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Jul 5, 2009 09:27 PM

Taste Bistro vs Village Fish House (Monterey)

Hello Monterey Hounds,

I am going to be in the area soon and need some advice on deciding between the two restaurants. I am a HUGE fan of Passionfish in PG but am searching for a different taste/preparation/philosophy on the same kind of ingredients I can get at Passionfish. I narrowed it down to these two restaurants an I guess in the end I am looking for a good back-up restaurant to Passionfish. I really like seafood and was wondering if anyone had dined at either restaurant recently and which dishes are can't miss!

Thanks in Advance!

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  1. My husband and I spent Sunday night (the 5th) in Monterey and were delighted to receive an offhand tip from the front desk staff at our hotel. I don't know if you are referring to Monterey's Fish House on Del Monte in your posting title, but we ate there and found it absolutely divine! Low key, locals-only type place away from Cannery Row and the tourist area. Very inexpensive. I had an excellent almond-honey-crusted halibut which was supremely fresh, served with a creamy rigatoni pasta and Asian-style vegies. I was so glad that my carrots and snow peas were NOT al dente, as I actually like my vegies somewhat tender. For my taste, the vegies were perfect. My husband had a lovely scallop scampi made with bits of bell pepper, served with linguini. This is not a 'gourmet' restaurant but honest food with superior fresh fish and quite inexpensive. The average fish dish was probably around $17. Highly recommended!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Vikzen

      That's a good description of Monterey Fish House. I find it a little crowded and noisy (but so is Passionfish). Dishes are less cutting edge than PF, but good solid traditional Mty Peninsula fare.

      Taste is more innovative, imho, and I have eaten there several times over the years. On my last visit (a couple of years ago), I didn't feel like the place was as creative as it used to be. Maybe it was just that I didn't especially like the treatment of sand dabs, which had an eggy breading with no crunch. Though the buerre blanc sauce served with them was good. I do love their red oak leaf lettuce salad and the old world tasting chicken apple sausages with red cabbage. Probably less of a seafood emphasis here than at MFH or PF.

      I would suggest that OP look over the menus.

      1. re: Ed Dibble

        Ed, I'm very confused. The OP refers to the Village Fish House. Isn't it in the Valley? Maybe she meant the Monterey Fish House. BTW, do you know anything about the Village Fish House?

        1. re: Gail

          I believe the Village Fish House is a branch of the the Monterey Fish House. If OP is in Mty, I can't imagine wanting to drive to Carmel Valley for dinner. Of course, the Village Fish House may offer different dishes. If anyone is better informed than I, please chime in!

    2. Thanks for the input so far everyone! I am staying in Pacific Grove and once I realized that Monterey Fish House and the Valley Fish House were of the same family I decided that I would prefer to stay in Monterey. I am definitely looking for a seafood based cuisine so I will probably exclude Taste on the recommendations so far. I love Passionfish and how the chef is willing to experiment with the seasonal ingredients that the menu at Fish House looks boring. I guess it will probably end up being Passionfish!

      3 Replies
      1. re: gmk1322

        Since you'll be in PG, The Red House Cafe gets all sorts of kudos on another board. I gather it's more of a lunch place. If you haven't tried it, you might give it a short...looks real cute.

        1. re: Gail

          Just stay away from The Red House's buckwheat waffle -- gray, soggy blob unlike any waffle I'd have ever seen before. However, when the food server saw my husband's disappointment, a very satisfying replacment was promptly provided.

          1. re: Stephanie Wong

            Oh well, it happens. Sounds like my cooking.