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Murphys, Mutineers and Mineral


Mutineer Magazine Staff Retreat 2011

A couple of weeks ago our motley crew of Mutineers from Washington to Virginia descended upon Murphys, California for the first annual Mutineer Magazine Staff Retreat. We tasted wine, played bocce and strengthened bonds over long meals and forty-two year old Scotch. It was a great weekend and I am excited to share some of it here with you.

Mutineer Magazine Staff Retreat 2011

Raising a glass at the Tanner Vineyards Tasting Room. The Syrah and Viognier here were just lovely, though a little dangerous on my empty stomach.

Mutineer Magazine Staff Retreat 2011

The historic Murphy’s Hotel.

Mutineer Magazine Staff Retreat 2011

Mutineers Brian, Julie and Ryan getting their bocce on.

Mutineer Magazine Staff Retreat 2011

Ashley Teplin of Media-ANT doing her part to secure victory for the women’s team. She also makes a mean pan of shiitake laced breakfast potatoes.

Mutineer Magazine Staff Retreat 2011

Mutineers walking the trail to Natural Bridges just outside of Murphys, California.

Mutineer Magazine Staff Retreat 2011

Friend of Mutineer Corbie and Mutineer design wizard Julie looking for creatures.

Mineral Restaurant

The Aphrodisiac cocktail, an intoxicating blend of sparkling wine, hibiscus, coriander, anise and ginger from Mineral.

Some fellow Mutineers have been living in Murphys since last September. If I’ve heard about one thing since they arrived, it has been the vegatarian restaurant Mineral. The thing that intrigued me about this restaurant is that only one of the guys is vegetarian and yet, they all rave about it. I knew that if a group of bacon loving young men loved this place, than it must be somewhere worth checking out. On our last day in Murphys, my Editor in Chief Alan set up lunch for me, Phil our designer Julie and her boyfriend Ryan. I have to tell you, that this is one of the best meals I have ever had the pleasure to sit down to.

Also, this is not a review, simply an account of one incredible lunch.

Mineral Restaurant

The Cherry Bombs were my second favorite dish of the meal. I can’t find a proper description, but as far as I could tell it is chile and cheese that has been battered, fried, topped with a cherry and served with balsamic jam. That description seems too simple. I feel like something as vibrant and exciting as this was deserves to be written about with neon and punctuated with sparklers.

Mineral Restaurant

The cheese and cracker plate consisted of delicious thin toasts served with Bellwether Farms Crescenza, olive oil and olive dust. It was creamy with lovely bitter olive notes and the toasts had a pleasing snap.

Mineral Restaurant

This Kumquat Sparkler was just delicious. I wish I knew what was in it, because I think I’d like to make it at home.

Mineral Restaurant

This was the Peach Palm Salad and the first time Chef Steve messed with my mind. It looks like scallops, but is really hearts of palm, avocado, pickled radishes, “dirt” and Sriracha agave vinaigrette. It was tangy, sweet and spicy with a wonderful texture. I thoroughly enjoyed this.

Mineral Restaurant

I don’t have a proper description for this pizza, but it had smoked potato and cauliflower which completely blew my mind. Visually they looked like meat and the seasoning and smoke gave it a very meaty quality. It also had cabbage, herbs and a runny egg making for one incredible pizza.

Mineral Restaurant

I don’t think I can properly communicate to you how utterly delicious this veggie burger was. I think it just might be one of the most incredible things I have ever eaten. It is a handmade veggie burger with garlic aioli, shaved red onions, queso panela, napa cabbage and served on a house made bun with house made sea salt potato chips and little pickles. If you’ll notice, the patty looks like meat. When Chef Steve cooked the patties, they seared and browned like meat. When I bit into it, it gave me the satisfaction I get when biting into a beef burger, but was ten times better. This is one of those dishes that will torment me for a long time. I wonder if Phil will be up to making the trek to Murphys anytime soon?

My thanks to Steve and Maya for an incredible lunch.

Look for Mineral inspired dishes in the weeks to come!

Note: In the spirit of honesty, this meal was comped, but I can assure you it is 100% worthy of the high praise I have given it.

Mutineer Magazine’s Food Editor, Erin Jimcosky, can also be seen on her blog The Endive Chronicles where she talks all things food.


  1. Julie | Monday, May 9, 2011

    Looks like you all had a wonderful retreat and a wonderful meal. What could be better!!!

  2. Nancy | Monday, May 16, 2011

    This is the second time I’ve read this post and very much enjoyed it with the same results….I’m hungry!!! Great photos, great article. Good job Erin!

  3. Brian Kropf | Monday, May 16, 2011

    We know just how you feel :)

  4. Nanette Tanner, Tanner Vineyards | Monday, July 18, 2011

    What a beauty of a poached – eerrrr post! A salute to the Mutineer talents – new age journalism defined! I solemnly swear all of the above mentioned is true and correct. After working the tasting room ie ours – Tanner Vineyards – we plan our get-out night to head to Mineral Restaurant where they shower us with delicious cuisine…. which one, which one? Usually we make a pact:each person orders something different and do our own onsite tasting – Murphys is the life! Edible, drinkable adventure – just follow the yellow brick road down Main street! Bring your appetite – Steve does magic in the kitchen! Maya works magic on Steve. Done deal.

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