2014-04-12 03.42.01 pmLocated high above the Carmel Highlands bluffs, Pacific’s Edge restaurant eloquently pairs unmatched views of the Big Sur coastline with sensational California Coastal cuisine for a ‘foodie’ experience that’s unlike anywhere else. A Four Diamond award winner, Pacific’s Edge gains recognition with almost every opportunity, and for that, it’s fair to say that this sophisticated establishment is one of the seven wonders within the foodie world.

Upon ascending their grand staircase at arrival, guests are welcomed to the main entryway with a view that overlooks some of Carmel-by-the-sea’s most breathtaking natural wonders. Named one of the Top Ten Restaurants with a View by USA Today, it’s a challenge to not be completely in awe over the sweeping hillsides of Monterey pine trees and endless miles of blue ocean currents. Pacific’s Edge restaurant makes an incredible first impression, and is one that continues well past the time you leave. 

There are a few areas within Pacific’s Edge that allows for either relaxing, romantic, or luxury dining. For intimate seating groups and select live entertainment, the Sunset & Lobos Lounge provides a great upscale ambiance ideal for sipping hand-crafted cocktails or discovering tasty menu options with their appetizers and tapas selections that offer the best of land and sea starting at 4 pm. I highly suggest their salted peanut butter and carmel bar, which tastes exactly like a high end Snickers, and has been a favorite menu option for me in the various times I’ve had the opportunity to dine here in the past. 

For more romantic ambiance, ideal for date nights and special occasions is the main Pacific’s Edge restaurant. Following a stadium concept, Pacific’s Edge offers each table exceptional views of the coastal landscape outside, contrary to a majority of restaurants where the best view is exclusive to tables by the windows. With floor to ceiling glass panels, guests at any table can enjoy searching for migrating whales and dolphins in between courses or while sipping on one of the many wine options in their extensive menu. Dinner starts at $24 for vegetarian meals with their Wild Mushroom Ravioli my favorite, created with foraged mushroom and pine nuts in a sage-brown butter, and $28 for meat options, with their free-range chicken in roasted garlic, roccola arugula, caramelized carrot prepared with a shallot jus a popular choice.  

2014-04-23 04.04.53 amDining at Pacific’s Edge has a variety of luxurious options, including their Chef’s tasting menu for $105 a person, or $155 when complimented with inclusive wine pairings, however, for a truly remarkable experience, their Wine Room is a dining dream come true, providing only the best for the exclusive guests. Named as one of the top 20 restaurants in the entire United States, the private wine room can enchant up to 40 guests complete with a personal wait staff for the ultimate in service and elegance. 

I was fortunate enough to try out Pacific’s Edge’s Wine Room during a recent Wedding Familiarization trip, and while the location is certainly an exquisite choice for hosting wedding receptions, it’s quite frankly ideal for all occasions! Our table sat about fifteen of us extremely comfortably and we were presented with only the best in service from the moment we sat down. 

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Upon being greeted, our chairs were pulled out for us to comfortably be seated and ice cold water was presented in a glass to our satisfaction. What seems like an unlimited amount of bread and butter flowed fresh from the kitchen and if anything reached low levels, our personal wait staff would fill the bread, butter or water right back up before I was even able to notice I had the need. 

If you’re a wine fan, the Wine Room is an excellent choice as the restaurant’s Wine Director is on hand to fill up your cup with the perfect compliments to everything on your plate. Apparently I looked like a wine aficionado, as I was provided with three glasses of wine, one sparkling, one white, and a red, before the meal even began but typically, guests are served one beverage per plate.  

While vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free menu items are available, I chose to take part in the seafood items and photograph the meat options, as those are the most popular on the menu. The fact that the chefs were able to cater the menu to suit everyone’s preferences was certainly a highlight of the meal and is worth noting. 

The first course at the wine room changes seasonally, but for Spring 2014 we were gifted with Monterey Bay Red Abalone, with potato, fresh herbs and crunchy vegetables upon a bed of puree. This was my first time trying red abalone, and it was extremely refreshing to my palate as I’m used to salmon, tuna, and mahi mahi. I enjoyed seeing a locally sourced fish on the menu, as it allows guests who want to experience an exciting meal, to taste delicious foods that they otherwise would not see on a menu. As predicted, the fish was cooked to perfection, and was enjoyable for everyone at our table to consume. 

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For the second course, guests are treated to either a fresh market salad with cheese and candied walnuts or a white corn bisque. I chose the salad, however I was able to try the bisque as well, and both menu items were pure perfection. 

While the Wine Room is exclusive, and marked off from the rest of the restaurant, our host for the evening let us know that there was a noteworthy Monterey sunset taking place, and welcomed the opportunity for us to view the sunset as our plates were cleared if we so desired. I of course took our host up on the opportunity, and enjoyed drinking the last of my white wine over some conversation as we had a panoramic view of the gorgeous evening from the back of the restaurant. 

For the main course, filet mignon and Sonoma duck were on the menu, with vegetarians able to choose from brussels sprouts, heirloom tomato salads, or wild mushroom ravioli. My plate had a few companions dig into it fairly quickly, so I opted to showcase the Filet Mignon which is 8 oz of prime steak from Niman Ranch with a herb salad and crunchy bed of potato slices. Everyone who ordered this dish left their plates spotless which is always a good sign! I did steal a bite of the crunchy potatoes and I can state that they were delicious!

Finally, for desert, guests were treated to a fine desert wine paired perfectly with a chocolate croissant bread pudding presented with a pinch of sea salt, olive oil emulsion, pralines and a balsamic carmel ice cream. This desert was absolutely delicious, and while I typically enjoy the Salted Peanut Butter Carmel Bar, my favorite desert has strong competition from this bread pudding dish. If you enjoy carmel ice cream, the additional balsamic vinegar added to the mix changes up the flavor, lightening up the icy desert beautifully. For those with gluten free preferences, house maid sorbet is available, and is presented with three flavors for a wonderfully sweet finish. 

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In all, dining at Pacific’s Edge was an incredible experience that I highly suggest guests to take part in at least once in their lifetime. Perfect for romantic meals, proposals, celebrating an engagement, or even a wedding reception, Pacific’s Edge offers only the highest class and attention to detail that I’ve ever had the pleasure to enjoy. With appetizers beginning at $10, the experience and atmosphere is worth the price, and is especially wonderful as guests are able to customize their dining experience based on how much they want to pay, and how much food they’re interested in trying. The fact that dining here is not only a meal but an experience, goes to show just how breathtaking this property is, and is one of the endless reasons why Pacific’s Edge is truly one of the seven wonders within the food world. 

For more information on Pacific’s Edge including their location, availability, and menu options, visit their website.

A huge thank you to Hyatt for allowing me to experience Pacific’s Edge restaurant complimentary. As always, all opinions remain my own. 

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