Thursday, February 15, 2024

2024 California Road Trip - Day #4 - Carmel

Up and moving fairly early, Sharon and I did a 10 arms and light weights Peloton workout. Afterwards, I drove to Starbucks for breakfast.

Sharon's old law clerk stopped by the house briefly. Packing up and loading the car, we headed to Carmel. I don't think that I have ever driven the section of Highway 1 from Santa Clara to Carmel.

As we were driving towards Carmel, Sharon suggested that we take 17-Mile Drive. We entered from the Highway 1 Gate. We parked at the Restless Sea parking lot and then hiked along the coast past the China Rock parking lot. We ended up walking about 1 1/2 miles in about 45 minutes.

We stopped for lunch at The Lodge. We had a great table outside at the Stillwater Bar & Grill with a view down the 18th hole at Pebble Beach. I had a LOCAL CAUGHT SWORDFISH CLUB SANDWICH [grilled marinated swordfish, bakers cut bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado crema, remoulade, brioche bun], while Sharon had a DUNGENESS CRAB SALAD [little gem lettuce, avocado, tomato, radishes, capers, egg, grapefruit, russian dressing].

We are spending two nights at the L'Auberge. The room wasn't ready so Sharon shopped on Ocean Avenue, while I did a walkabout.

The room was ready about 2:30 pm. After we unloaded and got settled in the room, we wandered up to Cypress Inn. It just so happened that our neighbors Debbie and Jim were in Carmel this weekend. We met them for a drink in the bar.

Getting cleaned up, Sharon and I finished the day at Chez Noir. It is a Michelin star restaurant. The restaurant holds a One Star rating in the MICHELIN Guide USA, indicating "High quality cooking, worth a stop!"

For starters, we shared CHICKEN LIVER MOUSSE [Port Wine Jelly, Mushroom Conserva, Ad Astra Baguette] and CHILLED OYSTERS [Ruby Beet, Horseradish, Vodka]. We also had the wine pairing with every course.

For the first course, we shared DOUBLE 8 DAIRY STRACCIATELLA [Spade & Plow Red Cabbage, Walnut, Borba Dried Apricot] and SALT COD & WINTER CITRUS SALAD [Saltspring Mussel, Hama Hama Clam, Bottarga Aioli].

We both had DUNGENESS CRAB TORTELLONI [Fennel Soffritto, Wild Sortel, Oloroso Sherry] for the second course.

For the third course, Sharon had GRILLED MT. LASSEN TROUT [Kandarian Lentil, Saffron, Olive Relish], while I ROSE VEAL LOIN & SWEETBREADS [Green Asparagus, Artichoke, Burgundy Snail]. Up to this point the food had been very good. Unfortunately, the skin on Sharon's trout tasted like rancid oil. Sharon said something to the waiter, but no one ever followed up to ask any questions. Given the price of the meal, we were both very disappointed in the entrees.

For dessert, we shared ÎLE FLOTTANTE [Winter Citrus, Almond, Tahitian Vanilla] and PARIS-BREST [Chocolate, C&E Pistachio, Seville Orange Marmalade].

Wandering back to the hotel after dinner, I was surprised how quiet the streets were. I crashed very hard, while Sharon watched returns of the Big Bang Theory for a while...

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