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A hidden 4-star in Prunedale

I'd never heard about the monthly dinners at Jim's, thanks! Our go to in Prunetucky has been BBQ from Prunedale Market. We were just there on Tuesday and brought a huge rack of ribs home.

about 4 hours ago
PattyC in California
1

Monterey/Carmel

I haven't had much luck eating around Cannery Row. The only place I can recommend there is the C Restaurant at the Clement. I like them for brunch and happy hour.

Otherwise, nearby I like Jeninni (wine bar/tapas) in Pacific Grove although Jeffrey Weiss just left and I haven't eaten there since his departure.

In Carmel, I like La Balena (Italian) and its more casual, no reservations off shoot, Il Grillo. Also Mundaka (tapas) and Basil (California/Mediterranean). Andre's Bouchee is good for traditional French. However I didn't find my last meal there (3 weeks ago) to be as good as previous visits. For fine dining, Aubergine has been consistently excellent for us. We were last there 4 weeks ago.

Inside Pebble Beach, I really like The Bench which is downstairs in the Lodge. It's our favorite view restaurant on the peninsula and place to take visitors.

Sep 01, 2015
PattyC in California

Pismo, Monterey, and something in between

Thanks for reporting back!

Aug 23, 2015
PattyC in California

Please recommend a hotel in Paris

At the sub €400/night price point, I've had good experiences at the Renaissance Vendome. It's has a low key, boutique feel. I've stayed in both the standard and superior rooms. The standard rooms are on the small side but still fine for two.

Aug 19, 2015
PattyC in France

Post Ranch Inn or Ventana?

The back side of Carmel Valley Rd and the vineyards at Hahn in the SLH

Aug 14, 2015
PattyC in California

Post Ranch Inn or Ventana?

Here are a couple of photos from Holman

Aug 14, 2015
PattyC in California

Post Ranch Inn or Ventana?

Most tasting rooms in the valley are offsite tasting rooms clustered around the village (you can walk between many of them) and not located at a winery as most valley vineyards are located farther out in Cachagua. A couple of exceptions that I know of are -

Folktale Winery, formerly Chateau Julien, just reopened under new ownership. I haven't been to the previous or new incarnation. The previous incarnation had a bad rep.

Holman Ranch which is just past the village. You can tour the ranch and vineyards and do a barrel tasting in the cellar in addition to tasting their current vintages in their village tasting room. You have to reserve the tour in advance. I posted a bit about it here beta.chowhound.com/post/weekend-firsts-monterey-peninsula-1011778

What kind of wines do you like? Mostly what's grown here are chardonnay and pinot noir. Bernardus is the biggie in the valley and added a nice patio last year. Chesebro is a small winemaker that I like. I would avoid Georis, overpriced mediocre wines IMO. I've heard good things about the new Carmel Valley Ranch wines.

The majority of our vineyards are located in the River Rd/Santa Lucia Highlands area which parallels 101. There you'll find onsite tasting rooms at actual vineyards. You can take Carmel Valley Rd heading east there. It's about an hour past the village on a gorgeous but very, very windy country road (no gas, no reception, no anything but scenery). We just did a River Rd/Carmel Valley loop last month.

Aug 14, 2015
PattyC in California

Pismo, Monterey, and something in between

Basil in Carmel and the C Restaurant in Monterey have had abalone on the menu. Akaoni in Carmel does abalone sashimi. I don't particularly seek it out at restaurants as we have the farm nearby but I'm sure there are many other places that have it on the menu too.

I liked the food I tried at a fundraiser at Montrio recently but it was small bites/finger food. I haven't had a full dinner there. I do love Tony Baker's bacon.

Aug 01, 2015
PattyC in California

Anything new in Paso Robles ...?

Pier 46 is in Templeton and they do have good simple food.

Jul 15, 2015
PattyC in California

Recommendations for August Cali Trip!

I agree there's a lack of dining options along Hwy 1 but it makes up for it in views. Rocky Point has improved lately but it's also too far north (only 12 miles south of Carmel) for most people doing the drive through Big Sur. Santa Cruz to SLO via Hwy 1 isn't too bad of a drive though I'd be inclined to overnight on the Monterey Peninsula if planning to tour Hearst as that will use up a couple of hours. If I'm traveling between Carmel and LA in one day, I always take 101 (or sometimes River Rd before getting on 101) as Hwy 1 makes it too long of a drive and 5 is too boring to be worth the small amount of time saved.

Jul 11, 2015
PattyC in California
1

Recommendations for August Cali Trip!

Salumeria Luca is another good place in Carmel to pick up picnic provisions. They're also turning out some good pastries these days, the only ones that can compete with Parker Lusseau on the Monterey Peninsula IMO.

I like Big Sur Bakery but haven't been in a while. I prefer to pack a picnic when going to Big Sur.

101 from Salinas to Paso Robles is mostly agricultural and not scenic. From Paso Robles south, it becomes more scenic. Unless you want to explore the Monterey County wineries along the River Road/Santa Lucia Highlands wine trail which parallels much of 101, I would take the much more scenic Hwy 1 to SLO. Or if you want to explore Paso Robles wine country, you could cut over to 101 a little earlier by taking 46 just south of Cambria to 101.

I've never found great food in Cambria. Depending on which route you end up taking, there are better options in Paso Robles and I also like Taco Temple in Morro Bay.

Jul 11, 2015
PattyC in California

Gusto Handcrafted Pasta and Pizza in Seaside

We were in the neighborhood and stopped for dinner at Gusto on a weekday last month. They were very busy and seem to be filling a niche although our food was a bit of a miss that night (both our pasta and seafood were overdone). I might wait a few months and give it another try.

Jun 15, 2015
PattyC in California

Dinner in Monterey/Carmel Recommendations

We had service and food quality issues at Pacific's Edge a few years ago so I'm not sure it's even a recent problem. I was hoping it would've improved with the recent chef change.

Jun 15, 2015
PattyC in California

2 weeks SF Bay Area to LA and back: 28 meals worth! (Pt 2/2)

I had breakfast at Lucia last month and thought the service was good but am not rushing to try dinner. Your comments are similar to others I've heard.

We did end up going to Jeninni for happy hour yesterday and thought it had markedly improved since our visit last year.

Jun 09, 2015
PattyC in California

2 weeks SF Bay Area to LA and back: 28 meals worth! (Pt 2/2)

Were you at Lucia for dinner? What else did you try besides pizza?

We may have to revisit Jeninni. We went early on and weren't impressed but I've been hearing good things lately.

Salumeria Luca has been turning out some good pastry lately to the point where I've been getting lazy about driving to Parker Lusseau.

Jun 08, 2015
PattyC in California

Carmel by the Sea

Anton & Michel is less special occasion to me. The food is continental, nothing too innovative, but well executed. They get the basics right (which can't be said for a lot of places).

For Italian, I like La Balena but it's very casual. The food has been consistently good for us and we recently hosted our anniversary dinner party there. It's my favorite casual restaurant here.

Andre's Bouchee is probably somewhere in between Anton & Michel and Aubergine or Sierra Mar in terms of being upscale. I've only had lunch there and thought it was very good. It's more traditional French.

Jun 04, 2015
PattyC in California

Carmel by the Sea

Marinus is no more. Both Marinus and Wickets have been replaced by Lucia since the remodel. I've only had breakfast at Lucia and feel unable to properly judge based on that meal. The dinner menu is mostly a la carte though there is still a 4 course.

Sierra Mar might be a good lunch option if heading down to Big Sur. They offer a 3 or 5 course for lunch.

Aubergine is only full tasting now (except the once monthly Terroir series).

Jun 04, 2015
PattyC in California

Carmel by the Sea

syrahgirl,
Have you been to Pacific's Edge since the new exec chef started late last year? We had a very disappointing meal under the previous chef and have been loathe to return. The restaurant felt like it was all about the view and was one of the worst fine dining experiences we've ever had.

May 15, 2015
PattyC in California

Three nights in Monterey

My favorites in Carmel are La Balena, Basil and Mundaka. Barmel is a hangout for us too. For dining with a view, I like The Bench at Pebble Beach. I've been wanting to try 1833 in Monterey again since Jason Franey took over the kitchen and will probably do so later this month (please report back if you go). Go to their facebook page if you want to see the current menu as their website is out of date. Jeninni Kitchen in Pacific Grove is doing a ramen pop up next Tuesday.

May 05, 2015
PattyC in California

A weekend of firsts on the Monterey Peninsula

And now Bill Lee is out! http://ediblemontereybay.com/blog/bil...

May 05, 2015
PattyC in California

Carmel dog friendly patio restaurants

Thanks for reporting back!

May 04, 2015
PattyC in California

A weekend of firsts on the Monterey Peninsula

They're offering a local's 3 course menu for dinner. We may go back and try that.

Apr 30, 2015
PattyC in California

A weekend of firsts on the Monterey Peninsula

Our former neighbors came for a visit which gave us the impetus to try a few new places over the weekend.

The first one was Rocky Point Restaurant for lunch on Saturday. This place has had so many management/chef changes that I've struggled to keep up. Our current neighbors said to go quick now so we did. I can say we were pleasantly surprised having had zero expectations. The food is definitely decent for a view restaurant and where else are you going to look out onto Bixby Bridge? My husband and I shared the calamari starter (which was huge) and crab sliders. We liked the calamari better than the sliders but both agreed we'd return at least in its current incarnation. The forward patio is dog friendly.

Dinner on Saturday night was at Flying Fish Grill. I'd heard raves about this place (locally, not through CH) and it was very busy. I had the scallop & gulf prawns and my husband had the seafood pasta. We felt that nothing particularly stood out and we've had better examples of Pacific fusion. The owners are very warm and personable and I wanted to like it more.

Breakfast on Sunday was at the recently re-opened Bernardus Lodge. Gone are Marinus and Wickets and it's just Lucia now. We'd never been in its former incarnation so don't know what its previous layout was but the restaurant is located to the left as your enter with the terrace at the front. Breakfast was pleasant and service was good though I also find it hard to judge a restaurant based on breakfast. Dinner is served in the same location while lunch is only served on the patio behind the entry/reception area. This area has more of a passageway feel but I was told you could bring your dog here whereas the breakfast/dinner restaurant terrace was off limits to dogs which I found puzzling since the lodge itself is dog friendly and you can enter the restaurant terrace from the outside. The renovations looked nice and I'm hoping someone else will sample dinner and report back ;)

We finished the weekend with the Vine to Wine tour at Holman Ranch. This is a two hour ATV vineyard tour and barrel tasting including a tour of the restored hacienda which is mainly used for events. Not many vineyards in this area give official tours so it was a treat to be able to take our guests there and we all had a blast. The price is $50 per person but free for wine club members.

Apr 27, 2015
PattyC in California

Group/family friendly lunch/brunch on a Saturday in March in Napa

Just wanted to report back that Tarla worked very well for us. They put us in the dining area to the right as you enter. That room probably could've held about a dozen more than our group. We went with a 2 course with family style starters and 3 choices of mains. Service was efficient. They brought the starters to our tables shortly after we were seated, took the kids orders which I believe was just from their regular kids menu and then the adults orders. Everyone enjoyed their food though my cousin said the kids chicken was oddly very spicy. Thanks everyone for your help!

The wedding itself was at Auberge du Soleil and I have to say that was the best wedding food I've ever had!

Apr 26, 2015
PattyC in San Francisco Bay Area

A California Chef's Dish-Pit Hack Could Help Restaurants Address the Drought

We were just discussing this with Emanuele at La Balena last night as he's thinking of getting one. The only issue is the noise especially with the smaller ones mentioned in the article as they'd need to cycle on more often.

Apr 25, 2015
PattyC in California

Carmel dog friendly patio restaurants

Yes the dog seating at Casanova is limited to the front patio or a small side patio in the back. The courtyard areas are off limits. The food has had its ups and downs over the years but our recent lunch was good.

La Balena is our favorite dog friendly restaurant here.

I agree that the patio at Basil is somewhat lacking in ambiance. It's prettier during the day.

If you want nice ambiance, Anton & Michel has outdoor tables surrounding a reflecting pool and they also have an outdoor fire pit.

I think the food at Mundaka is excellent. The patio seating is limited to a few tables and there are no heaters so keep that in mind.

The food at Little Napoli is meh.

Also Carmel Belle has remodeled and expanded since my earlier post. The last time we were there with our dog, they said we could sit anywhere. They recently added an indoor fire pit and are also serving dinner Wed through Sat night.

Even if you don't eat at Terry's, I'd pop in for the weekend entertainment. It takes place in their living room with the grand piano and fireplace. If you get there early, you and your dog can grab one of the couches and enjoy some live music. There will be lots of other dogs.

Both Rustica and Corkscrew out in Carmel Valley are good. We also like Lokal but again their patio is somewhat lacking in ambiance.

Apr 25, 2015
PattyC in California

Carmel dog friendly patio restaurants

Mundaka also has patio seating. Basil and Casanova are still good. If you want to venture out of Carmel, I also like The Bench at the Lodge at Pebble Beach and I just came from lunch today at Rocky Point Restaurant. I thought the food was very respectable for a view restaurant, not as good as The Bench, but boy what a stunning view!

Apr 25, 2015
PattyC in California

Carmel by the Sea

Aubergine!

Apr 25, 2015
PattyC in California

New pastries at Salumeria Luca in Carmel

As if I don't go in there enough, Salumeria Luca has introduced an expanded line of pastries this week. They're the only ones I've found to be on par with Parker Lusseau on the Monterey Peninsula. This is a pic from today. Yesterday they also had kouign amann. I may be in there every day :)

Apr 03, 2015
PattyC in California
1

Chef Lee’s Mandarin House for Banquet Service (Monterey)

This reminds me I still haven't braved any Chinese restaurants on the peninsula.

Mar 21, 2015
PattyC in California