leather club chairs in front of an LCD TV. Ten of the rooms have ocean views framed by spruce and pine trees while eight have redwood decks for lounging.
Not missing a beat and firing on all proverbial cylinders, the Brewery Gulch Inn serves up a culinary delight that would impress any aficionado—not just for the expected breakfast, but for light dinner fare during wine hour as well.
Breakfast is a bit unique in that it is made-to-order from a fairly extensive menu—you can choose from a classic breakfast to Eggs Benedict or something from the griddle. The O.J. is actually fresh squeezed, which, if you’re used to the pasteurized stuff, is really a treat. The bacon is so thick and flavorful that you may need a knife to cut it. Of course you can get yogurt or a hot cereal and other accoutrements if you prefer.
The happy hour features local wines that are personally selected by Innkeeper and owner, Guy Pacurar. I’m not sure if Guy is a sommelier, but he certainly seems to be quite knowledgeable on the subject. During wine hour, several entrée dishes are provided to perfectly complement the libations. During my stay, some of the dishes I enjoyed included:
- Pan-seared Covelo flat iron steak with chermoula sauce and sautéed spinach
- Wild rice with cranberries and almonds
- Butternut squash soup with cinnamon crème fraiche and candied walnuts
- House-made dark chocolate pudding with semi-whipped cream sauce
- Pan-seared tenderloin of heritage pork with cranberry-apple chutney over braised kale
- French green lentils with red wine vinaigrette, roasted red peppers and feta
- Roasted golden beet and citrus salad with pickled red onions and candied walnuts
- Patrick Meaney’s chocolate-caramel tart with Maldon sea salt and blackberry coulis
This was my first trip to Mendocino and I certainly hope it will not be my last. The community is quaint and small with amenities that you’d expect from a large city. Great restaurants, shops and a walkable downtown all add to Mendocino’s charm, which is to say nothing of the fantastic coastline worth exploring.
The Brewery Gulch Inn is one of those places worth going out of your way for, the accommodations, service and culinary delights will make any occasion special and memorable.