We wanted to enjoy our experience more than you can imagine. It was a delayed celebration for my 60th birthday and my wife was treating me to the meal of my choice. Since the executive chef had left, we wanted to give the new chief time to be at home in their kitchen and we thought the time was right.
I want to list the positives, since these are why I give Peppoli 2 stars instead of just one.
1) Great location and view and we were able to take our wine outside to hear the piper play as the sun set.
2) Great service. Paige Bindel is the jewel in the crown there and we will always remember her warm and gracious attention. She selected a 2006 Barolo for us that worked well and will be more enjoyable in 3-5 years.
3) The shrimp polenta appetizer was delightful and went well with the wine!
And now the sad news:
Their new chief had the night off and I'm not sure who was in the kitchen other than the dishwasher. My lamb, ordered medium rare, came out medium-gray and Paige gladly took it back to make it right. My wife's veal picatta was very tough and soggy. I am of the mind that when you order veal in a restaurant of this caliber you should be able to cut it with a fork and it should have a lightly fried crisp rather than the feel of biscuits and gravy.
By this time, we were ready to call it an evening but Paige offered to bring my wife some halibut. How anyone can get fresh fish to taste so salty, short of brining it, is beyond understanding and the fish tasted more like the water it swam in than the delicate fish we know it to be. I was done with the lamb after a few bites since, while cooked correctly, it had little flavor.
We were offered an apology from the general manager along with dessert but at this point, we were so gun shy about the food that we bought some champagne and napoleons on the way home and salvaged the evening.
The GM was nice to comp the dinners so my wife paid $200. for a bottle of wine, an appetizer, a martini and a decent tip. We would have much rather paid more and had an evening with a different experience to remember. You only turn 60 once.
We live near Peppoli and our expectation was a visit to Tuscany in our back yard. Alas, this was the worst meal we have had on the Monterey Peninsula!
So if you go:
1) Be sure the executive chef is working that evening.
2) Order your meat rare...they can always cook it a bit more if needed.
2) Have an appetizer before you order to see if this is really worth your wallet. Roy's, next door, gets stellar reviews but is noisy.
3) Ask to be seated in Paige's station. She is a delight and true professional.
We discovered Peppoli in November while in Carmel. The experience was as close to Italy as we have discovered outside of actually being in that wonderful country. The food was excellent, the service was over the top. We are looking forward to going back next week for our anniversary.
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