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Monterey: Stokes closed, now what do I do?

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I realize that this may not be a widely-shared opinion on this board, but Stokes Adobe was one of my favorite restaurants, period. We live in New York and visit Monterey every year or so, and something about the romantic setting, the service, the fantastic drinks and the food together added up to exactly what we wanted every year we came out.

Last week I tried to make reservations for this January, and lo and behold, Stokes is gone! I know there are other great places in Monterey, and honestly have never bothered trying them for various reasons, so I suppose now is the time to correct that - though I have concerns about a few for the romantic-night-out that I'm looking for. I've heard great things about Passionfish, and probably am leaning towards it right now, but wonder if it's too modern and New Yorky in atmosphere; Red House looks a bit more casual than I was hoping for; Sardine Factory, on the other hand, seems like it may be _too_ formal.

So, am I missing anything? Should I stick with Passionfish, or is there something else nearby (or in Carmel, or otherwise within a reasonable drive) that would hit what I'm looking for square on the nose?

Sorry for being so specific; I would say that I'll try not to compare whatever we end up doing to Stokes, but I can guaranty that my wife will be making the same comparison even if I'm not...

Thanks!

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Passionfish
701 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950

Sardine Factory
701 Wave Street, Monterey, CA 93940

Red House Cafe
662 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950

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  1. Roy's at the Inn at Spanish Bay. Cocktails outside around a firepit with a bagpiper playing as the sun sets followed by dinner inside at Roy's.
    Cocktails and dinner at Pacific's Edge at the Highlands Inn. Your choice of the lounge menu or dining room. Jazz on weekends, but not sure in Jan. (low season). A knock-out view.
    I've been reading some very nice reviews of the Sardine Factory. It isn't a jeans place, but dressy casual. I have been there, but not lately to comment on the menu.
    Massaro and Santos is a favorite of ours. It is very casual and located on the Coast Guard pier. The view and the food are excellent...fresh seafood and various dishes with an Italian bent.
    There are some great places in Big Sur, but the drive at night is not advised plus you miss some jaw dropping views. Maybe an idea for lunch in that area.
    Go to the Trip Advisor for reviews of various places. Might help with you decision.

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    Sardine Factory
    701 Wave Street, Monterey, CA 93940

    Pacific's Edge Restaurant
    120 Highlands Drive, Carmel, CA 93923

    Massaro and Santos
    32 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gail

      Roy's in Pebble Beach is very good, we also like The Duck Club in Monterey @ the Plaza Hotel. The "c" at the Clement Intercontinetal is also wonderful and you will have views of the ocean at all of these places. If you go to Carmel, there is Casanova, PortaBella, Bouchee and Anton & Michel. The restaurants in Carmel are very good and I love the cozy, charming ambiance in the Carmel restaurants. :)

    2. If you find a great wine list and superb wine values and innovative seafood preps romantic, then go to Passionfish. It turns me on.

      But it is often loud and crowded. On Fisherman's Wharf, I like Cafe Fina and word is that Domenico's (now with the same owner) has improved. I used to go to Massaro and Santos, but had a couple meh experiences so it's been a few years. But the view is great.

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      Passionfish
      701 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950

      Cafe Fina
      47 Fishermans Wharf, Monterey, CA 93940

      Massaro and Santos
      32 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940

      1. didn't Stokes just get bought-out and re-done earlier this year with new management?

        Anyone?

        2 Replies
        1. re: HoosierFoodie

          Yes, a local informed me that it is supposed to open sometime early to mid 2011. Stay tuned, I guess. I hope they don't ruin it. The concept, according to her, is very casual. I think it's the same owners as Rio Grill, Tarpey's, etc.

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          Rio Grill
          The Crossroads Hwy 1 Rio Rd, Carmel, CA 93923

          1. re: Gail

            The new restaurant is called Restaurant 1833, their Executive Chef will be Jon Mathieson of Washington DC, can't wait to try it when it opens! :)