Monday, January 15, 2007
A friend of significant introduced us to the town of Inverness, north of san francisco,with its unspoiled beauty, and counter culture mist, all that a long time ago,and with it, hidden it is forest,Manka....a brown shingle chalet style restaurant-hotel.Upon pushing the door the first time, and entering its dim,cozy,fireplaced lit living room, I felt that I had come back home.Home to my childhood reverie of swiss summers,home to a place of quietude, far away from the modern world. The comfortable rocking chairs were by the fire,classical music softly playing, Louis,the aging retriever ambling over for a visit and a sigh, and then there was a meal, always magical. the light of the day changing through the branches outside,creating artful shadows. On the plates, food prepared with a vision of local ingredients gathered just so close, and tasting divine. I still remember a broccoli soup that had a secret taste ( truffle ? veal stock ?) it is still best soup I ever had. Manka "was" ( I will come to that) our destination for romantic, special moments. We are so sad that it is gone forever.It was ravaged by a fire after christmas 2006.Yesterday, a party was held in memeorium.A Boat house by the water, also owned by the owners of manka, was the site of the event.Friends, workers, purveyors, all were there to lend their support and show their love and appreciation of what was.A portable wood oven was working hard at feeding crowds pizzas topped with foie gras and onions, wild mushrooms,tuna tartare.... local wines were flowing, tasty cheeses and treats, oysters and tamales could be sampled, stepping outside onto the deck where accordeon music filled the brisk and sunny day.Testimonials had been printed and covered the walls inside the main room and some were very nostalgic and even brought tears to my eyes. It was a nice "party" but I wished for a focus to the grief: what happened, how are they coping, what are the plans, people telling stories of their life with and without manka. We left and went for a walk on the beach close by.The waves were pounding, the sand plain.