Like Kim, I’ve had a busy few weeks. And by “busy,” I mean decadent. Strange, isn’t it, that with so much eating out I’ve had no time to blog? Something wrong there, considering I’m supposed to be blogging about eating.

A few weeks ago, we spent the weekend in Inverness. It was foggy, a little rainy, and gorgeous. On Friday night we ate at Manka’s Inverness Lodge, which has long been on my agenda.

The menu is rather precious even by Bay Area standards.

(I have no idea why it’s purple — that happened somewhere between scanner and Photoshop. I have no patience for technical peccadilloes.)

We got off to a good start with these little gougeres stuffed with Romaine and anchovies — a tangy Caesar sandwich. And, of course, Champagne.

Leek soup

The crab was delicious, roasted with smoky paprika. It was served with a bearnaise sauce (the menu said it was to be “plated with a daze of Meyer lemons,” but apparently there had been a mixup; no Meyers).

Goat’s milk cheese puff. I love watercress.

The meat course was lovely; in addition to the grilled lamb, we were served, family-style, the most smoky-delicious tender ribs.

Finally, dessert. The mascarpone ice cream was so light, so creamy.

I have no photos of the restaurant — though take a look at these pretty plates. (Chargers? Is that what they’re called?)

It would be the ultimate decadence to actually stay at the lodge, perhaps in one of the water-side cabins. If they treat their lodge guests as well as they treat their restaurant guests, I think it would be worth it.

Manka’s Inverness Lodge
30 Callender Way, Inverness
(415) 669-1034
Mon-Sat, 7-10pm; Sun, 4-10pm
Major credit cards accepted.

posted by Davina Baum

Manka’s Inverness Lodge 7 August,2008Bay Area Bites

  • maura

    I’ve been wanting to eat here for quite some time but lack the funds. Thanks for the vicarious thrill!

  • Anonymous

    LOVE this place. It was the first $150 (for 2) meal my husband and I ever paid for ourselves — worth every penny, and we’re still talking about it seven years later.

  • Anonymous

    Had a wonderful dinner there exactly one week ago. Five courses and a bit long. Can’t imagine the Saturday night 8 courser. I think what made the evening long were the incredibly uncomfortable chairs. It’s a pity because the lodge/arts & crafts feel is so handsome. If you go, bring a pillow!

  • Anonymous

    Had the Sunday dinner (4pm) a few days ago and was unfortunately underwhelmed. While the lodge is as charming as ever, I think the dining room is weighted by its own preciousness. There is an underlying attitude among the staff, while pleasant, that they can take or leave your presence, because hey, “we’re so special here, and if you don’t get it, you don’t belong here”. A certain lack of generosity, portions too small, and the five course menu taking over three hours for the kitchen to execute. Some lovely notes but it wasn’t rubbing us the right way. $250 for the two of us with a $65 pinot noir. Advice: be ready to spend a long time at your table, expect some precious attitude, don’t expect any bargains on the quite nice wine list, and don’t be really hungry — the ambience is wonderful so it might work for you.

  • Anonymous

    Beautiful setting. The food doesn’t like up to the billing. The service started as pretentious and eventually bordered on rude. No water refills, no wine refills, 45 minutes between courses.

    For the meat-eaters, we just thought the food was unexceptional ande overpriced; the vegetarian found the food distinctly second rate (and, despite five courses, not very filling).

    Warning: If you go on Sunday, when there is just a 4 pm seating, DON’T get there at 4 pm! You’ll wait a long, long, long time to be served. Get there at 5 pm and your dinner will be over more quickly (everyone finished at 8 pm, no matter what time they got there).

    Despite the ambience, there are better choices in and around Point Reyes.


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