Fish House - Monterey's
Has anyone been to the Fish House-<Monterey's? I hear the food is great but is it nice enough for a special dinner (mom's birthday - we are coming from San Francisco)? Other choice is Passionfish. Can anyone compare and contrast the two restaurants, including food, wine, service, ambience? Thanks.
Passionfiish will be a more local experience for sure....for whatever that's worth!
Haven't been to the Fish House in many years.....not to say it isn't good....haven't been to Passionfish in years either as I no longer live in CA...
Passionfish would be a better choice in my opinion. I've been to both places and find the Fish House to be a bit crowded and not much for ambience.
Passionfish has a great menu and a really good wine list that is priced similar to what you would find at any market. They do not have huge mark-ups. The service has always been great and they are very accomodating.
For a special occasion I would recommend Robert's White House in PG. I like Passionfish but it feels much more crowded (tables are much closer) than the White House and the service is also not as good. Foodwise they are quite different but both very good and it is more personal preference.
I'd rather spend my birthday at Passionfish than just about anywhere, and probably will, but if you go on a weekend, it won't be any quieter than Fish House. Neither one is much for ambiance, though PF probably has a slight edge, if nothing else because you walk past part of their wine cellar on entry.
The wine list at PF is far superior, and markups are quite low. Prices at PF may be similar to retail, but the wines are *not* ones you will find at your neighborhood market!
I think the food is much better at PF too, though some of the dishes can be surprisingly spicy. However, tables are close together, as honkman says, and it can get noisy on weekends. I have had good luck with service at PF, whereas the one or two times I ate at Fish House (it has been a while) it was sloooowww, but that might be because I was with groups both time (had it been my choice, I would have gone to Passionfish, though one of the visits was probably before PF was PF....)
I'd say, if your mother loves good wine and seafood take her to PF. Otherwise, I'd consider a choice other than *either* FIsh House or Passionfish...
I ate at Monterey Fish House just over a year ago. The food was delicious, but the ambiance was poor.
Located in a remodeled stucco bungalow, its is tight. No waiting area except a u-shaped open bar at the back of the main dining room. Original living room is the best place to dine, near the fireplace. If you are totaly unlucky as our party of 8 was, you'll be put in the doorway between the two rooms, where the decibel levels approach 90 during the dinner hour. The kitchen (open doorway) and bus station are 2 steps behind that table. Absolutely horrendous noise levels. (Think: the little 'bomb' icon from the Pinkie)
Great oak-grilled artichokes, very good crab cake and salad. Others delighted in the salmon and other seafood entrees.
I'd say this is more casual than you'd want and too noisy or Mom to enjoy herself. Try it some time during the week.