I had just checked in to the Bodega Bay Inn (that’s another story for another time) and had only a little over an hour to get some dinner before I settled in to watch the final race in the Indy Series. I thought I would be relegated to a bag of Fritos and bean dip from a convenience store, but, taking a chance, I walked across the parking lot to an unassuming blue clapboard building that housed the Terrapin Creek Cafe. The host and owner said they were fully booked but if I could be in and out in an hour that he could seat me. Perfect!
The interior glowed with the casual elegance and colors of southern France and I chose a table with a view of the small, open, and quietly streamlined kitchen. My efficient and knowledgeable fifty-something (my apologies if you were much younger!) waiter was warmly attentive. Such a blessing when one is dining solo. The menu offered a tempting array of local and international cuisine at reasonable prices.
I started with the roasted beet and mixed green salad, made crunchy and delicious with chopped whole unsalted almonds, instead of the usual slivered variety. A glass of sauvignon blanc added a refreshing touch.
And then the entree of Liberty Farms Duck Breast served with Black Forbidden Rice, English Peas, Roasted Baby Carrots, Spinach, and Duck Jus. I am one of those Duckophiles that eats as much duck as humanly possible on my trips to France (eleven trips in the past 13 years) and I can say without hesitation that this duck surpassed any that I’ve eaten either in Paris or in Dordogne, the duck capital of France. The breast was tender and moist, cooked to perfection, with a crispy, salty strip of skin on each slice. The Black Forbidden rice with its delightful crunchiness, dotted with tender scallions, carrots, and spinach, and drenched in just the right amount of duck jus was an incredible accompaniment.
I had just enough time to squeeze in a delicious dessert of almond cake topped with a berry compote and lemon creme before heading back to my room.
The owners state on their website that they “are expanding the notion of comfort food to include dining that is delicious, affordable, and responsible.” I must add one word, in French. SUPERBE!