September 2006


California | Carmel | Italian | Melanzane23 Sep 2006 01:30 pm

The beautiful town of Carmel has one of the best little Italian restaurants in California. Strolling the idyllic, artistic, tree-lined, quiet town and arriving at an elegant little spot like Mondo’s is a great experience. It’s what vacations are all about.

The service staff treated us with great care and even moved us to the corner window spot after the previous occupants left. It all began with good bread and good wine – a Durney Vineyard 98 Carmel Valley Pinot Noir. I have to admit my homemade pinot noir has a bit to go to compete with this quality – but what a nice new CA wine area to navigate and discover.

Sharing the Melanzane and special veal entree were excellent choices. The Melanzane is among the best. Veal was Provimi as you would expect in the land of healthy and quality food (luv ya – California). Tutto Mindo will be a sure visit whenever we are in Carmel.

Dolores Street between Ocean & 7th

Carmel, CA 93921

(831)624-8977

www.mondos.com

California | Italian | Monterey23 Sep 2006 12:19 pm

Monterey has loads of fine restaurants, but this one was chosen away from the tourist areas but close enough to our hotel near the ocean; we do have a good nose for restaurants.

The restaurant is branded ” A Local’s Place” though we could not assess this branding as we were there midweek and late in the day. We shared a spinach salad (oops, guess not in the future until the fresh spinach scare is clarified/resolved) and ricotta basil raviola and I had minestrone as well. Wine choices are adequate and the pours are fair; guess the increasing popularity of Monterey and Carmel Valley wines has improved things at Joe’s.

Service was very friendly and their open kitchen approach should be a standard; nothing to hide here.

2149 North Fremont Street

Monterey, CA

(831)655-3355

www.montereyjoes.com