Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Old Fisherman's Grotto

One of things I like to do in Monterey is walk up & down Fisherman's Wharf with all the other tourists and sample all the clam chowders. Each restaurant has a cart outside and offers free samples of their clam chowder. You could fill your belly sampling all the chowders. We ate at only one restaurant on Fisherman's Wharf during our stay: Old Fisherman's Grotto (but we sampled chowder every time we walked the wharf!).
In addition to offering chowder samples, on one of our earlier walks OFG was handing out coupons for a free appetizer. We chose Fried Calamari (tender Monterey Bay calamari strips and tentacles, lightly seasoned, floured and deep fried, served with tartar sauce, cocktail sauce and lemon). Have I mentioned how much I love calamari in Monterey? It's where I first tried calamari and started liking it. This calamari was excellent. I could have ordered and devoured a second serving.
We also shared a bowl of their Original 'Monterey Style' Clam Chowder. It is delicious. To us, the clam chowders in Monterey are more flavorful than those we ate in San Francisco, They have more of a bite, more seasoning perhaps. I asked our server what makes Monterey chowder different from other chowder and he said lots of garlic. I almost had a heart attack but then started reassuring myself that it was OK, it was probably just cloves plopped in for flavor and they had simmered for a long, long time, so I'd be OK, right? I was OK. It's raw or slightly cooked garlic that sets me off instantly. The chowder doesn't taste garlicky.
I don't see it on the online menu, maybe it was a special, but SP ordered Abalone with onion risotto and vegetables. He'd never before tried it and said it was delicious.
I chose the Fisherman's Wharf Platter (1/2 Dungeness Crab, Grilled Shrimp, Scallops and Crab Cake, served with caramelized onion risotto  and sauteed organic vegetables). I wanted to try a little bit of everything, so this seemed like a good idea, plus I knew SP would help me eat it. And help me crack the crab. Well, crack it for me in exchange for eating some! The entire platter was delicious. Fresh seafood, creamy risotto. I didn't have any problem eating it all.
We had room for dessert. I don't see this on the online menu, and I don't remember exactly what it was other than a chocolate shell filled with cream and berries and surrounded by swirls of berry, chocolate, and caramel sauces. It was really good. A light dessert, and good for sharing.

SP had iced tea for his beverage while I had iced tea and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc (Blackstone, Monterey) which I enjoyed. Our server was wonderful, easy-going and friendly. The food was delicious. It might be a pricey meal, but the atmosphere is casual and relaxed. The view was nice, too. Even though we were not seated next to a window, we still had a nice view of the bay through the windows. We'd definitely go back.

Old Fisherman's Grotto Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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