advertisement

Montrio was the big muckymuck in town before Restaurant 1833 opened. Alas, it really can't compete with its more elegant, more accomplished rival. The decor in this former firehouse is downright odd— large cloud-shaped sculptures hang from the ceiling, along with the snaking pipes making it look like a space created by a designer with "Cirque du Soleil" ambitions. And while very fresh, and sometimes unusual, ingredients are featured in the dishes, the results have been hit or miss of late. So you might get a perfectly cooked duck breast, sided by a fruit reduction that hardly tastes like fruit (not unpleasant, just a bit bland). Or a too tart fish ceviche. Or a really fine, and quite delicious, steak. If you're looking for a second place for a special occassion dinner in Monterey, this could be it. As I said, often the food is quite good, and the staff are downright charming. But you'll find far finer food, for not much more money, at Restaurant 1833.