The Ravens Restaurant is really two restaurants – with two creative staffs. In the evening The Ravens provides an exceptional gourmet plant-based experience and it’s painless! Guests don’t have to go out of their way to try an ethical, sustainable meal. They also find an outstanding wine list and a full bar.
In the morning the Ravens Restaurant offers a large and extraordinary gourmet plant-based Breakfast Menu. Recognizing that most of our guests are not plant-based/vegan, we offer a variety of elegant, gourmet dishes to assure they’ll be satisfied (including nutritionally–we feature a mostly whole foods menu which research has shown is extremely beneficial for the human body).
Note: On occasion guests will express a concern about protein. Our breakfast and dinner menus are full of healthy protein (and fat/carbohydrate), but, more importantly, full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and more!
We are often asked, “Why a vegan restaurant?” The answer is very simple: It is how we cook for our family and friends and it is how we prepare foods for our guests.
The Ravens Restaurant is central to our philosophy of hospitality – we strive to prepare cuisine for our guests which enhances their lives though taste, nutrition and appeal, while acknowledging their better sensibilities.
We are committed to help make understanding a sustainable plant based diet easy for our guests. In order to accomplish this, we have assembled chefs from throughout the United States in a co-creative, cooperative kitchen in which we work together with the common goal to nourish and satisfy, while reducing our impact on the environment. We produce and purchase only the highest quality ingredients and seek out those sustainably produced. And we have gladly accepted the challenge to provide an outstanding dining experience.
Staff – Our search for gifted staff was made easier by the fact so many qualified chefs were looking for us. When our intentions became known, chefs from throughout the region and from as far away as New York, Moscow (Russia) and Mexico City applied. These men and women wished to work in a kitchen committed to the use of the finest organic ingredients available, much grown on the property. These chefs are artists, sensitive to their materials.
Since 1996, we have learned that the de rigeur kitchen with an ego centric executive chef, a creative and intense leader, simply does not work. Our kitchen is run by a director/coordinator whose responsibility is to assemble and knit the creative talents of all staff from those who primarily prepare the food for cooking to those who are actively producing the food on the line.
If your local supermarket has an organic produce section you may have noticed the wide variety in quality and eye appeal of some organic produce. At The Ravens those of us who prep must be sensitive to the variations in quality of organic produce, adjust seasonings and even basic ingredients to suit quality and availability. Although organic produce is becoming more widely produced outside the United States, providing year around supplies of commonly seasonal produce, our approach has remained essentially seasonal. What is available in northern California is generally what we serve.
By the way, The Ravens was named for the raven pair who moved into the trees above the current site of the restaurant in 1995 before we broke ground. We had never seen ravens on the Mendocino Coast prior to their arrival. We have since learned that ravens were once common, but were killed by immigrants to the area during the early years of logging.
Our Mission is simple – To provide our guests with excellent food that rivals the finest restaurants in the world, while creating it in the context of what is healthy and sustainable ethically and environmentally. Our dishes are made to order and carefully prepared to maximize both dining pleasure and nutrition.
We are committed to reducing our impact on the environment and support sustainable agriculture through our purchases. As there is no animal production that is sustainable or humane, we do not use any animal products in any of our dishes: our cuisine is 100% plant-based and vegan. Our produce is organic; much grown on our own USDA Certified Organic Farm – Big River Nurseries. Food wastes are composted, and we recycle everything possible.
It is a privilege and honor to be able to present you with food that is of the highest quality and value.
The Ravens co-creative kitchen is led by Sid Garza-Hillman, author, certified nutritionist, and long time vegan. He works closely with chef team Sadhana Berkow, Ubaldo Salazar, and our Big River Nurseries Gardener Clayton Houghland to continually present inventive and creative cuisine.
We prepare each dish to be delicious and satisfying. To satisfy, a meal must have have all components needed to nourish – proteins, complex carbohydrates, essential fats. A dish does not necessarily make a meal, which will often consist of many dishes. Sea Palm Strudel, one of our signature dishes, is virtually a complete meal and exemplifies how we approach food. This strudel with its side Asian stir-fry is extraordinarily beneficial due to the unique combination of ingredients.
Locally harvested Sea Palm and Japanese root vegetables rolled in sesame phyllo and served with a stir-fry of broccoli, shiitake, edamame, bell pepper and cashews over umeboshi plum and wasabi sauces.
In August, 2004, we received our first Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator. We worked to achieve this award as an integral part of our efforts to make vegan dining a truly fine dining experience. Our wine list features outstanding wines most made with organic or traditionally produced grapes. We recently received our 11th wine list award.
The Ravens Nest bar is a part of our continuing effort to make fine vegan and vegan dining more mainstream. We have no “well” only “top shelf” brands.
Alcohol should be savored with the purpose of helping to enhance food and social relationships.