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Weekend in Monterey - Review (long)

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Weekend in Monterey - Review (long)

CarlieInLA | Nov 2, 2005 01:16 PM

I went to Monterey/Carmel/Big Sur this past weekend and had some amazing meals! Here are some of my highlights:

PassionFish Dinner:
We had the most amazing crab cake, it literally melted in our mouths. There was so much crab, every bite was delicious. Also had the seared ahi tuna which included a very nice asian salad (portion a bit small). For entrees I had the duck confit with chedder potatoes which was very tasty, the duck wasn't greasy at all. The Mr. had the halibut which was like butter, perfectly cooked.
We had the half bottles of Roessler Pinot Noir and the Ramey Chardonay, both exquisite.

Bouchee Dinner:
WOW...I would say this was one of the most amazing meals I have had, and the service was impeccable. The Mr. had the tasting menu and I had an appetizer/entree but we shared everything so I will break it down by each dish.

The chef sent out a small dish to all tables to start, it was a salmon ceviche on a avacado mousse w/ a shot glass of tomato cilantro water, the two flavors melted together in your mouth. The tomato water was like nothing I have ever had, so refreshing and light.

The pigs cheak was amazing, the meat was so tender, the salad surrounding it was delicious and the poached egg on top made all of the flavors blend together perfectly.

The abalone, perfect. I sat and savored every bite. It was so tender and buttery and the truffle sauce and potatoes were so delicious.

The acorn squash soup was so creamy and smooth. It had a few caramalized Matsutake mushrooms that were buttery and a good complement.

The chef then sent out a shot glass full of homemade ginger ale, it was a perfect palate cleanser.

The artic char was crispy because the skin was still on but the fish it self was very tender, perfectly cooked, and the artichoke puree was so delicious.

The short rib dish was amazing, our waiter said the consistancy of the meat would be like butter and it was, drenched in an amazing red wine sauce.

For dessert we ordered the rocky road creme brulee which had so many different flavors, the brulee was so creamy, the marshmellow melted in our mouth and the brownie bites at the bottom were a nice surprise. With our dessert the chef sent out a small glass of homemade hot chocolate which had fresh ground hazelnut and whipped frangelico on top, it was so good, like no hot chocolate I have ever tasted.

Sierra Mar Lunch:
Stopped here for the amazing view on our drive down the coast. I had the kobe beef burger which was very good, very juicy and flavorful. It was best when it first came out to the table. Mr. had the peking duck pizza, which was very good, the duck and mushrooms were a good complement and the hoisin sauce was not too sweet and blended well with the salty cheese.

Overall it was an amazing eating experience. I would recommend Passionfish, others have said the environment was cold but I found it inviting and romantic. Bouchee was extraordinary, if you are in the area, it is a must. Sierra Mar's view was great, and if you dont want to pay for the dinner, lunch is a good option. Thank you chowhounds for all the great recommendations, you made our dining experience in Monterey very memorable.

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