Straw Hat's intricately interwoven history began with a crispy California crust, light sauce, secret six-cheese blend, and the dream of pizza for all. Today, a team of expert dough slingers spin out a slew of cheesy disks atop their dexterous digits and make that dream a reality, except for the part where you're naked at your old high school for some reason. Zealous pizzavores can drop in for a 15-inch six-cheese version or create a one-topping model by choosing from 25 different garnishes, including linguica, chorizo, and more. Walls of blithesome memorabilia, an arcade, and big-screen televisions constitute a fun environment where families and friends can chow down while catching up.
The Dutchman's Pizza & Pasta staff hand-rolls dough, stirs pots of their signature pizza sauce, and tops pies with locally harvested veggies. They have stuck with this tradition for more than three decades. In addition to baking nine pre-fabricated premium pizzas, they use their collected culinary wisdom to line sandwiches with housemade meatballs, deli cuts, and other parts of secret recipes passed down from the Fabulous Feasts branch of the Illuminati. Beyond pies and sandwiches, the team initiates guests into the Dutchman's Pizza & Pasta traditions by welcoming them to drink pitchers of beer, play a round on an arcade game, and watch sporting events.
Picture in your mind a buffet. You're probably not thinking of locally grown vegetables and homemade soups, but that's exactly what you'll find at Fresh Choice. The restaurant essentially redefines what a buffet can be, filling tray after tray with organic produce and made-from-scratch entr?es. Much of what you'll find is culled from Fresh Choice's very own 100+ acre farm, whose owners pride themselves on growing sustainable vegetables and crunchy salad crutons.
The menu at Main Street Garden is crafted anew each week from ingredients culled from local farm suppliers. Chef Brad Briske and his staff use only pasture-raised meats, sustainable fish, and organic produce, all complemented by a wine list spotlighting local vineyards and a sarsaparilla list spotlighting local bathtubs.
Ristorante Barolo’s sconces and chandelier lighting illuminate Italian cuisine. The Bayview Hotel, originally constructed in the 1870s, elegantly ensconces this romantic restaurant, while other hotels offer romantic dining by placing candles on a vending machine and having a tux-clad waiter press the buttons and jiggle it when necessary. Various paintings adorn the walls surrounding Ristorante Barolo’s white tablecloths, on which housemade pastas and traditional Italian cuisine render the Victorian-styled architecture as redolent as it is resplendent. The dinner menu—refashioned after the restaurant received a facelift courtesy of reality television show Restaurant: Impossible —catalogs linguini with shrimp, calamari, clams, and mussels in a white-wine sauce, as well as chicken breasts stuffed with cheese, pesto, and prosciutto. Each night brings with it live entertainment—from a jazz group on Saturday evenings to classical guitar on Mondays and Wednesdays.
If you read Louie’s story, you’ll note that his middle name is Martini and his ex-wives include Marilyn Monroe, Katharine Hepburn, and Elizabeth Taylor. You’ll also read about his modest childhood in Portofino, Italy, where he frequented the harbors, mingled with fishermen, and dreamed of serving fresh fish at his very own restaurant. This intersection of lightheartedness and a passion for seafood defines Louie Linguini’s—regardless of what’s fact and what’s fiction.
The restaurant occupies a second-story building with a patio that overlooks the blue expanse of Monterey Bay. Fresh seafood pops up in many of the menu's descriptions, no more so than on the restaurant’s signature cioppino, which is a dungeness-crab, clam, mussel, snapper, calamari, and shrimp stew served with a choice of whole crab legs or crabmeat. The kitchen also yields Italian eats such as 12-inch pizzas, spaghetti and housemade meatballs, and linguini with shrimp, artichokes, veggies, and garlicky cream sauce. Fueling each meal is a selection of wines, draft beers, and specialty martinis and mixed drinks.