As the Mendocino Coast gears up for its annual Purple Urchin Festival, the Little River Inn is set to host a remarkable event that promises to delight food and whiskey enthusiasts alike. Timed perfectly to coincide with the festival from Friday, June 14 to Sunday, June 16, the iconic inn will offer a one-of-a-kind Uni and Whiskey Pairing Dinner on Saturday, June 15, 2024. This unique culinary experience will be held in the charming Abalone Room at 6:30 pm.

A Feast for the Senses

Chef de Cuisine Joe Perez has crafted an exquisite menu that places the delicate flavors of uni (sea urchin) at the forefront of each dish. Paired with his culinary creations, whiskey expert Jonathan Darrow will present an array of Japanese whiskies, each selected to complement the uni-centric dishes. Guests will not only savor these flavors but also gain insights into the local tidal environment and the significance of urchins in the ecosystem.

The six-course menu is designed to take diners on a gastronomic journey, each course meticulously paired with a fine Japanese whiskey. The event promises to be both educational and indulgent, showcasing the versatility and richness of uni.

Menu Highlights:

  • Passed Appetizers: Oyster shooter with Uni garnish and Uni Nigiri/Crispy Rice
  • 1st Course: Consommé/Umami Brodo with Uni
  • 2nd Course: Peppery Greens Salad with Uni Vinaigrette
  • 3rd Course: Squid Ink Pasta with Uni Bechamel
  • 4th Course: Beef Medallion with Smoked Uni Butter
  • Dessert: Brown Butter Cupcake with “Uni” Butter Cream

Event Details

  • Event: Uni and Whiskey Pairing Dinner
  • Date: Saturday, June 15, 2024
  • Location: Little River Inn’s Abalone Room
  • Time: 6:30 pm
  • Price: $250 per person

Celebrating the Ocean’s Bounty

In addition to this exclusive dinner, the Little River Inn is offering a special Oceanic Cocktail to honor the sea. The Van Damme Seaweed Spritzer, available from May 18 to June 16, 2024, during the North Coast KelpFest!, is a refreshing concoction of locally foraged seaweed and cucumber-infused vodka, mixed with dry cucumber soda and garnished with a seaweed pickled cucumber ribbon. This cocktail is available at the Little River Inn restaurant and Ole’s Whale Watch Bar for $15.

Embrace the KelpFest!

This year, the Mendocino Coast Purple Urchin Festival is joined by the North Coast KelpFest!, a month-long celebration that highlights the beauty and benefits of the irreplaceable underwater ecosystem. The KelpFest! offers a variety of events and activities designed to educate and engage the community in the preservation and appreciation of kelp forests.

An Unforgettable Experience

The Uni and Whiskey Pairing Dinner at Little River Inn is more than just a meal; it’s an immersive experience that celebrates the unique flavors of the sea and the artistry of fine whiskey. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, this event is a must-attend for those looking to enjoy the finest culinary and whiskey pairing against the stunning backdrop of the Mendocino Coast.

Reserve your spot today for an unforgettable evening of taste, education, and celebration.