Carmel is known as a hub for delicious food and wine, but sometimes it can be hard to find the really good restaurants in the area. Many are tucked away beneath the trees and the small streets, and even the courtyards of Carmel. So we wanted to find some of the hidden gems in the city, and we had food writer for the Monterey Herald, Raul Nava, help us out.
“Rau, when we talk about hidden gem is that what we're talking about? Places that maybe are off the beaten path for some of the folks looking for them?” Raul says, “Yeah, you know here in Carmel there are a lot of amazing places to find food and wine and maybe you have to look a little bit harder for them because they're tucked away back in little courtyards you know off the main drag, off of Ocean.”
Here’s a list of the places Raul gave us; Akaoni, Andre’s Bouchee, Barmel, and Il Tegamino, just a few of the more hidden options in the area.
Raul says, “Today we're at one of my favorite spots, Andre's Bouchee, and here we get some amazing classic French food and a chance to really kind of dive into an amazing collection of wines as well.” Another relative newcomer to the scene is Il Tegamino, classic Italian food from the Naples region.
Owner Giuseppe Panzuto says, “This is basically what you eat when you come to my house. It's the food that we simply cook and we don't do anything fancy, you know. Just simple straight forward, good food.” It’s good food for every palette, you just have to know where to look.
Raul says, “I love coming into Carmel, and yeah visit some of the newer spots, but also revisit some of my old time favorites and get a chance to go back and see what's new when a new chefs come on board or when restaurants try new dishes and new menus with the seasons, that's definitely always fun too.”