Restaurants & Bars 2

Monterey/Pacific Grove Dining

roxy | Jan 4, 2004 09:46 PM

I posted already on the PassionFish post but also wanted to report on our dining experiences in the area over this past weekend. We are great fans of the Monterey Fish House but opted out of that this time for a dinner at PassionFish which we thought was great! We liked the atmosphere, the wine list and the food. We also are in great support of their attempt to only serve fish which is sustainable. Someone complained about the service on another post..we thought ours was just fine. The place was full when we were there on a Saturday evening. We waited maybe 5 minutes(did have a reservation)..but after far longer waits at places in SF and the wine country..or even Chez Panisse thought it was nothing. We also had dinner at Fandango which left us very underwhelmed.The wine list was massive with very little in the truly affordable range. We treated ourselves to a stunning bottle of Merry Edwards Pinot Noir 2000 for $54 which is standard markup.The service was quite attentive but did not make up for the exceedingly bland Algerois Stew. Perhaps we had high hopes having eaten great tagines in Paris..but this was lacking even still. We fell for the hype and chose to dine at the White House one evening. The dinners are prix fixe but you really do take your chances. One of us had screamin' seared ahi while the other had a roast pork loin cut the thickness of school cafeterias and exceptionally salty. It seems a common presentation is the entree served atop a pile of sauteed spinach. To their credit when we spoke of the saltiness of the pork our wait person brought us a new plate of seared ahi which, unfortunately, we were too stuffed to really enjoy! For such a hyped place, the wine list is very limited. We had some of the best service I've had in awhile though. Our wait person recommended an unheard of pinot which was not expensive and opened up wonderfully. There is one rather disconcerting thing..our wait person and we could hear others referred to "Robert", the chef owner repeatedly in a way that rather resembled followers of Rev. Moon! Breakfast is not to be beat at Toasties in Pacific Grove. We followed a lovely walk in Point Lobos with drinks at the Pacific Edge at the Highlands Inn to watch the sunset. The scotch drinker had Oben and the champagne drinker settled for a glass of Vueve Cliquot(Ahhhh).

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