World Class Dining at Aubergine Restaurant
at L'Auberge Carmel
Carol & Joe Davis
love staying in Carmel-By-The-Sea on weekdays when it
is a bit quieter and especially on rainy days. The town looks
quite quaint and the ocean is rougher and even more beautiful.
We had heard that the cuisine at Aubergine which
is in the classic L'Auberge Carmel Hotel was
exceptional and decided that we had to see for ourselves. The
intimate and stylish restaurant has only twelve tables and is
accentuated with whimsical art. We were surprised to hear that
they would be updating the décor as it was already quite
lovely but expect that the changes will enhance the elegant restaurant.
The staff is well dressed which adds to the sense of style as
did the light music by Nora Jones and Michael Buble in the background.
on image to enlarge & get caption
were seated near the window and started with cocktails which are
served in large martini glasses. We loved both the Black Cherry
Cocktail made with Effen Black Cherry Vodka, lime and cranberry
and their signature L'Auberge Cocktail made with vanilla vodka,
Chambord and pineapple.
Chef Justin Cogley is known for creating sophisticated
modern California cuisine using locally sourced, artisan, luxury
and highly seasonal ingredients. Diners are presented with two
tasting menu choices. The Four Course Dinner has options in each
course and the Spontaneous Chef's Tasting Menu, which is only
offered for your entire table, is designed using twenty ultra-seasonal
ingredients. A Sommelier's Wine Pairing is an option for both.
opted for the Four Course Dinner so we could experience more tastes.
water and house made breads soon arrived and we were ready for
our first course. No surprise, we were wowed from the start as
the presentation combined with complexity of the ingredients and
flavors were exceptional! We loved both the Roasted Apple
with chestnuts, geoduck and charred onion and the Mousse of White
Corn with mussel frost, fried mussel and basil.
second course which was Monterey Bay Abalone with umeboshi, red
seaweed and Alba mushrooms was amazing as was the Japanese
Kanpachi with sauce from the bones infused with lemongrass.
We were pleased to be offered a small taste of Risotto with White
Truffles which was a treat. The main courses were also outstanding.
The Maine Lobster with emulsion of galangal, turmeric
and chamomile was excellent as was the Rib Eye with yellow beet,
tonka bean and black garlic.
we enjoyed the Artisan Cheese Plate with Pt. Reyes Blue
Cheese, French Goat and Cow cheese and White Cheddar served with
apple butter, wildflower honey and pureed apricot and house made
toast. You'll be happy that you added this optional course.
Desserts which were works of art are all made by Executive Pastry
Chef Ron Mendoza who had previously worked at The French Laundry
in Yountville. We loved both the Chai Carrot Cake made
with cream cheese and white chocolate and the Chocolate Cremeux
made with pear, pine ice cream and praline.
is also serious about wine. Wine is served in the appropriate
Schott Zwiesel stemware and they are known for their 4500 bottle
underground Wine Cellar. During our early courses we enjoyed the
2011 Alto Adige Italian Cantina Terlan Classico blend
of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc which was lively
and the 2010 Domaine Champalou French Loire Chenin Blanc Vouray
which was crisp and steely. The full bodied 2008 Fink Family Les
Jumelles Pinot Noir from the Monterey County Santa Lucia Highlands
paired perfectly with our main courses.
offers Sweet & Savory Cooking Classes each month in their
December's classes include Holiday Secrets from a Restaurant Kitchen
with Executive Chef Justin Cogley and The Whole Citrus class with
Executive Pastry Chef Ron Mendoza. They also offer special dinners
throughout the year including holiday dinners and you can actually
pre order Holiday dinners to go as well.
truly lived up to our high expectations. This was our Best Dinner
of 2012. The cuisine was World Class, the service was exceptional
and we see Michelin Stars in their future!!!!
Monte Verde at Seventh
Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA. 93921
Reservations are highly suggested.