Under two hours away a building in Placerville, California encases a world all its own: Enchanted Forest Dining. Set within an enchanted Celtic forest is a dining experience you have to see to believe. Dining tables filled with magically lit glittery resin streams are tucked within Nature Fort Booths for an intimate setting, or beneath an Enchanted Tree for an immersive experience. The ceiling and fort booth arbors are draped with ivy and florals that give a truly ethereal wonder.
Once seated, you are presented with a light-up souvenir floral fairy crown to wear and illuminate your menu. Aside from a visual experience that mirrors something from Disney, their menu is filled with thematic dishes complete with gluten-free and vegan options. The Enchanted Forest specializes in fondue both of the savory and sweet varieties. Lucky for us even when we visit the Middle Ages, vegan chocolate exists, as does vegan cheese that is sent back in time courtesy of Daiya.
We started with the Vegan Cheese Fondue with assorted dippings. A pot of vegan Daiya mozzarella cheese, herbs, and rosé in place of mead is stirred over a hot plate in our Nature Fort. I was tasked with the stirring, and in a matter of minutes, we had a gooey, melty, and even stretchy cheese fondue to enjoy. The savory fondue is served with sourdough bread, chopped veggies, and sliced apples. The fondue was salty, briny, and most of all comforting. I will have to test out to vegan chocolate fondue next visit, as this was both impressive and fun.
For my main course, I opted for the Stuffed Portabella Mushroom, although there were several other menu items that could be modified vegan that also caught my attention. The large mushroom is filled with perfectly cooked and seasoned lentils, vegan Italian sausage, fire-roasted bell peppers, onions, marinara sauce, and is topped with vegan Daiya brand mozzarella and a balsamic glaze. The dish was savory with robust seasoning reminiscent of Italian cooking. It was served alongside roasted seasonal vegetables with a slight snap in bite and a bright salad dressed with beets and pumpkin seeds. This was a supremely filling meal that is fit for a queen.
Enchanted Forest Dining is open with their full menu Thursdays-Sundays, and reservations are suggested. Their neighboring restaurant “Pies of the World” is open Monday-Friday with an “Enchanted Indoor Picnic” option where you can order your pies and then eat at one of the nooks within the Enchanted Forest restaurant outside of its normal operating hours. Pies of the World has gluten-free and vegan pie options as well, but I haven’t had a chance to try out that menu just yet.
This was the first to come of my “When in Town” blog series, where I will feature vegan finds that are just that. After lunch, we shopped up and down Main Street which is filled with gift shops and antique stores, and for next time, Apple Hill is only a few minutes up the highway. Is this something you would drive to Placerville to experience?
Enchanted Forest Dining Location: 372 Main St. Placerville, CA 95667