Tourists and locals alike flock to this contemporary restaurant for its French Provincial atmosphere, its spectacular entrees and its alluring aromas. ... More
Tourists and locals alike flock to this contemporary restaurant for its French Provincial atmosphere, its spectacular entrees and its alluring aromas. The decor is what you'd expect from an elegant place, and the service is as attentive as it is friendly. Dinners like Pan-Roasted Quail with merlot and Escargot Ravioli are all affordably priced, and the wine list, abundant with Merlots, perfectly complements the chef's eclectic menu. Enjoy a quiet breakfast, a casual lunch or an elegant dinner. Open daily from 11.30am
I was on a short holiday to Carmel alone and took a chance on this charming restaurant. This meal was a surprise of a lifetime and one of the most delicious meals I can ever remember. I did ask the recommendation of my very attentive waiter which is the only way to be when faced with a new dining experience. My mouth waters now as I remember this heavenly dining experience. Needless to say, I highly recommend the Merlot Bistro.
My experience was fine until the main dish was served. The place was nice and service was good, but the food was no where near what I expected from a restaurant on Ocean Ave in Carmel.
My appetizer (Gilroy Garlic) was actually fine, but the entree (fish plate of the day) was very disappointing. The fish was plain, the mashed potatos were lumpy and the beans were rubbery...not worth the price. To me, a restaurant's food is the most important part of the experience. By my reasoning, this place is a failure.
Incidently, they were playing salsa music...I thought it was a French restaurant?
Very disappointing food. Seriously, the food at Merlot Bistro was disgraceful. As it is located in the heart of Carmel among the many fancy shops and galleries, one would expect a decent restaurant. The $25 dollar entre I ordered was, at best, at the level cafeteria-type food. It was their grilled tuna with rice and mixed vegetables. The tuna itself was fine, but they smothered it in what tasted like A1 sauce. The rice tasted like instant rice, and the vegetable medley was more like what you might expect from a can of Green Giant mixed veggies. Shame on their shef. I would expect even better at my company`s cafeteria!
Living in Carmel by the Sea, we get a lot of opportunity to visit the many restaurants within walking distance. On this occasion, we invited some friends to dinner and a show and decided to give Merlot! Bistro a try. Considering we had been to Portobella, which is right next door and has the same owner, we fully expected a similarly enjoyable dining experience. Alas, it was not to be.
The ambiance and service were admirable, what one would expect from a more up-scale restaurant (this isn't a Denny's, after all). The menu is sufficiently diverse in choices and offered something for everyone. Salads, enjoyable. Dinner, however, was disappointing. My New York steak with garlic mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables was amatuerish and tasteless. The steak was tough, over-cooked and lacked any discernable flavor--a true regret. The garlic potatoes were anything but 'garlic' and had been beaten into submission with poor texture. The grilled vegetables were definitely grilled but also lacked any subtlety. Overall, the meal was on par with a Denny's steak dinner, with less flavor.
My dining companions fared better, but not overly so. In general the food lacked imagination in presentation and palette. Considering we spent about $75 a couple for dinner and dessert, we definitely didn't get our money's worth.
I can only hope that our mid-week experience was an abberation. However, I'm not wiling to spend another $75 to find out, not with 40 other restaurants within 4 blocks.
This is one of our favorite spots in Carmel. The food is excellent, as well as the service and price. Probably one of the best values in town for fine dinning. There was something on the menu for everyone in our family.
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