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  • Rio Grill

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Rio Grill
Rio Grill

Rio Grill Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.riogrill.com
  • Phone: (831) 625-5436
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 4:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm; Brunch: Sunday: 11:30am - 3:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Californian, Southwest
  • Executive Chef: Cy Yontz
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Special Events & Promotions: At Rio Grill, we will provide an unforgettable experience and take care of all the details for your next event. With the newly refurbished Santa Fe Room and Chef Yontz’s fantastic food, we will accommodate all your personal and corporate event needs.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Rio Road
  • Public Transit: Public Transit is just a few yards from the restaurant.
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: The Rio Grill offers plenty of convenient parking.
A word from Rio Grill
Rio Grill, located in the Crossroads in Carmel, has been the place to meet friends, enjoy tasty, flavorful food and relax with a refreshing cocktail or glass of wine for over 28 Years.
Chef Yontz’ creative American dishes are some of the most flavorful, colorful and vibrant on the Monterey Peninsula and celebrate flavor in every mouthwatering bite!
In addition to the main dining room, Rio Grill has a comfortable lounge and full bar serving refreshing libations including the restaurant’s famous "Rio Rita.” The bar is lined with colorful caricatures of local faces and celebrities. Rio Grill's award-winning wine list features more than 160 labels featuring a ton of local wineries and an extensive selection available by the glass.
For more information on Rio Grill, please visit our website at www.riogrill.com. The restaurant opens for lunch every day at 11:30 and serves straight through until 10:00 PM. Rio also serves a great brunch on Sundays from 11:30 – 4:00PM.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerCalifornian
  • Diners' Choice WinnerKid Friendly
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Diner Reviews
  • "Strange menu, I'm sure very creative, but when you offer pasta, why not just an excellently prepared pasta bolognese? Instead they go overboard with a tri-colored fusilli and a bison bolognese. Not very good. Smoked chicken instead of roasted chicken. Beautiful place, vibrant scene, well known, but after staying away for 10 years and wanting to try it again, our group of 5 was very disappointed. Our server was ametuerish, which didn't make it any better. We arrived at 6pm and it was a good 2 hours before we completed our meal, and it's not because we were leisurely about it. This place just didn't work for us. I think this restaurant group also owns Montrio in Monterey, which we enjoy tremendously and would recommend over Rio Grill."
    Dined on 8/24/2014
  • "Not your typical Carmel restaurant. Lots of locals so you know itis good and it is. Must stop in Crossroads shopping center"
    Dined on 8/22/2014
  • "After reading reviews I made reservations and, upon arriving, immediately apologized to my husband for booking us into a mall restaurant. I quickly got over my east coast snobbery. Every dish we had on both nights was packed with bold flavor. We were looking for great, local California-style food and each course made us swoon. We started both nights with the habernaro deviled eggs with bacon jam. Other highlights of our two dinner extravaganza included the empanadas, duck with tomale, penne with prawns (both magnificent) and of the three desserts we tried, the clear winner was the apple caramel bread pudding, although my husband is elbowing me to put in a good word for the Meyer lemon tart. If we lived here we'd visit frequently."
    Dined on 8/21/2014
  • "This is the second time I've been to Rio Grill. It's quickly becoming a favorite when visiting Carmel. The food is fantastic and the bar area is really fun. But make sure you make a reservation. This place fills up and then likely you'll either wait an hour+ or be sent home. If you're lucky you could find a seat at the bar which is fantastic too. It's the same menu and very relaxed."
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "We go to Rio Grill regularly- usually for dinner, sometimes for lunch. We have never had a bad meal there! The waitstaff is always very friendly and knowledgeable, the service is prompt, and they don't chase you out. The food is excellent and interesting. The portions are generous but not overwhelming. You can clean your plate and feel satisfied, not stuffed. If you like bland food, though, go somewhere else. Also, it is always crowded so is usually pretty noisy. People go there to celebrate. So be prepared for that, and go with the flow."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "The menu is excellent, every time I've come I've left happy. Try the duck tamale!"
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "Staff is professional and very prompt - the speed at which they move is a little intimidating. Must have reservations, especially on weekends. Food is truly excellent (not purely "Mexican") and quite a delicious variety is available."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "The food was extraordinary. The service was friendly and attentive. I'm glad that opentable recommended this restaurant."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "We've come to Rio Grill each time we are in town for Pebble Beach and Monterey Car Week. They do a great job accommodating the infux of people in Carmel during this one week. The food is consistently full of flavor. If you order empanadas as an appetizer, order two because they are so good. Never been disappointed."
    Dined on 8/14/2014
  • "We were seated without a problem, even though I made the reservation for three and one of our party did not show up. The server was there immediately, knew her dishes inside and out. Given that this is a restaurant that specializes in southwestern cuisine this will sound absurd, but I can't eat anything in the allium family. No garlic, onions, chives or scallions. Cooked is okay, but not raw. Most of the dishes have garlic in them but the chef was able to accommodate most of my needs and substitutions for those things that were made way ahead of time with garlic in them were fine. Server was attentive but not hovering. I got one of the specials, which was a grilled opi (fish). It was pretty dry. The roasted fingerling potatoes were good."
    Dined on 8/13/2014
  • "Found this place online and decided to try it out. I'm really glad I did, the brunch was unbelievably good. And Teresa our waitress was kind, friendly, and very attentive. I will go back next time I'm in Carmel!"
    Dined on 8/10/2014
  • "Our server had us order the more expensive things on the menu. No help at all as to what was really good."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "We were on holiday from the UK and had 2 epic steaks and our daughter had a bruschetta starter as her main. They were possibly two of the best steaks we have ever had and the cost of the meal was not too high bearing in mind the quality of the food."
    Dined on 8/5/2014
  • "We enjoyed our meal here, but our server put us off the entire meal. He never stopped trying to push us to order more items and would be visibly annoyed when we refused. Mind you, we were a party of 3, ordered an appetizer, beer, and 3 hearty entrees, so we weren't particularly skimpy, but it was never good enough for him. We were also seated right in the middle of a tight row of other parties when there were plenty of 4 people booths or tables available. All that said, the food was good and we would recommend the stuffed skins and house smoked half chicken."
    Dined on 8/3/2014
  • "Service and attitude were friendly and professional. Our table ordered the stuffed pablano, halibut with sweet potato hash, crispy pork, and cheeseburgers & beer. Every flavor was "right there." The whole range of items was perfectly cooked. The crispy pork is a specialty I have had before and I am not sure why that is an enduring favorite. They possibly do it better than anyone, but there are so many better things on the menu. The sweet potato hash doesn't sound that great, but it is an amazing combo of cubed firm sweet potato, shrimp, bacon and vegetables. For dessert we tried the carmelized banana and chocolate sundae. Oh, my. So good I've been in my own kitchen trying to figure out how to do it."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "It is not often I get to see duck on a menu so had to have the duck with Oaxacan mole served with a duck confit tamale over a bed of chilaquiles- the duck was cooked perfectly- very moist- muy sabroso!"
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "Rio Grill has been consistently satisfying ever since it opened. I live in L.A., but try to go to Rio Grill every time I go to Carmel."
    Dined on 7/30/2014
  • "I had eaten at Rio Grill many times and brought four of my out-of-town friends for our ladies weekend dinner to Rio Grill. The menu has great choices, the service was excellent as always and all of our dishes were great! I love the consistency of this restaurant! I knew it would be a great choice for our group, and they nailed it!"
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "The pork shank was delicious!! I can't wait to go back and order that dish again with a delicious blood orange margarita!!!"
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "Whenever I am in Carmel I always stop at Rio Grill for dinner. Food is delicious and staff efficient and welcoming."
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "Loved everything about Rio. Will go back when next in town."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "nice atmosphere, pleasant reception our food choices were both highly recommended by the server--the mahimahi tacos were hard/fried and skimpy----not soft--that should be noted on the menu--the ribs were good quality but MUCH too dry--no amount of extra sauce can remedy this possibilities are certainly there but improvement needs to occur"
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "The food and service were beyond approach. I would not determine the noise level as energetic, but rather extremely noisy. The tables are close together, so there is no privacy. Not being familiar with the area, I did not know it was located in a shopping plaza. Would not have made reservations there had I known. Also, would have liked to had a few local fish and seafood choices. Dress code is anything from not the best jeans to sport coats. Come as you are, I guess. Yes, I would recommend to others after I made them aware of the issues that made a difference to me. The server and the hostess were excellent, friendly and knowledgeable. BTW, the shopping plaza stores were not open at 8:00 p.m."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "Empanadas and chocolate torte were the highlights of the evening. Must orders. Spicy Mexican dishes are pretty good. Steaks need more seasoning and are overdone."
    Dined on 7/14/2014
  • "My husband and I had dinner here on a Saturday night. It was extremely busy but we had reservations and only had to wait about 5 minutes for a table to open. Be sure to call ahead if you plan to go in the summer or on a weekend. I had the lobster ravioli which was spectacular. My husband had short ribs which he liked. This is our 4th or 5th time here and we still enjoy coming here. There's not much of a view because it is at the Crossroads Shopping Plaza. But don't overlook it when in Carmel. It is a special place."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "The food was really good, the overall service was rather good as well, walking that fine line really well between constantly there and checking on us and giving us our privacy. We had a really nice evening and weren't disappointed with any of our menu choices. Tragically there was a downside though, when we first arrived the maître d' was rather swamped and she appeared rather stressed about the situation. Apparently a few of us with reservations all arrived right around the same time and there were a few takeout orders being completed at the same time, I agree that would be juggling quite a few things at the same time. However as she is the face of the restaurant, the first experience I had with them was less than great."
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "Great service; very noisy but staff is great and food is very good."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "A great place to return to. Ambience, decor, and wonderful food has taken us back over and over again"
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "Food way to spicy, without disclosing that on the menu items. The wine list was very good, with very good prices. Friendly service. Makes no sense to have exceptional wines with spicy foods, as the wine is all but neutralized."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "Had a party of 9. We had a wonderful experience. Great restaurant with excellent services. Food was very good and seafood was very fresh. Will definitely go back there."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "I ordered the double pork chop, and it was great. My wife wanted fish, asked about the mahi mahi, but the waiter recommended the salmon. That was a mistake. It was farmed salmon, which would have been ok, but it was definitely not real fresh. Had a fishy smell and was mushy, not flaky. To his credit, the waiter took the item off our bill."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "Our server was so nice, but she was swamped. They just did not have enough help for a Friday night."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "As always, the Rio Grill offered a great selection of menu choices, lively atmosphere and good service."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "Rio Grill was amazing. 12 of us, traveling on a birthday/golf trip, ate here two nights ago. The drinks were so good, food (to a person) was out-of-this-world, and the banana cake? ridiculous! Go there."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "We had all appetizers because they sounded so good - and they were. Service was excellent. Our table was cleared of dishes by whomever walked by and saw that there were dishes to take. Reasonably priced. There is no entree on the menu over $30. They provided a nice dessert for my husband for his birthday and decorated the table."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "Rio never fails to please. Vibrant atmosphere and flavorful food done and presented with their own personal flare."
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "Had a late dinner at Rio, the Baked Potato (loaded) soup was great, the Butter lettuce salad was great. The dressing was wonderful (a little kick to it) and all the tastes were just right. The empanadas were tasty, excellent avocado sauce. The service was nice, not too pushy or overbearing...great evening."
    Dined on 6/10/2014
  • "Glad we had a dinner reservation! Ordered and enjoyed the wedge salad and crab cakes for a light meal. Every table was full in the dining rom and bar."
    Dined on 6/9/2014
  • "I like how the menu and the specials are constantly changing. The only downside to the dynamic menu is once my friend had the Mac n cheese lunch which was outstanding. But I've never seen it again. When it comes back I'm definitely going to have it."
    Dined on 6/8/2014
  • "Went on a Friday night, when the noise level was oppressive, due to large groups celebrating birthdays and graduations in early June. Food is quite good. However, the prices of wine by the glass or the bottle were way to high! We have dined at many other restaurants in Carmel over the years and none of them charge these high wine prices. And options for wines by the glass were very limited. Pretty adjoining rooms are available for private parties."
    Dined on 6/6/2014