Today, Duarte’s vegetable garden is just behind the restaurant. The three full-time gardeners grow Ron Duarte’s pick of artichokes, onions and leeks, many kinds of beans and peas, lettuce and squash, chard, fennel, herbs, olallieberries and strawberries. There are pole beans and rhubarb varieties that Frank Duarte brought from his homeland, the Azores. The restaurant’s artichoke soup is so popular that the garden simply feeds our own family with artichokes; hundreds arrive at least twice a week from two other local family growers.
Duarte’s Tavern is in Pescadero, a coastal farming community, so quiet in the morning you can hear the waves crash on the beach two miles away. It is a valley of fava beans and brussel sprouts, pastures of cows and goats, egrets in the marsh and hawks in the creekside trees. It is as serene and lovely as it was a century ago. It is where friends meet.