5th Ave & Mission, Carmel CA 93921 | 831-625-0501 | website |
Once again I hit up my co-worker Vance for restaurant recommendations in Pacific Grove since she lives in the area. Last year she pointed me towards the couscous at Fandango which I loved and you can read about here. This time she recommended this cozy bistro in Carmel for lunch. Where do they come up with these names? I would not have selected either one because they sound so stuffy and contrived… in fact, Mr. K and I have avoided Carmel for many years, as it always seemed to be full of uptight old rich people, but either times have changed or we have because we had an absolutely delightful time (and I know it’s not because we are uptight old rich people…) Casanova’s is a converted cottage with a rambling layout that offers cozy dining indoors or outdoors. Although it was chilly the outside patio was packed because the overhead heaters kept the temperature cozy and I believe it offers a superior dining experience. I mean just look at this patio! There’s a burbling fountain, lots of greenery and beautiful hand painted plates and tiles adorn the walls.
The bar looked so inviting that I felt like bellying up to see if they were offering wine tasting.
Along with our beverages, our server dropped off a little bowl filled with tiny cubes of soft cheese that had been sprinkled with freshly grated black pepper. Nice touch…
Then he arrived with a cup filled with addictively crunchy breadsticks along with a delectable romesco sauce that makes my mouth water when I think about it. I posted this picture in a previous post, but if you missed it, this was taken with my new Lytro camera. You can click anywhere on the picture to focus on different things in the photo.
We shared a Grilled Castroville Artichoke served with garlic-smoked paprika aioli. It was good but dry and a bit tough, but delicious slathered with the rich garlicky dip.
We split a big pot of Mussels, you have to order the large which comes with frites, swimming in a rich broth. I wished I had kept the garlic aioli from the artichoke, as strangely, these frites did not come with the classic dressing on the side… and bread to dunk into that broth too please.
We gobbled up the Spaghettini “Mimmo di Capri” a tangle of delectable fresh pasta topped with sautéed beef filet tips, mushrooms, fresh tomato sauce, and extra virgin olive oil
The fresh pasta is perfectly cooked and the parmesan melted into the rich tomato sauce, lightly coating each strand. It was surprisingly subtle and an utterly beguiling combination with the fresh herbs.
We were instant fans from the outside patio, attention to detail, excellent food and the low key but attentive service. We’ll definitely go back to explore the menu further, even if we aren’t part of the Ferragamo shoe set…