Monday, April 20, 2009


Since we've moved to California, Drew and I have been in 5th gear trying to find jobs, make friends and explore a place we've only visited a handful of times and try to make it feel like home. Needless to say, it takes it's taken a toll. Last week, we did a quick search for hotels on the central coast and sure enough we were able to score a deal in Monterey that wouldn't break the bank. Didn't hurt that the weather forecast projected numbers in the 80's. Sold. Asked for the weekend off from the winery and hopped in th car to eat, drink and beach it.

Ironically, my brother and his wife were Carmel earlier in the week and he had mentioned that his 'favorite' restaurant in Carmel was Casanova. Being that my brother likes to eat and drink as much as I do, I did what I never do which is made a reservation without looking at the menu online. That's trust.

I haven't written about a restaurant in a long time and the truth is that I haven't had an experience that was blog worthy. Well that's until now. If you visiting California's Central Coast, I highly recommend that you and a loved one do yourself a favor and check this spot out. It has an approachable 3 course pre-fix menu with a wine list that's over 20 pages. Casanova has a bright and romantic personality that is infectious. The restaurant is actually a tiny English inspired cottage where each room has been converted into an intimate dining room.

I've been dying to try Brown Estate's Zinfandel so when I saw it on the list I ordered it right away. It was surprisingly light bodied for a Zin which suited us since we had some pasta dishes headed in our direction. The first course was a simple asparagus salad with some marinated garlic, shaved pecorino and balsamic. For the second course, Drew went for the stuffed mushrooms and I went for the gnocchi that server said was a house specialty. OK, this dish was so friggin' good. The gnocchi were so light that they melted in your mouth. I asked our waiter for the trick and, just as I assumed, they beat the egg whites and folded them in mixture. Every time I have made gnocchi it's sat in my stomach and made me want to take a nap. Next time I'll be doing it the Casanova way.

Since we were on the coast, I ordered the seafood pasta and Drew went for the rabbit dish. If there is rabbit on the menu, Drew will order it. These dishes were just as good and the portions were very generous so we decided to skip dessert and walk off the meal by touring the immense amount of galleries that stay open late in downtown Carmel. A perfect end to a perfect night.

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