Wednesday, January 10, 2018

1 South: Carmel, Anton & Michel


Anton & Michel  Mission St./Ocean Ave., (831) 624-2406.  L-D daily; $$$.  Reservations advised.  Overlooking the Court of the Fountains, this sophisticated, soothing restaurant is welcoming, and original oil paintings adorn the walls.  In good weather, courtyard seating is available.  On a menu laden with the best of old-time classics, the specialty is items prepared tableside, including flambéed desserts--cherries jubilee, crepe suzette, and Bananas Foster.  We started our divine, flawless repast with a martini--heavy on the olives--and a grilled giant local artichoke with fried capers and garlic-mint aioli.  Our mains were deeply flavorful, long-braised Kobe beef short ribs with mashed potatoes and rack of lamb.  An extremely good 2014 Lucia Pinot Noir from nearby vineyards made the perfect companion.  More options not to overlook include French onion soup, pan-roasted chicken with root vegetables, and California red abalone.  Or you can pull out all the plugs and make your selection simple, yet still impress the surrounding tables, with the 3-course Classic Dinner for Two Prepared Tableside that includes Caesar salad, rack of lamb, and a flambéed dessert.  We ended our meal with cherries jubilee featuring delicious, very large, premium Bing cherries over vanilla ice cream.  As would be expected, service is top-notch.  The bar is a great choice for a smaller meal, and lunch features a selection of sandwiches and salads.


dining room at Anton & Michel in Carmel, California
dining room at Anton & Michel in Carmel, California



Court of the Fountains in Carmel, California
Court of the Fountains in Carmel, California



martini at Anton & Michel in Carmel, California
martini at Anton & Michel in Carmel, California



grilled artichoke appetizer at Anton & Michel in Carmel, California
grilled artichoke appetizer at Anton & Michel in Carmel, California



Kobe beef short rib at Anton & Michel in Carmel, California
Kobe beef short rib at Anton & Michel in Carmel, California



rack of lamb at Anton & Michel in Carmel, California
rack of lamb at Anton & Michel in Carmel, California



flambee dessert cart at Anton & Michel in Carmel, California
flambee dessert cart at Anton & Michel in Carmel, California



Cherries Jubilee at Anton & Michel in Carmel, California
Cherries Jubilee at Anton & Michel in Carmel, California
Anton & Michel Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 
More things to do in Carmel.

More ideas for exploring Northern California. 

images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Thursday, January 4, 2018

1 South: Carmel, Cultura


Cultura  Dolores St./5th Ave., (831) 250-7005.  Tucked down one of the town’s many passageways on Su Vecino Court, this new kid on the block specializes in Mexican cuisine served family style.  Situated inside what was previously a pub, it inherited a cozy dark space and some comfy red booths.  Two fire pits offer more seating outside.  My drink choice was a Pina Aplastada/Pineapple Smash made with Mezcal.  In fact, if you want to learn more about Mezcal, this is the place--a vertical tasting is on the menu.  It has an extensive selection, and the servers are knowledgable.  Wines, beers, and Tequilas are also available.  I especially liked the snacks and appetizer section of the menu, which features street foods.  Don’t miss the peanuts toasted with garlic and whole red chiles, or the vegetarian chicharrones, which are made with flour, crispy like shrimp crackers, and shaped like peace symbols but referred to as pinwheels,.  If you’re feeling adventuresome, which I wasn’t, you can also sample some crunchy toasted chapulines (grasshoppers).  Street tacos featuring hand-made masa tortillas, guacamole served with dramatic big chips the size of half a tortilla, and street corn slathered with cheese and epazote are all don’t-misses.  If you’ve saved room for a main, your choices include a tender skirt steak with a delicious sauce, shredded smoked pork with the sweet house mole, and a roasted half chicken.  Note that the menu changes regularly.  For dessert, everyone gets a complimentary shot of hot chocolate in a tiny cup.  Very sweet indeed.  


interior of Cultura restaurant in Carmel, California
interior of Cultura restaurant in Carmel, California


various Mexican street foods at Cultura restaurant in Carmel, California
various Mexican street foods at Cultura restaurant in Carmel, California


enchiladas at Cultura restaurant in Carmel, California
enchiladas at Cultura restaurant in Carmel, California


vegetable bowl at Cultura restaurant in Carmel, California
vegetable bowl at Cultura restaurant in Carmel, California


petite hot chocolate at Cultura restaurant in Carmel, California
petite hot chocolate at Cultura restaurant in Carmel, California


firepit tables at Cultura restaurant in Carmel, California
firepit tables at Cultura restaurant in Carmel, California


Cultura Comida y Bebida Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


More ideas for exploring Northern California. 

images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

1 South: Carmel, The Hideaway


The Hideaway  Junipero St./8th Ave., 2 blks. from downtown, (831) 625-5222.  24 rooms; 2 stories.  Some gas fireplaces and kitchens.  Afternoon snack; buffet breakfast.  Pets ok.  No onsite parking; plenty of free street parking.  Built motel-style around a central courtyard with fire pit, this property makes good use of lovely river stones from the Carmel River.  Hot and cold drinks are available in the lobby from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and in the afternoon, wine and small snacks are provided for a guest gathering.  The European-style breakfast buffet can be enjoyed inside, or out on the often-sunny central patio.  Cruiser bikes are available for use at no charge.  Rooms are decorated in a sleek contemporary style in neutral tones.  All but two rooms have king beds (the other two are queens).  Some rooms have a microfiber couch that folds out to a queen-size bed.  Three rooms have a standard bathtub.  Toiletries are in large unbranded bottles and to be used on site only, but a small and fragrant slice of lavender hand soap is provided.  In this U-shaped building, all guest rooms face the common courtyard; corner room 17 is particularly spacious and includes a view of the far-off ocean.  


courtyard at The Hideaway in Carmel, California
courtyard at The Hideaway in Carmel, California



guest room bed at The Hideaway in Carmel, California
guest room bed at The Hideaway in Carmel, California



guest room bathroom at The Hideaway in Carmel, California
guest room bathroom at The Hideaway in Carmel, California



guest room sitting area at The Hideaway in Carmel, California
guest room sitting area at The Hideaway in Carmel, California



breakfast at The Hideaway in Carmel, California
breakfast at The Hideaway in Carmel, California




More ideas for exploring Northern California. 

images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Wine Country: St. Helena, Wydown Hotel


Wydown Hotel  1424 Main St., downtown, (707) 963-5100.  12 rooms.  Continental breakfast.  Free parking.  No pets.  Located at the edge of the town’s main shopping street and next door to the town park, this outwardly dark-grey 1886 Victorian building has been gutted so you might be a bit surprised to find inside a lighter edgy, contemporary style.  The lobby is particularly spacious, with several couches and a table bearing newspapers and magazines.
exterior of Wydown Hotel in St. Helena, California
exterior of Wydown Hotel in St. Helena, California


lobby at Wydown Hotel in St. Helena, California
lobby at Wydown Hotel in St. Helena, California


upstairs hallway seating at Wydown Hotel in St. Helena, California
upstairs hallway seating at Wydown Hotel in St. Helena, California

All guest rooms are on the second floor, and an elevator helps lift any luggage up there.  Beds are made with smooth, ironed white cotton linens and duvet cover, and topped with a posh faux fur throw.  Unfortunately, no bathtubs are available, but a mini fridge is stocked with complimentary still and sparkling water plus fruit drinks.
guest room at Wydown Hotel in St. Helena, California
guest room at Wydown Hotel in St. Helena, California


guest bath room at Wydown Hotel in St. Helena, California
guest bath room at Wydown Hotel in St. Helena, California


A complimentary breakfast is served in The Tea Room adjacent to the lobby.  In the evening, many good restaurants are within walking distance, and additional stellar Wine Country establishments are a short drive away.  A complimentary pass to Health Spa Napa Valley (it is 3 blocks away) is provided to guests and allows access to their fitness center and a 25-yard outdoor heated lap pool and hot tub, as well as to eucalyptus steam rooms and a discount on spa treatments.




The well-curated resale shop La Boheme operates adjacent to the hotel and can be entered through the lobby.  It is filled with nicely curated merchandise that includes bargain treasures, and proceeds benefit Napa Valley Hospice and Adult Day Services. 


La Boheme resale shop operates off the lobby at Wydown Hotel in St. Helena, California
La Boheme resale shop operates off the lobby at Wydown Hotel in St. Helena, California


More things to do in St. Helena.

More things to do in the Wine Country.

More ideas for exploring Northern California. 

images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Friday, December 15, 2017

1 South: Carmel, art galleries


There are dozens of art galleries in Carmel.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Carmel Art Association  Dolores St./5th Ave., (831) 624-6176.  Daily 10-5.  This gallery is Carmel’s oldest and the nation’s second-oldest artist-owned cooperative (the oldest is in Rockport, Massachusetts).  It has showcased California’s best artists since 1927. 
Carmel Art Association gallery in Carmel, California
Carmel Art Association gallery in Carmel, California


Galerie Plein Aire  Dolores St./6th St., (831) 250-5698.  Daily 11-5.  This gallery displays original works of art from a group of Monterey Bay plein air painters.  Known as Informalists, these artists interpret natural landscapes in impressionistic and expressionistic styles.
Galerie Plein Aire art gallery in Carmel, California
Galerie Plein Aire art gallery in Carmel, California


Jones & Terwilliger Galleries  6th Ave./San Carlos, (888) 278-0040, (831) 626-9100.  This gallery specializes in fine art.
Jone & Terwilliger Galleries art gallery in Carmel, California
Jone & Terwilliger Galleries art gallery in Carmel, California


New Masters Gallery  Dolores St./Ocean Ave., (800) 336-4014, (831) 625-1511.  M-Sat 10-5:30, Sun 10:30-5:30.  The work of accomplished contemporary artists is shown here. 
New Masters Gallery art gallery in Carmel, California
New Masters Gallery art gallery in Carmel, California


Photography West Gallery  Dolores St./Ocean Ave., (831) 625-1587.  Thur-M 11-5.  This gallery specializes in photography by photographers who do/did their own darkroom printing, such as Ansel Adams, Brett Weston, and Christopher Burnett, plus more contemporary 21st-century artists.  Monterey Peninsula residents are emphasized.
Photography West Gallery art gallery in Carmel, California
Photography West Gallery art gallery in Carmel, California


Rodrigue Studio  Dolores St./Ocean Ave., (831) 626-4444.  M-Sat 10-5, Sun 12-5.  This gallery is devoted entirely to Cajun artist George Rodrigue’s pop art blue dog.
Rodrigue Studio art gallery in Carmel, California
Rodrigue Studio art gallery in Carmel, California


Thomas Kinkade Studio in the Garden  Ocean Ave./Dolores, (831) 624-3363.  Located in the middle of the Der Ling Lane passageway, finding this sweet gallery is part of the pleasure.  The gallery operates within a typical Kinkade cottage and is depicted, but of course, in a painting by him.
Thomas Kinkade Studio in the Garden art gallery in Carmel, California
Thomas Kinkade Studio in the Garden art gallery in Carmel, California


Weston Gallery  6th Ave./Dolores, (831) 624-4453.  Tu-Sun 10:30- 5:30.  Run by the family of the late Edward Weston, who died in 1958, this gallery showcases contemporary color photography as well as classic black-and-white photography by artists that include Weston, Ansel Adams, and Morley Bae as well as emerging artists such as Linda Butler, Mark Citret, and local music-industry luminary Chip Hooper.
Weston Gallery art gallery in Carmel, California
Weston Gallery art gallery in Carmel, California





More ideas for exploring Northern California. 

images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers