Love At First Oceanside Sunset
After a winding, scenic drive up 128, past vineyards and through redwoods, I arrived just in time to see the sunset on the ocean at the Little River Inn. Upon being greeted at the office with a warm smile and an invitation to set a dinner reservation, I settled into my suite (specifically #103 Oceanview Deluxe with fireplace and Jacuzzi) where a chilled bottle of wine awaited. Cheers to you, Cally, for providing one of the warmest of welcomes I've experienced.
Wait. Who's Cally?
She's the fifth generation innkeeper - Cally Coombs Dym.
Originally built in 1863 and resting on 225 wooded acres, what started out as a house constructed by Cally's great-great-grandfather and lumber mill owner, Silas Coombs, was turned into an Inn by Silas's daughter and her husband (Cora & Ole Hervilla) in 1939. Decades later, the Inn remains in the care of the family. Cally Dym, GM and Owner, manages what is now 65 ocean-view rooms, a full-service day spa, and a nine-hole golf course. Her husband, Marc Dym, is the Executive Chef for the Inn's garden view dining room where 'family favorites meet fine cuisine' and Ole's Whale Watch Bar where you can sip classic cocktails or choose from a well crafted wine list or a selection of both local and imported beer all while taking in the stunning seascape.
Pleasure On The Palate
After driving past Roederer Estate only a few hours before I arrived at Little River Inn, I found myself sipping their Brut while tipping back oysters at Ole's Whale Watch Bar. A near perfect pairing, the Beausoleil Oysters with grapefruit chili mignonette were a match made in heaven with the Roederer Anderson Valley Brut. And this was just the beginning of the great pleasure my palate was to have at the Little River Inn.
My 7pm reservation in the garden-view dining room resulted in one of my favorite pairings - Salmon and Pinot Noir. The preparation was impeccable. The salmon was pine nut crusted and pan seared with spinach puree, Parmesan polenta and basil coulis. The spinach puree had a consistency that complimented the salmon, serving up added richness. The polenta's silky texture made it a decadent side that was in a single word - awesome. And the salmon itself was magnificently moist and stunningly accented with the pine nut crust. This Little River Classic was paired with the Lula 2012 Costa Vineyard Pinot Noir - a bottle I picked up earlier that day upon stopping at Lula Cellars and meeting with winemaker Jeff Hanson. Cheers to wine and food pairings that are leave you entirely and utterly impressed.
Other menu items, among many, to note at Little River Inn are the Calamari (rice flour dusted and flash fried with Little River Inn mustard sauce) and the Dungeness Crab Eggs Benedict (the crab cakes for which Little River Inn is famous for).
Beyond the Beloved View and Fare
The view is breathtaking. The fare is inspiring. But it's more than that. The Little River Inn is inviting on every level and with each detail. The people here are what make the experience picture perfect. I spent a few hours at the spa and received more than 'services'... I was given experiences that evolved with genuine care and consideration and honest conversation. I can't say thank you enough to both Chris for my manicure and Sue for my massage. With both of these women, I was in good and gentle hands. Cheers to service with more than just a smile.