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Carmel -anything good?

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Heading to Carmel next weekend for a family getaway. We are six adults and one very well behaved two year old, all with great appetites and enthusiasm for good food.
Although we will probably eat dinner out only one night, it will be a celebratory night, in the "you're 70-something!" kind of way.
Any suggestions for dinner, lunches and good bakeries/coffee houses would be most appreciated.
Also, favoriate markets, farm stands, food stores, etc. are always of interest.

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  1. We are not really that familiar with Carmel, but everytime we go there we have lunch at Anton and Michel's. It's in a very nice space away from the main drag, facing a fountain courtyard. The food is California Continental.

    1. We are thinking of Flying Fish. The website looks pretty good, if a little generic.
      The last post on FF was from 2005, IIRC, anyone been lately?
      Again, any suggestions for good markets would be appreciated, we are planning to do some cooking too.

      3 Replies
      1. re: rabaja

        We walked by a small market on San Carlos(?), half a block south of Ocean. Looks promising, but we didn't really go inside for an investigation.

        1. re: rabaja

          my last visit was at least that long ago, so can't give you more recent. I can tell you that it is quite a small place so be sure to get a reservation if going with a group that big.

          1. re: rabaja

            Flying Fish is wonderful, my husband and I were there in September and it was great, the service was memorable, we had one of the nicest waiters we have ever encountered, the wine list is also very well matched to their menu and they give very generous pours!

            As far as a destination for a special occasion dinner, Flying Fish is pretty small and can get very loud. If this is a Birthday for a 70 something year old you may be more comfortable At a place like Pacific's Edge where you will have a wonderful meal, but you'll pay dearly for it.

          2. Ok, so you should do a search on Carmel/Monterey on this board and get yourself a host of suggestions as to where to eat.

            The Farmer's Markets are numerous (thank you, Lord) on the Peninsula. Tuesday's there is the 11 AM market at the Barnyard ( Ithink this is still happening). Then later in the afternoon is the market in downtown Monterey. Given that about 25% of downtown burned down a week or two ago, and I suspect that the market is affected.

            On Thursday's is the another market at MPC from 2:30 to 5:30. Not so much walk away eats here as the afternoon Tuesday market.

            On Saturday morning in Salinas is the other market and there is a good assortment of take away food.

            There is a Whole Foods in the Del Monte shopping center but after reading the Ominivore's Dilemma, I am felling a little slowed down with respect to the organic movement.

            Earthbound Farms has a lovely stand halfway into Carmel Valley, but see above for the subdued organic feeling.

            Bechler's bakery also blew up during the ATT. Bummer. I hope they dig out soon. We still have Parker-Lusseau for crosissants and such.

            1. I think Bouchee is an excellent restaurant although they just changed chefs. I have eaten with the new cheg and it is still very good. Pacific Edge at the Highlands Inn is exceptional with a great view. Mark Ayers is the chef and does an outstanding job. Excellent wine list. Another great place in Carmel is Cassonova's. Excellent food and atmosphere.

              1. If you're willing to throw down some coin, I always tell people head south to Big Sur and eat at the restaurant at the Post Ranch Inn, but do it during daylight hours on a clear day. The food is amazing but the view is even better. I grew up a block from the ocean, and this is one of the two best ocean views I've ever seen, the other being the view from the Roman villa at the peak of the mountain on the island of Capri. If you can squeeze in a drink at the Ventana (just across the road) beforehand, even better (sit outside and bring a sweater, just in case). You'll spend some money but it'll be worth it.

                1. I have not been to Carmel in a few years (I'm an East Coaster) but Carmel-by-the-Sea has wonderful restaurants as does Fisherman's wharf in Monterey. I remember a meal at a restaurant in Carmel called (I think) Casanova and the food was beautifully prepared. There was Stokes Adobe in Monterey , quite good. On Fisherman's Wharf there was Ablonetti's for great Italian/seafood. Oh, I'd like to be in Carmel now!!