Bistro Beaujolais immerses guests in a casual setting with a distinctively transatlantic ambiance. According to general manager Jennifer Mendoza, the decor is thoroughly rooted in the Old World. A local, French-born artist hand-painted expansive murals along virtually every wall, drawing inspiration from his parents' photo albums of bustling Parisian avenues. The bistro's menu echoes the spirit of these detailed street scenes—vivacious yet casual, European yet homey. Today's Reserve selection highlights the balance with two dinner options:
Four-course dinner for two
- Choice of cheese or charcuterie plate to share
- Two From the Garden salads
- Two House Specialties entrees
- Two desserts
Four-course dinner for four
- Two cheese or charcuterie plates to share
- Four From the Garden salads
- Four House Specialties entrees
- Four desserts
After nibbling on spreads of cheese or charcuterie, such as pancetta and rosemary-tinged ham, diners can enjoy their choice of salad, such the Beaujolais salad with raspberry vinaigrette, cranberries, candied walnuts, and roquefort cheese. The entree selection includes beef bourguignon, which remains "very true to French flavors," according to Jennifer, making the dish an overwhelming crowd favorite. For dessert, Jennifer recommends the vanilla-bean crème brûlée, which features a delicate crust of caramelized sugar over a silken custard the chefs make from scratch.
Although this Reserve selection does not include drinks, Bistro Beaujolais does feature a wine list with more than 27 varietals and blends bottled under its own private label. Jennifer explains that an independent winemaker scours vineyards throughout Sonoma and Napa, fermenting and bottling a variety of wines for the bistro. Jennifer is especially proud to welcome one of the wine list's newest additions: a cabernet sauvignon made with grapes from Napa's prestigious Stags' Leap district.
Owner Firok Shield has three restaurants to oversee in Carmel, but he still takes time to visit Bistro Beaujolais whenever possible. "He likes to talk with people and meet with all of his guests," Jennifer explains, mentioning that Firok can often be seen wandering amid the dining room's tables or the outdoor patio's fire pits and carefully tended gardens of native Californian plants. This sort of genial touch perfectly complements the bistro's casual atmosphere. Diners can settle in and enjoy a quick meal, listen to the tunes of live musicians on select evenings, and invent new words that sound like they’re in French.