Restaurants & Bars 1

Pacific Grove/Monterey Report

Jack Flash | Jan 3, 200508:06 PM

Spent a few days at the Seven Gables Inn (love it!) with the GF after Christmas, which has become something of a tradition (3 of the last 4 years). Since the Inn serves a great breakfast as well as afternoon wine/cheese/hors d'oeuvres, we basically only ate out for dinner.

Old Bath House (Pacific Grove): this one is also part of our tradition. Expensive, but worth it for the experience (I printed a coupon from their Web site for $15 off the bill Sun. - Thurs., which helped). Food is, what could I say, California-Continental, I suppose. Dishes are very well-executed, with quality ingredients. I had the duck; my GF had a dish of shrimp & scallops in a saffron-tinged broth. The shrimp (prawns, I guess) and scallops were cooked just right. This is a great romantic restaurant.

Domenico's (Monterey Fishermans' Wharf) - this was OK, but we won't be clamoring to return. Pre-tip bill was only $5 less than our bill the night before at OBH, but wasn't nearly the experience. Food was OK; I thought my cioppino had too much calamari, not enough clams (although I suppose I could have asked for more clams & less calamar). GF liked her clam chowder. The big disappointment was that my shrimp cocktail included a whopping FOUR shrimp. Talk about ridiculous. Now, it was priced at $6.95, which is less than some of the others I've seen there on the wharf, but come on...four?

I realize that it's a busy wharf restaurant and I don't expect the subdued, relaxed environment at OBH, but for essentially the same money it was just, well, a bit disappointing. Actually, other than the shrimp cocktail, my only real beef with the place was its stemware. Now, I'm not a snob about these things, and really don't care for the most part. But considering the prices (and comparing it to the night before at OBH where we did receive appropriate glasses), Domenico's doesn't bother to provide anything other than standard-issue commercial stemware. Maybe if I'd ordered a bottle of wine priced in triple digits? But if I'm going to spend that much, I DO want the proper glasses. A minor quibble, really, but it made me appreciate OBH a bit more.

Roy's (Inn at Spanish Bay) - a great meal. I was pleasantly surprised to see many dishes that were different from the Roy's I went to on the Big Island. I expected more similarity (not that there's anything wrong with that, as I had two great meals at Roy's in Waikoloa or whatever it's called), but was pleased with the variety. My only quibble here was that the most interesting-sounding dishes were the first courses. A sampler platter (as a main course) would have been great. I suppose I could have inquired about one, but at the Big Island Roy's, they actually have such a sampler on the menu. I'm sure it would go over well.

Old Fisherman's Grotto (Monterey Fishermans' Wharf) - had sort of a lunch here (couple of shrimp cocktails, bowl of clam chowder). This was a real shrimp cocktail. Six of 'em for $9.95. Saw other places there on the wharf asking $11 - $13 for five. And the aforementioned four for $6.95 at Domenico's.

GF liked the chowder.

Don't know about the other menu offerings, but was great for these two basics. Plus, they promote their tropical cocktails (mai tais, etc.), which I love, so this place will get a return visit.

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