By Shannon Perkins | Photos by Michael Batty
Restaurant 301. The Carter House. The bar and lounge. At L and 3rd in Eureka, fine, fresh dining meets Victorian-era style. Restaurant 301 and hotel face Humboldt Bay, with views of the Carter House and the marina. The restaurant opened in the late 1980s after Mark Carter and a small crew finished construction on a house across the street. The Carter House was built from blueprints of an 1884 Queen Anne style structure which burned down in the famous 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. Today, the restaurant and bar boast garden-to-table dining and garden-to-glass cocktails from an edible flower and vegetable garden planted 27 years ago. This means your basil-muddled martinis and lemon verbena-laced bourbons are about as fresh as physically possible. Try a bourbon with mint so fresh it’s chilled by the autumn air, house-made lemon verbena syrup, St. Germain, and thyme. You’ll be back for a second, and a third.
Creative and knowledgeable staff like Michael L’Allier and Jessica Cenotti provide delicious beverages and the information you need to know. Did you know that 301 has a happy hour from 4:00 – 6:00 pm? Get martinis and Manhattans for two and half dollars! Cut 25% off all cocktails, save the top-shelf selections. “The creativity and freedom to write menus and make drinks are some highlights here,” said L’Allier of his work at the cocktail lounge. Each evening a drink is showcased, with recipes developed by your bartender. Locals and tourists gather to imbibe, and on this November night, the bar was comfortably full. The highlight drink was Cenotti’s Pilgrim Punch: vodka, cranberry and apple juices, ginger ale, and the freshest rosemary sprig. A refreshing drink with the warming effect of ginger ale, the balance of alcohol to mix makes this drink go down easy and the vodka hold its proof in the end. From the garden comes fresh rosemary, mint, thyme, lemon verbena, basil, and mirco-greens: The panache that brings a glass to life.
Enjoy your beverage in the bar, the lounge, or both. Stephanie Pfeifer of Arcata stopped by with other locals after a work function. “Looking around,” she said of her first impression, “it’s the beautiful woodwork on the bar, the ambiance, the fireplace, and the location.” Outside, it’s two blocks from the boardwalk and the views of sailboats and crabbing vessels. Inside the restaurant, combine a daily sea-fresh menu with fresh cocktails for a perfect time.
If you or your company prefer wine, the Restaurant 301 wine list contains over 3,500 selections. Carter Cellars has also made their own since 1998…and won the Wine Spectator Grand Award for the last eleven years, a prestigious award with only 74 other restaurants in the world recognized.
The place is a must-see. For Happy Hour, dinner, breakfast or lunch. 800-404-1390