Whaling Station Prime Steaks and Seafood: A User’s Guide
Old-School Steakhouse | Prime Beef Dry Aged Onsite | Open Since 1969
Appetizer: french onion soup topped with gruyère cheese
Entree: USDA Prime sirloin chateau, the restaurant’s most flavorful cut
Side: twice-baked potato with sour cream, bacon, cheddar, and parmesan
From LA Travel Magazine: “They actually have a dry aging room right on the premises and bring the meats to your table on a silver tray so you can choose your cut before you order. . . We shared [the] rack of lamb . . . and the rib eye. Spectacular!”
According to Gayot, “Whaling Station is still special enough for an anniversary.”
Béarnaise: Essentially a hollandaise with different seasonings, this popular steak sauce consists of a base of emulsified butter, egg yolks, and vinegar flavored with shallots, tarragon, and pepper.
Sanddab: a Pacific flatfish known for its sweet, delicate flavor
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Admire brilliant fish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (886 Cannery Row).
After: Walk off your meal with a tour of the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail, which has an access point just one block from the restaurant.
Abalonetti Bar & Grill
Monterey’s charm-soaked Fisherman’s Wharf is a popular spot for visitors, but Abalonetti Bar & Grill isn’t just there to lure tourists. In fact, there’s a special menu just for locals, granting discounted access to dishes such as fresh salmon and Italian-style calamari steak.
There’s room for everyone on the huge wind-protected patio and in the airy dining room, where warm wood beams frame floor-to-ceiling windows. Sea creatures that might be curiosities at most restaurants take a starring role on the menu, including calamari served every which way and delicate, creamy abalone. The latter exemplifies Abalonetti’s spirit of accessibility: yes, you can get a full dinner order if you’re feeling indulgent, but otherwise there’s a bargain-priced abalone BLT.
Try This: The Marty Special
Marty isn’t around anymore at Abalonetti Bar & Grill, but he was in 1951, when his family helped open the restaurant. The personnel may have changed since then, but they’ve retained the same labor-intensive recipe for the signature calamari dish known as The Marty Special. It starts where all the restaurant’s calamari dishes do: in Monterey Bay. Once netted, the squid is transported by boat directly into a special room at Abalonetti and into the hands of a dedicated squid cleaner, who works with a magician’s speed and surgeon’s precision to filet the delicate little beasts—about 1,000 pounds of them a week, a feat detailed in the Monterey County Herald.
Meanwhile, the sauce is simmering. Each batch of marinara is a two-day endeavor, including a cooking time of 10 hours that leaves it thick, smooth, and intensely flavorful. From there, construction of the dish is relatively simple. To finish off The Marty Special, cooks add slices of fried eggplant for textural contrast, scatter the whole thing with parmesan and mozzarella, and serve.
The Fish Hopper (Monterey): A User’s Guide
Award-Winning Clam Chowder | Panoramic Ocean Views | Exotic Libations | To-Go Picnic Spreads
From the hopper: broiled swordfish with artichoke hearts, spinach, and mushrooms
From the land: 18-ounce bone-in ribeye served with mashed potatoes and herb butter
From the sea: 10-ounce lobster tail served with rice or potatoes
Don’t Miss: the clam chowder. No matter what else you order, be sure to order a bowl of this famous soup. It’s been made with a family recipe since 1950 and has earned dozens of awards.
What to Drink
Try one of the exotic libations, such as the Bucket of Fire, which contains vodka, rum, gin, cherry brandy, and a very unique garnish: a flickering flame.
Where to Sit: You can see the Pacific Ocean from every seat, but try grabbing a table next to the windows for a truly unfettered panoramic view.
Fun Fact:Fish Hopper is partners with the Seafood Watch Program, meaning it only serves sustainable, environmentally responsible seafood
If You Can’t Make It, Try This: one of Fish Hopper’s to-go picnic spreads, which you can enjoy along Cannery Row. You can also stop by its sister restaurant, Old Fisherman’s Grotto (39 Fisherman’s Wharf), which also serves the family’s famous clam chowder.
Monterey’s Fish House
Brothers Johnny and David DiGirolamo grew up working in their family’s restaurant, preparing and serving fish their father had hauled in from the ocean. For the past two decades, they’ve carried on the family tradition at Monterey’s Fish House on Del Monte Avenue. Locals and tourists alike flock to this this homey, but rustic fish house for seafood that’s caught mere hours before it’s served, including oysters grilled over smoky oak wood. The menu even has some hints of Italian, as evidenced by the various pastas nested in homemade marinara sauce. Along with its food, Monterey’s boasts a full bar, where, when things get busy, patrons can hang out and sip drinks while waiting for a table.
Try This: Sicilian Holiday Pasta
The chefs at Monterey’s Fish House pride themselves on using the absolute freshest seafood they can can get their hands on. Much of this yield eventually lands in its Sicilian Holiday Pasta, a colorful medley of reds, greens, pinks, and opaques that offers a little something different each time you order it.
The pasta starts with a homemade marinara sauce that the chefs craft from olive oil, onions, garlic, oregano, basil, and tomato sauce. They ladle it into a pan along with a homemade, broth-like clam juice before adding the seafood—a lot of seafood. Mussels, clams, baby octopus, salmon, raw cod, swordfish, scallops, shrimp, and whatever else the ocean offered up that day finds its way into the sizzling pan, where it stays for just a few minutes until slightly browned. After removing it from the heat, chefs pour the pan’s steamy contents onto a mountain of freshly made linguine before topping it off with a dollop of fresh pesto.
What is American food? Cuisine that is delicious and perfect for any occasion. Come grab some at Anton and Michel Restaurant.
Anton and Michel Restaurant's low-fat and G-free items make it easy to eat right.
Round out your meal with a little tipple — this restaurant has a terrific drink list, including beer, wine, and more.
Anton and Michel Restaurant is great for big groups, and visitors favor its private room for important events.
Dine under the sun (or stars) at Anton and Michel Restaurant with their charming outdoor seating.
If dinner and a movie are on the agenda, reservations are recommended for a timely night out.
Don't sacrifice comfort for style — Anton and Michel Restaurant's dress code is business casual, so guests can look and feel great.
For quick and easy parking near Anton and Michel Restaurant, park on the street.
Store your bike at a nearby rack and enjoy a bite to eat at Anton and Michel Restaurant.
Your tab at Anton and Michel Restaurant will usually run to about $30 per guest.
Critics award the most brownie points to the restaurant's dinner offerings, but breakfast and lunch are also available.
For a dish just like mom made, you'll definitely want to stop by Anton and Michel Restaurant's tasty restaurant.
Make your way over to the highly-rated Anton and Michel Restaurant and taste your way through some great American dishes.
Old Fisherman’s Grotto: A User’s Guide
Internationally Inspired Cuisine | Fresh Seafood | Harbor Views | Award-Winning Clam Chowder | Family Institution
Appetizer: crabmeat tower, with layers of avocado and dungeness crab tossed with fresh mango and lemon dill aioli
House specialty: cioppino, with crab, shrimp, clams, and fish simmered in marinara sauce
Pasta: linguini and clams in a garlic-butter sauce
Dessert: key-lime pie
While You’re Waiting: Sip on a specialty cocktail, like the Grotto Pineapple, a tropical-inspired drink served in a fresh pineapple.
Although children are welcome, because of the small size of the restaurant, no strollers, high chairs, or booster chairs are allowed.
Don’t skip the clam chowder—it’s been called the best in the area by Monterey County Weekly over 10 years in a row.