With a stay at Marriott Monterey, you'll be centrally located in Monterey, steps from Monterey Convention Center and Golden State Theater. This eco-friendly hotel is within close proximity of Maritime Museum and MY Museum Monterey County Youth Museum.
Make yourself at home in one of the 341 air-conditioned guestrooms. Premium TV channels and video-game consoles are provided for your entertainment, while high-speed (wired) Internet access (surcharge) keeps you connected. Bathrooms feature shower/tub combinations, complimentary toiletries, and hair dryers. Conveniences include desks and coffee/tea makers, as well as multi-line phones with voice mail.
Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Relax at the full-service spa, where you can enjoy massages, body treatments, and facials. You can take advantage of recreational amenities such as an outdoor pool, a spa tub, and a fitness facility. This hotel also features wireless Internet access (surcharge), concierge services, and gift shops/newsstands.
Enjoy a meal at a restaurant or in a coffee shop/café. Or stay in and take advantage of the hotel's room service (during limited hours). At the end of the day, relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge.
Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include high-speed (wired) Internet access (surcharge), a business center, and limo/town car service. Planning an event in Monterey? This hotel has 56,000 square feet (5203 square meters) of space consisting of banquet facilities and a meeting/conference room. Limited parking (subject to charges) is available onsite, and additional parking (subject to charges) can be found nearby.
Located in Monterey, Casa Munras Hotel & Spa is minutes from Cathedral of San Carlos Borromeo and Monterey Museum of Art-Pacific Street. This romantic hotel is within close proximity of Golden State Theater and Monterey Convention Center.
Make yourself at home in one of the 171 guestrooms featuring DVD players. Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and cable programming is available for your entertainment. Private bathrooms have designer toiletries and hair dryers. Conveniences include safes and desks, as well as cordless phones with voice mail.
Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Treat yourself with body treatments and facials. You're sure to appreciate the recreational amenities, including an outdoor pool and a fitness facility. Additional amenities include complimentary wireless Internet access, gift shops/newsstands, and wedding services.
You can enjoy a meal at a restaurant serving the guests of Casa Munras Hotel & Spa, or find a snack in a coffee shop/café. Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge.
Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include a 24-hour business center, audiovisual equipment, and complimentary newspapers in the lobby. Event facilities at this hotel consist of conference/meeting rooms, small meeting rooms, and a ballroom. Free parking is available onsite.
When you stay at L Auberge Carmel in Carmel, you'll be near the beach and minutes from Galante Vineyards and Carmel Plaza. This 4.5-star hotel is within close proximity of Sunset Center and Carmel Beach.
Make yourself at home in one of the 20 guestrooms featuring minibars and LCD televisions. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available to keep you connected. Bathrooms have hair dryers and bathrobes. Conveniences include safes and complimentary newspapers, and you can also request rollaway/extra beds.
Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Pamper yourself with onsite massages or make use of the other amenities, which include complimentary wireless Internet access and a concierge desk.
Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include a business center, a 24-hour front desk, and multilingual staff. This hotel has 2 meeting rooms available for events. A roundtrip airport shuttle is complimentary (available on request).
Are you drawn to classic pieces or a more modern look? When it comes to home furnishings, Cha-Ya offers one of the best selections in Monterey.
Enjoy a creative, healthy meal at Cha-Ya.
If you always seem to have one foot out the door, breakfast can be tricky. For a quick and easy solution, a box of cereal is right up your alley.
Planning a movie night? Stock up on all of your favorite snacks and munch and crunch all night long.
Oil and vinegar are great staples to have stocked in the kitchen whether your recipe calls for an acidic element or something greasy to line the pan.
You can't beat the health benefits of fresh fish, so find a few you like and get to cooking!
There's no better way to start your busy day than making a flavorful coffee or tea from Cha-Ya.
Add a little bit of sweet goodness to all your baked goods for top-notch flavor and form. Pick up your staples at Cha-Ya.
Meat lovers rejoice! From chicken to beef to pork, the meat selection here is sure to please.
Do you meet your recommended calcium intake? If not, pick up some dairy products and put yourself on the path to a healthier lifestyle.
Stay healthy on the regular with the produce available here. It's super fresh and can be used with any meal.
Whether you prefer sweet or savory dishes, you can find all of the spices and seasonings you need to make your favorite dishes here.
You'll definitely want to experiment with frozen foods to help maximize your time in the evening.
A gift basket is the best way to tell someone you're thinking of them, and Cha-Ya has a great selection.
When you need a quick meal after a long day of work, a TV dinner from here is sure to fill you up in a jiffy.
When you body needs hydration most, grab some drinks off the shelf.
Pick up some fresh and tasty pasta from Cha-Ya and slurp your way to happiness.
Cha-Ya makes it easy to quench your thirst by stocking water for whenever you need it.
Stock up on canned good so you'll always have the ingredients you need to create a delicious meal.
Whether you prefer wheat or white bread, Cha-Ya serves up a large selection of freshly-baked breads.
Here you can find the most on-trend bedroom furniture items, such as bedroom furniture.
Even if your aesthetic tastes are as different as can be, you and your loved ones will fulfill all your home decorating needs with items like vases.
The goodies here will work wonders for your wall including mirrors.
For the curious, Cha-Ya boasts a central location to nearby parking.
Find furniture you love. From sleek and modern to wooden and worn, the pieces at Cha-Ya will put other furniture to shame.
When you come into Nielsen Brothers Market, you'll immediately be surprised at the difference in their prices. When you want a great meal at a better price, you'll go nowhere else but this place in Carmel.
Dieters beware — Nielsen Brothers Market does not offer low-fat cuisine.
Planning your meals for the week? Don't forget to pick up a loaf of freshly-baked bread from Nielsen Brothers Market.
Go under the sea with a few fresh catches, and enjoy a meal rich in protein and flavor.
When you have a hunger craving in between meals, these snacks will come in handy.
Whether you're a double shot of espresso or a jasmine tea, this place has you covered.
Nielsen Brothers Market encourages purchasing canned foods because they offer such convenience. They let you decide what you want to eat when you want it, as the food doesn't spoil quickly.
The frozen food offered here is so delicious you won't even be able to tell it wasn't home-cooked.
Whether you are new to the world of cooking or consider yourself a home cook, you will love the selection of spices and seasonings that this store has to offer.
If you like to use the oven, you're going to want to pick up some sweet ingredients in your next masterpiece. They adds that extra bit of flavor that makes your food delicious!
Cereal might be the best part of waking up. Pick up your favorite box today.
Switch up your weekly pasta routine with a new and exciting pasta recipe. Grab some noodles from Nielsen Brothers Market and get cooking.
Yogurt, cheese, milk? Do some or all of these sound great to you? Be a dairy fan and purchase some dairy products. They will keep you happy and healthy.
Upgrade your barbecue by selecting from the fine meats available here.
Health-conscious eaters will love cooking with the fresh produce available here.
When the heat gets the best of you, water is more important than ever. Cool off no matter where you are with a bottle from Nielsen Brothers Market.
If your hydration habits could use some work, pick up some delicious beverages to drink with a meal or on the go.
Dinner is on the table in one, two, three with a microwavable meal (you'll be surprised how great it tastes, too!).
Need more vinegar and oil to transform your cooking? No problem, they've got that here, too!
You don't have to be worried about parking. If you are heading to Nielsen Brothers Market, there are plenty of options nearby.
So if you're looking for only the best ingredients to use in your cooking, look no further than Nielsen Brothers Market in Carmel.
Bistro Moulin: A User’s Guide
European Bistro | Classic Parisian Cuisine | Divine French Wines
Appetizer: escargots in garlic and hazelnut butter
Main dish: duck confit with beluga lentils and petite arugula salad
Side dish: pommes frites with a garlic aioli
A Look Inside: The bistro is cozy, with two handfuls of tables and country-style decorative touches, including printed tablecloths, lace curtains, hand-painted plates, and sun yellow walls.
Where to Sit: For a true Parisian experience, snag one of the bistro tables on the lavender-trimmed sidewalk outside.
Word on the Street
According to the Monterey Herald, the restaurant “delivers a stellar lineup of fine food and wine that's refined, but unpretentious. . . . The spinach gnocchi au gratin is a must-order for any first-time visitor.”
Gayot also praises the gnocchi, calling them “pillows of zest that get better with every bite.”
Upon its opening, Monterey Country Weekly proclaimed, “When it comes to the menu, Bistro Moulin proves that simplicity rivals complexity.”
When to Go: If you haven’t got reservations or would like a quieter dining experience, plan for either an earlier dinner or later-than-usual meal.
Terrine: meat, seafood, or vegetables that are marinated in a wine-and-herb blend, cooked, and refrigerated in a mold.
Osso buco: Italian for “marrow bone,” this cut is a cross-section of veal or, sometimes, pork shank braised until tender in white wine and broth.
Siu mai: small pork dumplings. Each has a thin wrapper that needs to be delicately pleated by hand. Easily, they’re one of the most labor-intensive items at Phoenix Restaurant in Chicago, where each weekend this Chinese restaurant serves 80 different varieties of classic dim sum snacks.
This little fact about the siu mai is one of many surprising stories I learn from Eddy, the chef at Phoenix, where he also handles a million other tasks to keep the restaurant running smoothly. When I first came in, he was waving at a group of regulars while on the phone haggling with a seafood vendor.
“What we are serving in this restaurant is what we are eating in Hong Kong. ... It’s very typical,” Eddy says.
In 1996, Phoenix was one of the first restaurants to introduce dim sum to Chicago. Its customer base has grown over the years, and today, even with other dim sum restaurants up and down the block, you’ll find long lines winding out the door on any given Sunday.
Sound intimidating? It doesn't have to be.
Here's our guide to dim-sum dining, with a few tips from Eddy.
On the weekend: order dim sum off a cart
On weekends and special holidays, the wait staff winds traditional dim sum carts around tables, lifting lids off stacked steamer baskets to reveal the enticing contents. Should you see something you like, they leave the basket on your table and put a checkmark on your bill (it’s tallied at the end).
Phoenix is one of the only dim-sum restaurants in Chicago that still uses these carts. When I ask Eddy why they keep them, he says “tradition.” Not only to impress the tourists who come in, but also to let Chinese-American customers share this bit of culture with their kids.
Hot tip: if you want to experience the pushcarts without the crowds, head over on a Saturday, which tends to be less busy than Sundays, Eddy says.
On a weekday: order dim sum off the menu
Cartless weekdays offer a quiet, more peaceful atmosphere for ordering off the paper menu, which you can find near the hostess stand. Don't be intimidated—the menu has pictures; it has numbers; it has names written in both Chinese and English. And best of all, you need only point to what you want to have it brought out from the kitchen.
So what should you get?
“Everyone has their favorites,” Eddy says. The most popular dishes with Westerners are ha gao (shrimp dumplings) and siu mai (pork dumplings mentioned above). Kids gravitate toward the crunchy, easy-to-grip shrimp rolls and sweeter fare, from mango pudding (pictured above) to custard rolls.
Foreign travelers, especially those from Latin America, and adventurous eaters alike seem to love the chicken feet (pictured at bottom-right of top photo), a more exotic dish consisting of skin and tendons. While all these dishes are traditional, the chefs can tweak the recipes to accommodate for special diets or food allergies.
When diners are new to dim sum, Eddy encourages them to experiment. He’ll point out a few of the more popular dishes; if there’s something they don’t end up liking, it can easily be swapped out for something else. This way, by the second or third visit, diners will have a better idea of what they like.
And don't forget the tea
At dim sum, the tea is equally important to the food. Phoenix serves three different types: green tea, white tea, and brown tea. “Each one has its own usage,” Eddy says. While we talk, we drink jasmine tea, which is good for getting rid of toxins.
You can show your dim sum know-how by obeying proper tea etiquette. When your teapot is out of water, prop the lid off to the side. This signals to the wait staff that you need more hot water.
Eddy pours more tea and tells me to tap my fingers lightly against the table when the cup is nearly full. “When your friend or host fills your tea, this means ‘thank you’,” he says. “It’s part of the custom.”
Photos by Andrew Nawrocki, Groupon
I had no idea what to expect upon arriving at Elizabeth, the Michelin Star winner from Chef Iliana Regan. But an unmarked, unremarkable storefront between a tire shop and a sporting-goods store certainly wasn’t it. With few exceptions (Schwa, most notably), Chicago’s upper-echelon restaurants boast exteriors that match their illustrious River North and Restaurant Row addresses.
But as it turns out, Regan has no taste for that sort of superficial flash. She dons no chef’s whites. She displays no awards. She does not raise her voice to the Gordon Ramsay–level roar or even the Rachael Ray-ish rollick that TV cameras eat up.
Instead, this northwest Indiana native quietly built her reputation as someone who hunts for frogs and spears them herself. Someone who has suffered tick bites and poison-ivy rashes foraging for wild flora. Someone who has penned an essay on intensity for Lucky Peach and once themed an Elizabeth tasting menu after those violent and visceral A Song of Ice and Fire novels.
So yeah, I was kinda terrified to eat her food.
I’d never done a tasting menu before. And I wouldn’t necessarily classify myself as a picky eater, but I’m not a particularly adventurous one either, particularly when it comes to meat. (I can barely look at plated octopus without shivering.) I’d heard that Regan once served edible ants. Which are, like, bugs.
My nerves were calmed upon walking into Elizabeth, though. Austere yet charming, the whitewashed space was accented by light fixtures made from bare tree branches; dining chairs draped with faux-fur slipcovers; a chef’s counter armed with Elder Scrolls and Vikings Funko Pop! dolls. It was all in support of the season’s menu theme: vikings.
There were two options: land or sea. Or, as the first in a delightful succession of servers explained it, “Imagine a viking ship has reached the shore. One group goes on land to look for food, the other into the sea.” My friend Erin and I opted to order one of each to share and, despite my trepidation of certain meats, placed no restrictions on what we would eat. (You can arrange for some allergies and dietary needs in advance.) We wanted to go all in.
After the amuse-bouche—a surprisingly complex roasted whey carrot dressed with goat’s-milk cheese and edible flowers—came our first courses. The land dish was … a bowl of rocks. The server assured me the top “rock” was actually a baked potato coated in edible clay. But it was very convincing as a rock, so I bit in with trepidation. As Erin ate the rest, dipping it into the cheese and butter puddings it was served with, I forked into her langoustine with lingonberries. (Pro tip: don’t try to tear off the claw without looking. You will stab your finger on a spine.) So far, so very good.
As the servers continued to weave their culinary narrative, I realized there was an unmentioned character in their tale—Elizabeth itself. The restaurant is small, seating about 16 or so, and the kitchen is wide open. It was impossible not to get caught up in what was happening back there, particularly when sous chefs were wielding brûlée torches and “plating” on gorgeous pieces of handmade pottery. And the line between front and back of house was practically nonexistent. One moment, you’d see someone in the kitchen stirring and slicing; the next they’d be presenting your next course or clearing your table. (Chef Regan included.)
This created an unexpected intimacy, one that removed any hesitation when asking about a particular dish. It’s clear the teammates take a deep yet quiet pride in their collective work. They spoke warmly about where ingredients came from, excitedly about the preparation techniques used. They always used “we” or “our,” never “me” or “Chef Regan.” (Again, Chef Regan included.)
Over the next few courses, there were so many charms. An herb-rolled, soft-boiled quail egg served in an actual nest; impossibly chewy seaweed bread darkened by squid ink; a cauliflower-mushroom soup that Erin about died over. I was particularly fond of a course called Barnyard: headcheese dusted with beet powder, paired with a collage of root vegetables and flavored puddings reminiscent of something out of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing.
And that’s the thing. Never in my life would I have thought that I’d be fond of headcheese. I would have probably never eaten it if it weren’t for this meal. But it was fun to break out of my culinary comfort zone.
The other surprising thing? How full we were, considering it was a tasting menu. By the time we were served the entree courses—rare lamb medallions wrapped in swiss chard and pickled fish in a sauce of its own bones—we were taking deep breaths between bites. I’m pretty sure they were the only two plates we didn’t completely clean.
We managed to buck up for our “one-and-a-half” dessert courses, as the server put it. (The “half” was a palate-cleansing sorbet.) Our favorite was Under the Sea, a spongy coral-seaweed cake so realistic looking it prompted me to ask the server just how much of it we could eat. “All of it,” she said. We complied.
Maybe, as a writer, I’m just a sucker for a good story. But I was enchanted by Elizabeth, both in backstory and in not knowing what was coming next throughout the culinary adventure. And while I probably won’t be buying headcheese any time soon, I’m excited to see what Chef Regan has up her non-chef’s-whites sleeves next season.
Shop Chef Iliana Regan's tasting-menu experience at Elizabeth Restaurant:
Watch her explain her approach to fine dining:
As useful as WD40 and much more edible, coconut oil is a powerhouse. In fact, just one jar of the stuff can replace several household staples, from kitchen ingredients to baby wipes. Here’s how to substitute it for 16 total items in 3 rooms of the home:
1. Coffee: Coconut oil is a reputed energy booster. Swallowing a spoonful or two in the afternoon can be a healthful alternative to a cuppa.2. Coffee creamer: Emulsified and poured into coffee, it’s much tastier than (and probably just as nutritious as) that bulletproof stuff.3. Butter or oil (when sautéing): Coconut oil’s high smoke point makes it great for cooking on the stovetop, especially at high heat. Try swapping it in when making stir-fries, scrambled eggs, or pancakes, especially if you like a very mild coconut flavor.4. Oil (when baking): The oil imparts a delicious je ne sais quoi to baked goods—even boxed ones. Use it to give from-the-box brownies an upgrade, and you’ll dream about them for days.5. Condiments: Drop it into quinoa or oatmeal for added nutrients and healthy fats. You can also put it on top of sweet potatoes instead of butter!
6. Moisturizer: It works on your body and your face. It’s naturally SPF 4, so it offers a bit of protection from UV rays, too.7. Leave-in conditioner and anti-static agent: Rub a small amount between your hands and smooth them over your hair to control flyaways.8. Lip balm: It soothes sore, chapped lips, and other skin irritations.9. Eye-makeup remover: Rub it between your fingers until it liquefies, smear it on your lids, and wipe it off with a cotton pad.10. Face wash: Add a little water and rub it in your hands until it foams.11. Hand and foot cream: Massage it into cracked knuckles, or slather it onto your soles and stick them into socks for an overnight soak.12. Shaving cream: It’ll give you a smooth shave, plus additional moisture for your skin.
13. Ouchie ointment: Dab it on cuts and scrapes, which will benefit from its antimicrobial properties.14. Anti-itch cream: Coconut oil reduces itching from bug bites, and helps to calm sunburn, eczema, and cradle cap.15. Diaper cream: A layer on baby’s bottom guards against (and soothes) diaper rash flare-ups.16. Baby wipes: Simply mix it with hot water and pour it over a stack of paper towels that you’ve cut in half. Keep the towels in an airtight container so they stay moist.
Check out more coconut-oil coverage:
Oil Pulling Whitens Your Teeth and (Maybe) Makes You Invincible
The Five Best Uses for Coconut Oil You’ve Never Heard Of