Food • Wine
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.