After reading a number of posts regarding Monterey restaurants, I tried four of them, on consecutive nights:
Pacific Edge: Precious, overpriced for the quality, but an incredible view. Not the same restaurant as my last experience here ten years ago.
Passionfish: Comfortable restaurant in Pacific Grove. Well priced, with a thoughtful wine list offered at retail markup. First class ingredients, simply and artfully prepared.
Stokes Adobe: Excellent food and service coupled with an architecturally significant old adobe made for a meal greater than the sum of its parts. Terrific ambiance, reasonable prices and a thoughtful wine list made for the highlight of our trip.
Fresh Cream: Old school expense account / special occasion restaurant close to the big hotels in downtown Monterey. Lobster bisque / Dover Sole / Grand Marnier souffle kind of place with $30 plus entrees and an overpriced wine list. Nothing wrong with the food, the Dover Sole was wonderful. Late 80's decor with Tuxedoes waiters and wine stemware that was hotel banquet quality. A view of the bay was available from a few of the tables.
In sum, try Passionfish and Stoke's. Save Pacific Edge for a special occasion. Pass on Fresh Cream