One might say that the Brewery Gulch Inn is the best-kept secret in Mendocino, but the fact that it’s ranked first on both TripAdvisor and Yelp suggests that the word is already out. What still may be a surprise are all the delightful extras that help boost the wow factor. From its delightful owner, to its well-appointed rooms and most impressively its superb cuisine, the Brewery Gulch Inn quickly finds its way to the top of the list for weekend getaways.
After check in we were lucky enough to talk with proprietor Guy Pacurar. We chatted on the large outdoor deck enjoying the incredible view while sipping on local wine. Pacurar’s childhood dream of running a B&B was brought to life in 2007, when he purchased the property. Guests can feel the love and passion that he has put into the Inn. He was also a tremendous help in putting together our daily excursions and restaurants choices. He even provided coupons for discounts and free gifts in town.
Unlike the reputation of many B&Bs (think plaid wallpaper and doilies,) The Brewery Gulch is modern and sleek. The Inn is constructed from beautiful redwood pulled from the depths of the nearby Big River, having been perfectly preserved in the cold waters for more than 100 years. The central great room is open and airy, with an inviting fireplace.
The property originally housed a brewery long ago. Guests on the second floor will find the Osprey room. It’s posh with a comfortable, king-size bed, a sitting area with large leather chairs and a spacious bathroom with soaking tub built for two. I’m sure we weren’t the first couple to use the lavender bath salts and ginger lily bubble bath to relax after a long day of exploring. We even stayed up a little late to stare at the stars from our private patio while listening to the crashing waves.
What really shines through during a stay at Brewery Gulch is the food. While technically a bed and breakfast, in reality there’s also a complementary nightly wine and appetizer hour that substitutes as dinner for most guests. Forget any notion of the uninspired spreads found at corporate hotels. This food you just have to see to believe.
During the aperitivo hour we enjoyed roast pork and potatoes drizzled with truffle oil, pesto artichoke hearts, spicy peppers and a delicious peppery rocket salad. This dish was served with shoestring zucchini slivers covered in a sweet balsamic reduction sauce.
The next evening we were served an heirloom tomato tart, toasted almond sweet potato cakes, fresh artisanal multi-grain bread and roast chicken with curried coconut milk. Local wine and beer varietals accompany the delightful dishes each night.
For breakfast expect more culinary sensation, as you’ll have a choice of several mouth watering dishes. It’s hard not to recommend the Baat, which included avocado pico de gallo salsa, thick cut bacon rubbed with brown sugar and sprinkled with red pepper flakes and a light arugula salad atop a slice of brioche. We also tasted the banana pancakes with almond granola, sweet raisins and cranberries.
The last morning of our trip we were lucky enough to meet the brains and brawn behind the wonderful food. Chef Peg Davis is boisterous, vivacious and as memorable as the food she serves. Born in Detroit, partly raised in New York, influenced by a Southern grandmother and seasoned with culinary education and experience in San Francisco, she mirrors the well roundedness of Brewery Gulch itself.
With picturesque beaches, redwood forests, winding rural roads and a quant downtown, its no wonder that Hollywood has been making the drive up the coast to Mendocino County for longer than 100 years. More than 60 movies have been filmed in Mendocino, including several that garnered Oscars. James Dean visited in 1954 for East of Eden. The coming of age WWII period piece Summer of ’42 was shot in 1970. Other notables include Cujo, Overboard, Karate Kid III and The Majestic. Mendocino’s most famous fictional character is from the small screen. Angela Lansbury played novelist turned super-sleuth Jessica Fletcher in television’s Murder She Wrote from 1984 to 1996.
Our accommodations at the Brewery Gulch Inn were provided in order to do this review, but the opinions expressed above are, as always, our own.