A few days in Carmel was just what we needed. With most overseas trips a thing of the past, it is wonderful to have so many interesting places to visit—and right on our doorstep.
My husband and I stayed at the Hofsas House, a family-owned, Bavarian-inspired inn centrally located in Carmel Village. Warm and welcoming, many rooms have an ocean view, and there is always a good breakfast of pastries from a local bakery.
Lugano Swiss Bistro is an ideal place for an outdoor dinner of melt-in-the-mouth fondue and schnitzel. Their wide variety of Swiss, German and French-style food gives one a feeling of being in the alps—and Lugano even does a Swiss Chocolate Fondue for dessert. Don’t miss that one!
Wine tasting in Carmel is a must. We visited several places, including the well-known Scheid Vineyards. The 2018 estate Chardonnay ($26) is a hit. With its fruit-driven core of pineapple, pear and citrus, the 2018 Chardonnay is made “in a bright and lively style that makes the perfect balance between rich and refreshing.” Scheid is just a stroll down the street from the Hofsas House.
Dinner on another evening at the Rio Grill was absolutely perfect. Surrounded by toasty heaters that warded off the evening’s chill, we enjoyed every mouthful of an inventive dish of corn truffle and wild mushroom tamale. An entrée of braised venison osso buco is dining at its best. Prepared with agave-red chile, street corn, green chile mashed potatoes and crispy corn tortillas, it’s out-of-this-world delicious. And don’t miss the restaurant’s wonderful pumpkin cheesecake. Kudos go to Executive Chef Eduardo Coronel.
After a stroll around the weekly farmers market, we headed for lunch one day at Café Carmel—a café and bakery par excellence centrally located on Ocean Avenue. We have owner and British ex-pat Sarah Cook to thank for impressive quiches, fresh-baked muffins, and a plethora of other delicious goodies she bestows on her customers. The café also does breakfast and a light dinner.
Scheid Vineyards, San Carlos Street and 7th Avenue, Carmel. 831-626-9463, scheidvineyards.com.