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Sep 9, 2007 06:03 PM

Carmel restaurants

We are Toronto Chowhounds and will be in Carmel for 2 nights. We are considering Bouchee for one dinner, but have not seen any recent reviews. Can anyone help? What about Passion Fish or Flying Fish? Any suggestions for a couple of great meals would be much appreciated!

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  1. Was just there a few weeks ago and the dining scene is definitely tourist oriented. Was happy to find Luca, an Italian place, excellent charcuterie, had a great carbonara, and wood fired pizzas.

    If you venture over to Pebble Beach, Stillwater at the Main Lodge is good but over priced (being Pebble Beach.)

    3 Replies
    1. re: Dan Wodarcyk

      I second this recommendation. We were at Cantinetta with a party of 6 this Sat. We enjoyed ourselves so much, we nearly forgot our 7:30 curtain call......the main reason for being in the area.

      The service was helpful, firendly and efficient (my experience with Bouchee was the exact opposite). The waiter suggested that he could put together an appetizer platter and we agreed. Wow! A ton of food arrived on a long plank. It was great because he included many items that we would not have chosenfor ourselves..........many different varieties of proscuitto and salami, fresh homemade Buffalo Mozzarella (THE BEST! Soft and flavorful), Ahi with olives, Rissotto Balls, Prawns with Canella was all great.

      Our dishes (Pasta Faggiole, Bolognese and Polla al Mattone) were well portioned and very tastey although it was hard to find something that struck our fancy when ordering.

      The somelier gave a wonderful recommendation for a great Brunello.

      We had to scoot out before desert....what shame,

      1. re: MSK

        Your appetizer platter at Cantinetta Luca sounds great. I wonder if they'd do that for a smaller party of 2 or 3, because tables are small and the many small-plate dishes and glasses can overwhelm the table quickly. I agree, the salumi is tasty. For us, the rich, wine-braised lamb shank infused with olives was the stand-out, served with a little pot of one of the richest risottos I've ever tasted. The Sangiovese/Syrah blend red was delicious with the lamb. Entree portions are large and meant to be shared, which we did.

        Was your experience with Bouchee within the last few months with the new chef or previous to that with the former?

        1. re: Moka

          Our server specifically compiled this order for a table for 6. We were so busy chatting that we did not have time to focus on the menu initially so he just offered to take care of it. I'm sure they could do the same for 2 and you could even be specific if there were items you did not care for. Don't you just love Tapas style sharing???

          Our experience at Bouchee was almost exactly 1 year ago (my husband's birthday) and I posted a review here:

          It was not in it's most recent incarnation although it was not the food that we had issue with. We have also heard from others who have had good experiences there.

    2. We used to positively love Passionfish, when we lived in Monterey.

      I'd definitely recommend giving it a shot.

      Here is the link to the restaurant:

      701 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950

        1. re: wally

          Isn't Carmel/Monterey considered broader San Francisco Bay Area?

          1. re: Dan Wodarcyk

            No, there are 9 Bay Area counties that touch the Bay. San Francisco, Marin, Napa, Sonoma,Solano, Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara and San Mateo. There is a post somewhere on this site that has an actual map as a link.

        2. If you want to do something more fun and casual, pick up some picnic fare from the Cheese Shop in the shopping plaza by the Saks Fifth Ave. My husband and I always save a meal spot for that; pick up some cheese, crackers, wine and other goodies and take it to the beach and have a picnic. Its on Ocean & Junipero.

          3 Replies
          1. re: trebenstein

            Saks is gone and has been replaced by Wilks Bashford and Anthropology but the Cheese shop is still in the mall if anyone is confused.

            1. re: MSK

              Oi, it's been way too long since I've been in Carmel. Thank God the Cheese shop is still there.

            2. re: trebenstein

              Speaking of the Cheese Shop and Carmel Plaza, the next two Friday nights (5-7 pm) are the last in the summer series, Jazz at the Plaza. Each week there's been a different local jazz band playing and a different Monterey county winery pouring. The Cheese Shop contributes lots of (what else?) cheese and apps. This Friday's winery is Lockwood. Cost is $15.

              While at the Cheese Shop (really, don't miss it), check to see if theres a bottle of the Santa Lucia Highlands pinot noir made by one of the shop's partners. It's a great value and a very nice wine.