At Famous Dave’s BBQ, hand-rubbed St. Louis-style spareribs smoke over a hickory fire for 3-4 hours. A generous helping of sweet and sassy sauce—made from Famous Dave’s secret recipe—seals in the ribs’ piquant flavor and also makes appearances on other barbeque specialties including country-roasted chicken and regular or boneless wings. Joining Famous Dave’s menu of barbecue staples are burgers and citrus shrimp fresh from the grill as well as sandwiches, southern sides, and desserts.
Superior Court Judge John M. Phillips spent his career witnessing the cycle of offending and incarceration in which local youth often became trapped. He founded Rancho Cielo Youth Campus to help prevent first-time offenders from getting stuck in this negative spiral by giving them educational and vocational alternatives to crime. After acquiring the Natividad Boys' Ranch, a long-dormant juvenile-incarceration facility, he transformed it into a comprehensive educational environment with classrooms, a wood shop, a ceramics room, and a natural setting.
Today, Rancho Cielo Youth Campus helps underserved youth in Monterey County find their place in society with educational programs and social services that range from healthful eating to drug diversion. The ranch also provides vocational training and job placement in the culinary-arts and construction fields. The sprawling 100-acre grounds contain two lakes, stables, and a cultivated garden, all of which host outdoor activities and recreational programs including fishing, dance classes, and sports leagues.
Dishes Bistro & Grill showcases a Mediterranean-inspired menu. Sushi-grade cuts of fresh wild Pacific swordfish simmer in a sauce made from wine, fresh made sun-dried tomato, artichoke hearts, and capers while local caught Monterey Bay King Salmon and cuts of grass-fed filet mignon can be prepared au poivre or wrapped in a blanket of Italian prosciutto. Tender medallions of pan-seared or oven-roast pork tenderloin gently bathe in caramelized apple-onion sherry and pair with potato-fennel au gratin and caramelized carrots. The Angus Ribeye Steak is offered au poivre and is accompanied with freshly made homemade sauces. Individual-sized European-style gourmet pizzas such as chicken rosemary and hawaiian, are available as well as freshly-made salads and a variety of pastas.
Desserts range from housemade crème brûlée to tiramisu to many more. The full bar with local and international wines and beers round out each meal, which is served in an intimate bistro. Gluten-free and vegetarian dishes available.
Although everyone knows that pizza fresh from a restaurant's kitchen is far superior to its grocery-store cousins, sometimes families don't have time to eat out. That's why Marina's Take 'N' Bake Pizza offers its pies not only to go, but uncooked, so they can be baked and eaten whenever a meal is needed. Staff members quickly assemble pizzas from the customizable menu, layering crusts with either red, herb, or creamy garlic sauce topped with a choice of ingredients, such as pineapple, jalapeños, bacon, and salami. The menu also includes a few fan favorites, such as the meat-stuffed pizza and the creamy garlic and bacon. Marina's doesn't stop at providing pizza, though. It also serves up salads and cookie dough to make an entire meal, ready after only a few minutes in the oven.
At Cantinetta Luca, Chef Jason Balestrieri rolls out handmade pastas, wood-oven-baked pizza, and roasted whole fish. Enhanced by seasonal, local ingredients, his family-style Italian cooking earned Cantinetta Luca a 2012 readers’ award for Best Restaurant in Carmel from Monterey County Weekly. Balestrieri also cures salumi in-house to fill his signature antipasti plates, and has a salumeria next door.
Cantinetta Luca’s interior decor mirrors the Old World-style eats. Exposed brick covers a barrel-vaulted ceiling in one room, and dark-wood rafters crisscross overhead in another. Elsewhere, modern light fixtures cast their glow across contemporary furnishings, chiseled wood, and pillars of string cheese.
Home to household names like Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill, the Monterey Bay area can rightfully claim a place among the world’s top golf regions. The 36-hole complex at Bayonet & Black Horse Golf Course hosted the 2012 PGA Professional National Championship and bolsters the coastal locale’s reputation for world-class links, boasting both a rich historic legacy—Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, and Tom Watson have all graced the Bayonet course—and a recent redesign from famed course architect Gene Bates, which earned both courses a spot on Golf Digest’s Top 10 Course Remodels of 2009.
The older of the two courses, Bayonet Golf Course was originally sculpted through the cypress trees of the since-closed Fort Ord Military Base in 1954 by the Army's Commanding Officer General Robert McClure. Measuring in at 7,104 yards from the tips, the course still captures McClure’s original vision, with a classic, tree-lined layout and several dog-leg lefts the General cunningly installed to favor his left-handed fade off the tee. Gene Bates’ recent design contributions are apparent in the layout’s clusters of creative bunkering, reshaped greens, and areas where trees have been cleared to allow for greater views of the Monterey Peninsula.
Bates also made sweeping alterations to Black Horse Golf Course, changing the layout from its tree-lined, 1964 design into a more open counterpart to Bayonet’s cypress-, pine-, and oak-ensconced fairways. In addition, Bates carpeted the entire 7,024-yard course with new, smooth-rolling bent grass, while revamping the irrigation to provide for more meticulous playing conditions. The remodeling efforts afford many sweeping views that populate the course, but especially the one golfers’ encounter on the newly-added, 224-yard, par three 15th hole, where an elevated tee looks out onto a horizon dominated by the Pacific Ocean.
Paradise Tans accommodates customers of all shade preferences with a fleet of tanning beds that deliver four levels of tan. Among these beds is the Beauty Angel bed, which stimulates collagen to diminish signs of aging, skin blemishes, and floating halos. The staff also offers custom airbrush spray tans, administered by hand for an even, natural-looking bronze.