Friday, August 26, 2016

The Bench Restaurant (Pebble Beach)

I'm not done writing about our meals from vacation. Especially since the last couple of dinners were possibly the best, either because of the food or because of the company. I've stayed in touch with a few friends from grad school. One still lives in Monterey. Several years ago, he and his then girlfriend drove across country from Maryland and stopped here to visit us. A couple years later, they got married but sadly, we couldn't make it out to Lake Tahoe for the wedding. But now, we were in Monterey so we decided to see if they were free to meet up. They were and they suggested The Bench Restaurant at Pebble Beach.
There is a fabulous outdoor patio but it was too cold & breezy for the women to agree to dine outside. We still had a fantastic view of the 18th hole of the golf course & the water from inside. I had a glass of white wine, SP chose a gin cocktail and that's all I remember about his beverage!
We shared a couple of starters. One was Prosciutto Americano (Watsonville Strawberries, Arugula, Balsamic). Oh my goodness. This was so good. I was kind of happy that L & T are not huge fans of prosciutto. SP & I loved the juicy, red strawberries, the thin, salty prosciutto, balsamic drizzle, and crisp arugula.
The other starter was Organic Mushroom Flatbread (Triple Cream Brie, Goat Cheese, Sherry Vinegar). This was good but I didn't eat too much of it because I thought I tasted a bit of garlic. It could have been my imagination. But better safe than sorry. I was happy to focus on the prosciutto dish while everyone else enjoyed the flatbread.
For my entree, it was a given I was going to order Tortiglione Bolognese (Hearty Veal & Pork Sauce, Pecorino Cheese). Pasta. Veal. Cheese. My favorite kind of pasta to eat when dining out: tubes that can be speared with fork tines! No trying to be proper & lady-like while slurping swinging strands of spaghetti! (Yes, I twirl, but I still manage to have strands hanging out of my mouth.) One of the best pasta dishes I've had. I couldn't eat it all but L was happy to help finish it.
SP & L both chose Wood Grilled Jidori Chicken (Summer Tomato Risotto, Green Garlic Broth, Radish Salad). The both said it was excellent. Juicy chicken, crispy skin, creamy risotto.

T ordered Pan-Seared Verlasso Salmon (Yukon Gold Potato Hash, Smoked Paprika Tomato Sauce). I didn't take a photo of her meal.

Both couples shared dessert. I don't remember and didn't photograph what L & T shared. SP & I shared a Salted Caramel Budino that looked like a little milkshake and was served with shortbread cookies that looked like fries and a chocolate dunking sauce:

It was yummy! I think I enjoyed dunking the "fries" in the "ketchup" more than the "milkshake."

It was a wonderful evening. Great food, great drinks, great view, great service, and best of all, great friends. It was so nice to see them. L is so outgoing and tells wonderful stories. T is more reserved but is such a lovely & sweet lady. It was a 4+ hour dinner - ! But when you don't get to see friends very often, that's what happens.

We'd definitely go back to The Bench Restaurant the next time we're in Monterey.

The Bench Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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