Many restaurants in Carmel and the rest of Monterey County specialize in offering what is known as "California Cuisine." This form of cuisine was made popular in part by such world famous chefs as Wolfgang Puck and Alice Waters. Since California is the leading agricultural state in America, these culinary ambassadors decided to capitalize on the fruits, vegetables and seafood that is widely available. California cuisine also integrates a number of foreign cooking styles and ingredients, with influences coming from Mexico, Europe, Asia, and beyond.
As has become a dining fad across the world, many restaurants in Carmel prepare dishes that use locally-grown ingredients. Examples of such ingredients include artichoke, avocado, mushrooms, citrus fruits, figs, dates, persimmons, pistachios, prunes, lima beans, kiwi fruit, pomegranates, raisins and almonds. Of course, due to the city’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean, you will also find superb seafood selections at the Carmel California restaurants. As is common in California in general, many Restaurants in Carmel serve sourdough bread to accompany your meal. Of course, fine California wine can also be part of your Carmel dining experience.
What would a city be culinary-wise without at least one good Italian restaurant? Carmel doesn’t have to worry about this, thanks in part to the Little Napoli restaurant. Found at the corner of Dolores Street and 7th Street, this charming little Italian restaurant offers both indoor seating and outdoor patio seating for al fresco dining. Of course, it’s the food that provides the main reason to drop by. According to the Little Napoli restaurant, the cuisine is prepared perfectly according to signature Pèpe family recipes. Complementing the food is a great wine list.
Blending French cuisine with Italian cuisine is the aim of Casanova, one of the finest Carmel restaurants. Thanks to Casanova’s Belgian background, you can also find traditional Belgian dishes and desserts on the menu. The pleasant ambiance of the Casanova restaurant is just one more reason to wander in, and if you really want to add some atmosphere to your dining experience, you can hope to secure the Van Gogh Room. This room features the table at which Vincent Van Gogh enjoyed his meals while at the Auberge Ravoux. A popular France attraction, the Auberge Ravoux calls the French village of Auvers-sur-Oise home and was where van Gogh spent the last 70 days of his life. The Casanova restaurant address is 5th Avenue between Mission & San Carlos.
While exploring the wonderful coastal California enclave of Carmel by the Sea, you shouldn’t have trouble finding a local restaurant that offers a taste of Europe. Another such example is La Bicyclette, which can be found at Dolores Street at 7th. Basically a European bistro, La Bicyclette is well known for its wood-fired pizza. Guests can also try artisan cured meats, herb-crusted Colorado lamb, Northern California wild king salmon, and a variety of other tempting dishes. An inviting wine list offers the perfect pairings for your meal at La Bicyclette, and if you prefer beer, there are good selections in that department as well.
So what type of feasts can you expect to enjoy when you set out to explore the Carmel dining scene? European cuisine is certainly readily available, as is evidenced by the restaurants that are highlighted above. These kinds of restaurants provide great alternatives to the other Carmel restaurants that specialize in your more typical California cuisine. What a dining situation to have. Fresh California cuisine or savory European fare. No wonder the Carmel restaurants have little trouble attracting patrons.