Best Bites: July 5, 2012

For those of you who missed my column in Thursday’s Go! section of the Monterey Herald, I’m reposting the stories here on my blog. Check out this week’s Best Bite–a recap of the week’s tastiest treat! As an added bonus, check out some extra tasty bites I found this week dining around town.

Best bite: Foie gras at Restaurant 1833 (Monterey)

Well it’s finally here—foie gras is officially off the menu in California.

My friends and I gathered for our final foie farewell at Restaurant 1833 last Friday with not one but two indulgent courses of luxurious liver.

The savory foie gras creme brulee was incredibly rich and creamy.

The first was a savory foie gras crème brûlée—a menu addition for the night. The texture was unbelievably dense and creamy, the foie incorporated into an incredibly rich custard.

We paced ourselves with a couple other small bites before going out with a bang: the full roasted lobe of foie gras.

The lobe was a thing of beauty—an enormous chunk of delicate liver served with pickled ramps, oranges, arugula and hazelnuts.

The whole roasted lobe of foie gras was a fitting way to bid farewell to foie gras in California.

We all agreed the pickled ramps were a great touch, a nice contrast to the savory meat.

It was a splurge, but worth every penny for a proper sendoff for the ingredient that’s now verboten in California.

Restaurant 1833 is located at 500 Hartnell Street in Monterey. 831-643-1833. www.restaurant1833.com.

Honorable Mention:
“Fuerte” burger at Mundaka (Carmel)

I’m always on the lookout for the best burger in town. When my fellow foodie gave me the tip that Mundaka was adding a burger to their menu of tasty tapas, I made plans to get over there rapidamente!

I was not disappointed, in fact, this burger might just be in the running for the best in town! The meat was so flavorful, cooked perfectly medium rare (the only way to eat a burger, in my opinion).

The burger at Mundaka is seriously in the running for the best in town.

The toppings were amazing: arugula, Valdeon blue cheese, roasted piquillo pepper, heirloom tomato and caramelized onions. The flavors were so rich!

My only complaint? This burger likely won’t be on the menu at Mundaka for long. Chef Brandon Miller shuffles around the menu, often offering dishes only for short periods of time. Shame, since it vastly outshone most other burger offerings around town.

Mundaka is located on San Carlos, between Ocean and Seventh, in Carmel. 831-624-7400. www.mundakacarmel.com

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One Response to Best Bites: July 5, 2012

  1. Pingback: Best bites: July 26, 2012 | Off The Menu

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