Prepare for a stay at the Stanford Inn by the Sea to take your breath away, and restore it deeper than before. The coastal Mendocino, Calif., retreat’s perennially blooming landscape and flourishing gardens will naturally put you in the mood for romance’s assistant head gardener April Allard calls it the birds-and-bees factor.
Abundance from the certified-organic herb and vegetable gardens also inspires meals at Ravens’, the inn’s acclaimed vegetarian restaurant. Ravens’ sustainable fare fosters innkeepers Jeff and Joan Stanford’s devotion to vibrant health and mindful living. Jeff collaborates with Ravens’ chefs Sally Owens and Merlyn Alvarado and certified nutrition consultant Sid Hillman to serve nourishing and deliciously innovative cuisine.
For their special Valentine’s Day menu, the Ravens’ team features nature’s stores of aphrodisiac foods. These foods are believed to arouse the imagination (due to their resemblance to certain body parts) or otherwise quicken the pulse. Science confirms that promoting blood flow can boost potency; helping rev circulation are the allicin in garlic, arginine in cashews, and folic acid in asparagus.
Here, we offer a sampling of the menu, to savor in your very own love nest.January/February 2012 p.72
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Red Pepper Soup with Balsamic Reduction
“The capsaicin in the red pepper flakes helps raise body temperature, which is important for the libido,” says The Stanford Inn by the Sea coproprietor Jeff Stanford. Refrigerate extra soup for up to five days.more
Black Pepper Fettuccine with Chardonnay Sauce and Grilled Asparagus
“We created the Chardonnay sauce to be creamy and flavorful, arousing the senses,” says the Stanford Inn by the Sea coproprietor Jeff Stanford. Ravens’ serves house-made pasta; VT adapted the recipe to use dried fettuccine. Keep extra sauce in the fridge up to five days.more
Grilled Endive and Pear Salad
The pear symbolizes female fertility, notes the Stanford Inn by the Sea coproprietor Jeff Stanford. Cinnamon and cloves add spiciness, turning up the heat.more
Vegan Bananas Foster
“The cold ice cream and hot rum sauce signify the complementary energies of yin and yang, female and male,” says Stanford Inn by the Sea coproprietor Jeff Stanford. The serving size is generous—if you’re counting calories, make just one dessert to share.more