With “Canine and Cocktails” St. Orres shakes up Yappy Hour on the Coast
Recently I had the good fortune to revisit one of my favorite places on the South Coast of Mendocino County, St. Orres Hotel and Restaurant located just north of the town of Gualala. I was there to sniff out a new and exciting concept that Co-owner and Executive Chef extraordinaire Rosemary Campiformio has introduced at this wonderfully pet friendly architectural treasure. Having four adorable four-legged companions of her own who are the unofficial guest greeters, Rosemary and her brood have lots of canine and upright friends so Rosemary thought — let’s create a space where we can all come to relax and partake in some social fun. Canine and Cocktails happens daily in and around the newly remodeled bar area and al fresco settings, however you certainly don’t have to be a canine or have one as part of your family to enjoy and experience the wonderful food and hospitality of St. Orres.
The Seaside Bar features a bar and light fare menu of delicious and delectable small plate offerings to tempt and arouse the senses. These new offerings are equal in imagination and execution to the highly lauded regular menu. Rosemary uses only the freshest local and seasonal ingredients which are always exquisitely presented which has made dining at St. Orre’s a culinary must for years for locals and visitors alike. For a full review of St. Orres and all my other reviews please visit me at www.hairysblog.com.
With Canine and Cocktails, Rosemary has created a selection of mouthwatering morsels that uprights and canines can really sink our slobber chops into. To get your noses twitching I will tell you a little about what I got to sample; I began with an order of the Wild Boar Tacos (hold the jalapeños and lettuce). Two petite white corn tortillas were piled high with flavorfully marinated cooked wild boar, with its juices soaking temptingly into the tortilla. I had no trouble devouring it contentedly, much to the amusement of Lupe (Tender of the Bar and excellent Martini Maker, more on that later) who had never seen a dog eat a tortilla off his own silverware before. Continuing the Mexican theme my uprights ordered the Chili Relleño with spicy Roasted Tomato Salsa, one of my uprights took one bite and said, “Oh my, I have just been transported South of the Border,” as he rolled his eyes and smiled with that look of pure contentment that I know too well. He looked kind of like me whenever food or one of my collars and leashes appear. He was kind enough to give me a taste. I especially liked the elasticity of the cheese filling, I even got some of it caught in my whiskers, but I was soon able to lick that off. Next we switched continents and ordered the Lasagna with Meat and the Wild Mushroom Ravioli. Bellissimo! and other such Italian accolades were said as I concentrated intently between these snippets of upright speak and savored the creamy tomato sauce and morsels of ground meat layered enticingly between tasty homemade lasagna noodles, a love song to Italy is this dish. The good-sized house made ravioli are filled with a delectable mixture of chopped local wild mushrooms and herbs and are presented in a sumptuous cream sauce and topped with a selection of perfectly cooked wild mushrooms to complete this elegant and flavorful dish. The house made individual herb breads are just perfect for dipping in the delicious sauces. For some reason the uprights use this as a way to clean a dish; me, I have a very long tongue that can work very well, but I did not mind being unable to use it as the soaked bread tidbits that came my way did just as good a job.
When we first arrived, Rosemary brought one of her four-legged children, Honey Bunch, to meet me and we spent several minutes getting to know each other while the uprights discussed cocktails and wine with Lupe the Bartender, finally deciding on Lupe’s recommendation of her signature Basil Gin Martini. My uprights paid a lot of attention to what she was doing and from the moans and groans coming from them when they took a sip I am guessing it was a hit. I as usual stuck to H2O.
The glass doors in the solarium, which is part of the Seaside Bar, open up to the grounds and this creates a great opportunity to bring the outdoors in; additional bar seating is also offered on the front deck, weather permitting.
Canines and Cocktails is a perfect way to spend an hour or two with fellow uprights and four-legged companions in a magical setting, enjoying exquisite food and tasty drinks in a mellow and beautiful place. When you go, tell them Hairy recommends St. Orres.