Best bites: July 26, 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: Poached pear tart at Cafe Lumiere (Monterey)

Over the last few months, Cafe Lumiere has been rolling out some impressive upgrades to food and drink — not to mention new chairs!

Cafe Lumiere has been stepping up their game over the last few weeks with new booze offerings, like the Rasputin Mocha: Rasputin + espresso + chocolate.

On the beverage front, Brandi and Saskia have been evolving the beer and wine offerings. There’s now a sweet sangria on the menu and a buzzworthy — literally — Rasputin mocha, with espresso, chocolate and Rasputin.

But it’s Cirilo’s mad baking skills that I’ve been most excited with. He’s been stocking the case with some great pies and tarts.

But my favorite new addition is the poached pear tart.

My favorite has been the poached pear tart ($4), made with juicy pears, sweet almond cream and a buttery crust spiked with almond meal.

I got a slice the other night and intended to save it for breakfast. Oops — it didn’t even last two hours before I devoured it!

Cafe Lumiere is at 365 Calle Principal in Monterey. 920 -2451. www.montereylumiere.com.

Honorable Mention:
Hamburguesa slider at Mundaka (Carmel)

The menu at Mundaka changes all the time, both a blessing and a curse to local foodies. There’s always something new on the menu . . . but you never know how long it will be on the menu.

On my most recent visit to Mundaka, I was saddened to see the “fuerte” burger had moved on to the big tapas bar in the sky. But I was pleased to see it reincarnated as the “hamburguesa” slider that evening.

The “fuerte” burger returned, in miniature.

The slider was made with that same delicious beef patty and topped with roasted peppers, melted Valdeon blue cheese and bitter arugula.

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

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