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That Restaurant in Pacific Grove

c
cajeska Aug 19, 2007 08:57 PM

No, not Passionfish. It's been 12-24 months since I've read about it, but wasn't there a new upscale restaurant in the oldtown section of PG on Lighthouse? I think I even read a review about it on Chowhound, but I can't find any trace of it now. Thanks for any help.

  1. Hungryfina Aug 21, 2007 04:09 PM

    Just for a different point of view - I went to Melange on Saturday night and hated it. I was honestly embarrassed to have brought my family there. I was nervous at first when I saw the place, frumpy is probably the best adjective to describe it. It looked like a small town restaurant trying to be fancy - this should have been my first clue.

    To start I had the lobster hand roll and my sister had the shrimp with fried polenta. Both dishes were served with sauces that were far to heavy and goopey for the delicate fish they were supposed to compliment. The lobster and shrimp were both fine (not over or undercooked) but seriously needed some brighter, lighter sauces. For the main course I had the chicken and my sister had the duck. The chicken was so dry and plain that it was barely edible. I wished I could have saved the pool of left over sauce from my appetizer to try to moisten the chicken and give it some sort of flavor. The chicken came with a side of barely cooked risotto that was far too crunchy for me to try more than one spoonful. The duck however was even worse, it was half gray. Now I eat out a lot, and love duck, and I have never seen it such a weird color. My sister didn't have a bite because she was afraid of getting food poisoning.

    On top of all of this the service was horribly slow and not very knowledgeable. All in all it was a very frustrating experience. Since Monterey is so close to San Francisco, I'd think there should be more than a couple of decent restaurants. I very very rarely give bad reviews - but I want to make sure other people don't end up as disappointed as I was. Needless to say I left without dessert and will not be going back.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Hungryfina
      g
      gordon wing Aug 22, 2007 07:21 PM

      thanks for sharing your experience with the board ... will look forward to more feedback. our experience was so different from yours? consistency ... the holy grail of restaurants.

      1. re: Hungryfina
        s
        sweetnspicy Aug 23, 2007 12:01 AM

        WOW! I guess every restaurant has an off night! I had a very enjoyable lunch at Melange! I had the same shrimp, and didn't feel the sauce took over that much, maybe the shrimp wasn't the shining star but overall it was enjoyable, as was everything else! I would return! I can say I wasn't WOWED but I was by no means disappointed with food or service.

        1. re: sweetnspicy
          m
          Moka Aug 23, 2007 09:33 AM

          Good to hear they're open for lunch now -- will have to give that a try sometime.

      2. m
        Moka Aug 19, 2007 09:26 PM

        Could it be Melange you're thinking of?

        Here's my first report of it:
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/329079

        4 Replies
        1. re: Moka
          c
          cajeska Aug 19, 2007 09:31 PM

          That's it - thanks! Have you been there recently? My wife's birthday is in a few weeks and I'm looking for a restaurant for us to celebrate.

          1. re: cajeska
            h
            harryd Aug 19, 2007 10:32 PM

            I have been to Melange a number of times over the past few months. In my view, it's one of the better restaurants around. That's especially true if you like wine.

            The Melange staff are wine people and that makes a big difference for me. Wine prices are reasonable, not much above regular retail, and they also offer two different flites each day, one white and one red, following a particular theme.

            As far as the food goes, Melange reminds me of Manresa, in terms of style. It's not Manresa yet in terms of sophistication, but it's not nearly as expensive either. Figure about $40 per person, not including wine.

            The service is professional, yet friendly. It's the kind of place that they will remember your name the next time you visit.

            Melanage's monthly 5-course wine dinners on the 3rd Tuesdays, at $85 including tax, tip, and wine, are a bargain, considering what you get.

            1. re: cajeska
              m
              Moka Aug 20, 2007 10:03 AM

              We stopped in again for dinner at Melange a couple of months ago and enjoyed it very much. The three of us started off with: Sashimi with avocado sorbet, a silken lobster bisque and the lobster hand roll with cognac-cream sauce, again -- (don't miss that). All VERY good. This time we tried some of the 2 oz. tasting pours that they sell for about $2.50 each -- it was fun to experiment with a few new wines so inexpensively. Our server was a big help in that area.

              Mains were: Sturgeon stuffed with duxelles (perfectly cooked), the Roast Duck (I forget the sides) and a Squab with a "ragout" of vegetables and Sicilian sausage, all very well-executed dishes, although squab is probably not my favorite bird. We had a tasty bottle of Syrah (Beckman?, Stolpman?) that was a special promotion and less than $20/bottle--a nice wine and a very good value. I understand the menu changes often.

              Melange has a relaxed elegance and a staff that makes you feel comfortable and welcome. They are very knowledgeable, yet completely unpretentious.
              We'll be there again next month for one of our anniversary dinners and hope to try the chef's tasting menu with wine pairings, probably the easiest way to put it all together. Hope this helps, and if you go, I'd love to read your report!

              1. re: cajeska
                g
                gordon wing Aug 20, 2007 01:04 PM

                We reallly enjoyed our meal at Melange. Here's a link to our experience:

                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/361989

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