The Top 5 Fine Dining Restaurants in the Monterey Bay

Food — By mfitzsimmons on November 29, 2011 at 10:57 am

The Monterey Bay is bursting with fine dining restaurants that’ll make you feel like the VIP you really are. One of the major perks of living in a wine producing region is that many vintages at these renowned restaurants are from locally grown grapes and vintners. Check out this list of the top 5 fine dining restaurants in the area, and feel free to add your own in the comments section.

Roy’s, Pebble Beach: Pebble Beach holds some of the most spectacular views on the entire West Coast, and Roy’s at Pebble Beach captures the essence of this breathtaking beauty in its décor and menu. Hawaiin-fusion is the name of the culinary game here, where dishes inspired by local seafood and “mai ka’aina,” or from the land, burst with flavor. Roy’s sets out to surprise and tantalize, succeeding wildly at both.

Lobster tail from Roy's at Pebble Beach

Deep fried lobster and shrimp dumplings from Roy's at Pebble Beach.

Marinus Restaurant, Carmel: The Bernardus Lodge is synonymous with luxury here in the Monterey Bay. It’s flagship eatery, the Marinus Restaurant, is the epicurean arm of this legendary lodge and serves up award winning dishes straight from the mind of celebrated chef Cal Stamenov. Bill Murray eats here before every Pebble Beach Pro-Am. If it’s good enough for Hollywood elite, you should be able to find an item or two suitable for your discerning palate.

The Pacific’s Edge, Carmel: This modern restaurant is on the edge of culinary excellence creating avante garde dishes that fuse flavors and textures. From the yellowfin tuna tartare to the Monterey Bay abalone served with a citrus emulsion and burgundy truffle to the Sonoma duck to the Tahitian vanilla bean creme brulee, you won’t believe what you’re eating here. The view is bar none, as is the food, wine, and service.

Scallops from the Pacific's Edge, Carmel

Maine dayboat scallops with sunchoke-wild mushroom gratin, mache, and a black truffle emulsion from Pacific's Edge.

The Grill on Ocean Avenue, Carmel: Named one of the Monterey Peninsula’s ten best restaurants by Epicurean Rendezvous Restaurant Guide and the Monterey County Critics Choice list, The Grill serves “lyrical” Californian cuisine that sings on every palate. Dig into decadent servings of duck ravioli in an orange beurre blanc or savor a seared ahi tuna steak in ginger, cracked black pepper, and a warm soy-balsamic sauce, or go for the 16 oz. grilled rib eye with green peppercorn sauce. Get cozy in this warm and inviting fine dining eatery.

The Shadowbrook Restaurant, Capitola: If you’re looking for a eating experience that will really know your socks off, head up to the Shadowbrook Restaurant situated high above the Capitola village. From the cable car ride down to the dining room, which boasts a roaring fire, to the wide range of entrees, seafood straight from the Monterey Bay, and killer desserts, the Shadowbrook is the place to go if you’re hoping to impress that special someone.

Food from the Shadowbrook, Capitola

A table laden with delights from the Shadowbrook in Capitola.