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Monterey Peninsula Short Report

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Recently returned from a short vacation in Monterey. Having done some research on this board beforehand, I thought I'd share our experiences:

Lattitudes at Lovers Point
Nice sand dabs, poor crab cakes and nothing much to recommend.
Location, location, location does not mean you can get away with worse than below average.

Duck Club Grill
As a French Onion Soup connoisseur I was very pleased with my appetizer.
Braised pork shank which followed was competent but lacking seasoning and character.
The Mrs had a golden beets appetizer which she loved, followed by the Steinbeck duck which also went down very well. She also had a chocolate dessert of which I can’t remember there being any left on the plate. My Armagnac to go with my double espresso was poured by a generous hand too.

Café Fina
Firstly, it was July 4th so they were busy. Service was consequently patchy if well meaning. Twice the drink I had ordered was delivered to the next table. Our clam chowders were very nice, as was the garlic butter which came with the bread.
After that it all went downhill. Our waiter told us the reason our entrees took 40 minutes to arrive was because the Mrs had ordered a Pizza Puttanesca. (Pizzas taking so long to cook, of course). When it did arrive there were no anchovies on it and it was clear my halibut had been sitting for 30 of those 40 minutes. Cue one complaint, and to their credit, no charge for either entrée.

Pacific’s Edge
Go for the view and be delighted by the food and the ambiance. If you are a fan of Manhattans, have the “Aristocrat” before dining.
I had abalone to start, which was a first for me. Good sized portion came with lemon coulis and a garlic flan. Loved it from first bite to last. The Mrs had a brussel sprout salad with dry ricotta, grapes and an apple-bacon vinaigrette which was fine.
We both had the rack of Colorado lamb with turnip, gorgonzola bread pudding and rosemary glaze. Turnip was a bit pale and superfluous, but the rest was heavenly. Devoured by both of us. I couldn’t resist the cheese plate to finish. Idiazabal and Epoisses were very good, Montbriac was average compared to the first two.

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