Taste Cafe & Bistro
1199 Forest Ave.
Pacific Grove, CA 93950Neighborhood:
EuropeanPrice: $30 and under
Taste Cafe & Bistro
- Dining Style: Fine Dining
- Website: http://www.tastecafebistro.com/
- Phone: 8316550324x
- Hours of Operation:
Lunch: T-Sa 11:30am-2:30pm
Dinner: T-Sa 5:00pm-9:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: European
- Executive Chef: Bill Karaki
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
A word from Taste Cafe & Bistro
Welcome to Taste Cafe & Bistro a cozy European style restaurant where guests can view chef/owner Bill Karaki prepare each dish from scratch. Our European influence menu features items such as herb-roasted chicken, grilled rabbit, escargots, pastas, organic salads, exceptional soups and Au gratin potatoes. The marvelous fresh made brioche bread pudding,apple galette and hazelnut chocolate torte should not be missed. Come join us, for a great meal in a slice of Europe, in the heart of lovely Pacific Grove and enjoy our fabulous cuisine in a wonderful atmosphere!Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
Taste Cafe & Bistro - Best Restaurants in Pacific Grove ›
Taste Cafe & Bistro reviews from OpenTable diners
37 reviews since June 27, 2014
- Ambiance4.3Noise LevelModerate
neighborhood gem (29)fit for foodies (19)great for lunch (17)special occasion (16)romantic (10)good for groups (7)notable wine list (6)kid-friendly (5)great for brunch (5)hot spot (1)Show More
- twinklefingersDined on 10/16/2014Place not busy, but we still waited too long for our order. Had French fries substituted for mashed potatoes. Servings on the smaller side compared to lots of places today.
- One of the best in Pacific Grove!GELAT0VIPDined on 10/11/2014Delicious fresh food, prepared to order, done in a way where you can taste the care and love in every bite.. Husband and wife run the show, and cook as though you are coming over to their home for lunch or dinner, it is so refreshing and charming, they are super nice and is one of our favorite places to go for a delicious meal, that is very popular with Locals. The Eggplant Napoleon is amazing! The vegetarian choices are many and while I am not a Vegan, I often order a Vegan dish because they are so delicious!Special Features:
- Lovely EveninggolfgalDined on 9/30/2014A nice neighborhood family run restaurant in Pacific Grove. Cute and inviting inside. My husband had the veal medallions and would rate his dinner as good, but the sauce could have used more seasoning, as it was bland. I had the salmon in parchment over veggies and thought it was good, but not great. Since so many rate this restaurant 4 stars, maybe our dinner choices that evening weren't the best. I would definitely give the restaurant a second try if returning to Monterey next year. Service was excellent.Special Features:
- Best Restaurant For Price On Penin.The7thSonDined on 9/12/2014Taste Café & Bistro of Pacific Grove may be situated in a less romantic locale , but once you sit down and begin your meal there you could care less where it resides. I had simply the best meal in 5-10 years of occasional dining at several other fine establishments on the Monterey Peninsula. In fact, it was the best grilled halibut I have "ever" had. The artichoke soup was different and tasty. My Caesar salad perfect. My bread pudding desert "divine!" But our dining experience at Taste was so much more. Along with the fabulous food, the service was so understated classy ( from years of experience and I believe they just have "It" ) I felt as if I was dining at a top, generations owned cafe in a good part of Paris. What A Gem!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great little Restaurant2PlanePilotsDined on 9/11/2014If there is such a thing as comfort California French food, this is the place to experience it. The food was excellently prepared, sauces were light and fresh, vegies were cooked to perfection. There were little dabs of unexpected tastes on the plate that complimented the meat/fish preparations. If the salmon Carpaccio is available, order it & the calamari was better than anything I've had on the local fisherman's wharf. A neighborhood gem, indeed, although I gave it a quiet noise level, it was a weekday and the place was about 20% occupied, one could see on a busier eve it might be very noisy. Parking is a bit tightSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Invited GuestBobfromboltnDined on 9/9/2014We were in Monterey and found that some local bloggers had recommended this restaurant. We felt as if we were invited dinner guest, not to mention the food was both good and wholesome.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- BabzVIPDined on 8/30/2014I was once again pleasantly surprised with dinner at Taste. This is a neighborhood gem. The dinner menu has a lot of variety, and each dish is cooked to order. The wait staff is skilled and attentive. I was surprised that the front desk person at our Pacific Grove hotel was not familiar with this restaurant - perhaps they need to do more marketing to the local lodging establishments. I would not hesitate to recommend this restaurant.Special Features:
- Neighborhood Spot; Spectacular FoodRustyVIPDined on 8/26/2014A friendly family run restaurant, where photos of dining celebrities (e.g. George Lopez & Clint Eastwood) share equal space with shots of the holiday party for local school kids & parents). The food amazes (you make a mistake to miss dishes accompanied by the potato au gratin!) and all is plated with skill and flare.Special Features:
- Special find off the tourist trailTrobahaVIPDined on 8/20/2014My mom and I had a fantastic dinner at Taste. We were looking for something off the hustle and bustle of the tourist trail and we found it at Taste. Excellent bread, tremendous service direct from the owners, and great, carefully prepared food. Taste is the kind of neighborhood gem that we are all looking for when we travel. Top notch!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DisappointedDined on 8/20/2014Where does one begin - the owners are beyond gracious. Diners are welcomed as if they are old friends. The décor is warm and welcoming. The food - one must indulge in the offerings to understand the meaning of TASTE. The wine list is conducive to every pocketbook. The Desserts - OMG!!! The disappointment of not being able to visit this establishment more often than we do is a shame!! In case there is any doubt - Taste Café & Bistro is the PLACE to really enjoy an absolutely FANTASTIC meal. Pacific Grove - This city is beyond lucky to have this establishment.Special Features:
- Anniversary dinnerTlyle01Dined on 8/19/2014We have been here several times and have always enjoyed our experience. Great food, presentation, taste, service....it all works. The owners present their restaurant well!Special Features:
- Taste Cafe and BistroCarnutzDined on 8/16/2014I and a friend had two wonderful dinners at this fine establishment during our visit to the area for Monterey Auto Week. We loved the ambiance, the casual setting and both dinners were first rate in taste and appearance. The service was superb, the atmosphere was friendly, prices reasonable......truly enjoyable and recommended highly.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- LeighVIPDined on 8/16/2014Delicious dinner! Great service by mom, dad and their three beautiful daughters! What a gem!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 8/15/2014Excellent food - lovely setting. We got off to a bit of a rocky start....after being seated, we were not waited on for at least 30 minutes. We did receive water, but that was it. It was obvious that there was a staffing shortage, but it would have been nicer if one of the water glass ladies or the chef who came out - could have taken our drink order (at least) or explained the cause for the delay. That being said, once we were waited on, things moved along well and the food was excellent! We will definitely be back!Special Features:
- Fabulous foodSzaboGoesLunchingDined on 8/13/2014Three friends met for lunch. Two of us tried the Mediterranean Lentil soup--nice. One guest had the Caesar Salad w/ Chicken and 2 of us had the Eggplant Napoleon Appetizer as an entree (we wanted less bread.) Oh, so delicious! Caramelized onions, kalamata olives, garlic cloves cooked soft and sweet--big enough to avoid if you didn't want them & fresh mozzarella--the eggplant was perfect, too. The Napoleon is served on a Crouton-difficult to cut. Everything was delicious. I regret not signaling for the check sooner, because to avoid disturbing our fun the server (who checked on us several times after we were served) left us to enjoy ourselves undisturbed and one member had to rush back to the office. We LOVED our lunch. Thank you.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Delightful in all ways.BellaDined on 8/8/2014My first but certainly not my last visit. Excellent and friendly service, food was very good and well presented. I was very impressed with the design as though small, the tables well spaced and noise was at a bare minimum. Lighting added to the serenity as did the quiet sound of a water fountain. The bar area was small but looked inviting as well.Special Features:
- A gem of a restaurantMavinmanDined on 8/2/2014We dined here before and still totally impressed with the food quality and service. The wine list is extensive and yet we still found a wonderful Syrah at $30.00. Highly recommend this restaurant to everyone.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great spot in PGCOWCVIPDined on 7/26/2014We returned to Taste for dinner this weekend and were reminded of the great restaurant we discovered 12 years ago. We have gone many times over the years but not recently…and that will change! Great food, and the chef/owner comes out to ask how we liked our meal--salmon and sand dabs were particular favorites.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Taste bistroJeffhildyDined on 7/26/2014Neighborhood gem that is totally family run. Husband is chef, wife is front of house and server and 2 daughters are servers also. Very high quality food and service that is as good anything on the Monterey Peninsula (home of "many" great restaurants). Very comfortable setting and consistent quality over many years!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Welcoming neighborhood bistroMsFoodieVIPDined on 7/19/2014We always stop here when we are in Monterey. This is a family-run bistro where you really feel welcomed, even if you're not a regular customer. The food is well prepared. The au gratin potatoes are wonderfully sinful. A woman at the next table came in just to order them! Fish is always fresh and not overcooked. For lunch we shared the calamari, a pear and greens salad, and a decadent pork sandwich with grilled onions, roasted peppers and aioli. All were delicious.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great place to eatOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 7/18/2014Taste is a great place to eat. The food is consistently good and tasty. The service is stellar. The restaurant is five star all around!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- KenmeisterDined on 7/15/2014We always make a point to eat here when visiting Pacific Grove. The owners are wonderful and really make us feel at home. The food is very good and very healthy. With all the choices on the peninsula, we always return here. It is very intimate and charming.Special Features:
- Consistently OutstandingformerchefDined on 7/15/2014Serving some of the best food on the peninsula, this is one of the greatest finds we have made since moving to the peninsula 4 years ago. The owners are active participants and always on premise. By the second visit, they recognized us and welcomed us as friends. Away from typical tourist areas, it is still very accessible, just outside of Pebble Beach in Pacific Grove on the south end of Forest. The menu is just the right size, offering something for everyone without being overwhelming. Much of the fare is done in a French fashion, with reduction sauces that are fabulous, but there are also some other contemporary selections. Several dishes specifically for kids from Penne Pasta to an Angus Cheeseburger. Also - vegetarian friendly.Special Features:
- The following 78 reviews are from the Taste Cafe & Bistro reviews archive.
- Great foodNormaDined on 5/24/2014Good service great food. Menu was varied. A must try.Special Features:
- Great meal. Friendly staff.OpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 5/21/2014Great family run restaurant! Bill cooks and Sue was our server. Excellent dinner, great service. We'll go back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Pleasant, tasty & laid backPapaCatDined on 5/8/2014We went with another couple who had been there before. The service was quick enough and we never felt rushed. We had the eggplant appetizer, which was excellent. My wife had the lamb tenderloin and I had the grilled rabbit. Both were very tasty and came with a rich gravy and perfect au gratin potatoes. The portions were on the generous side, so bring your appetite. I'd recommend Taste for folks looking for a hearty home-style bistro meal.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Dining on 'Quiet' Side of PGger3sfDined on 5/3/2014Good European-style bistro and restaurant away from the tourist crowd. Restuarant is located on Hwy 68 (Forest Ave) and Prescott, across the street from the Safeway, in Pacific Grove. Staying near the Asilomar center, we wanted a restarant nearby, about 5 min. drive away. Food was very good and well-presented. Good variety of dishes: meat, fish, poultry, pasta, that should satisfy any cravings (reasonably priced too, from high $teens to $20s for entrees). We had calamari and crab cakes for appetizers, and butternut squash pasta (agnonelli, sp?) and pork medallions for entrees. Service was pleasant and efficient. Definitely a place to come back to, and try other dishes.
- Great local spot2centsworthDined on 4/26/2014I had the lamb, my wife had the salmon and we both thoroughly enjoyed our meals served by the friendly, efficient staff.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- My Favorite Peninsula RestaurantTasteLoverDined on 4/25/2014There are literally hundreds of restaurants on the Monterey Peninsula but this is my favorite because the food is always interesting and well prepared, with a number of choices. The owners are always there to greet and check things with you and they really care.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Had not been there in years.LVMummyVIPDined on 3/15/2014Had not been there in years. Glad we tried again,.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great family owned restaurantublondgirlDined on 3/8/2014Came in last minute on a Saturday night. Restaurant was busy but the service was attentive and friendly. Food was excellent - from the soup to the entrees to the desserts. Would highly recommend for a great evening away from the craziness of the waterfront.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good Food Close ByMichelleVIPDined on 3/1/2014We found this restaurant on Google, and our Inn recommended it to us for our date night. The ambiance of the restaurant was good, clean and appealing. The light at each table was good, and they used shades on each fixture to keep the entire restaurant from feeling bright. The food was served timely and was very well presented, tasted good and the staff was all very conscientious and accommodating. They know what's in their food, and were able to accommodate the need for no flour/no sugar. Definitely a good find for us!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Hidden Gem family run andgreenvillefoodieVIPDined on 3/1/2014Hidden Gem family run and they remember you when you return.Special Features:
- Pleased with service & foodMcFoodieDined on 2/21/2014Able to accommodate food allergies without hesitation. Very personable. Will be back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Special FindrichardDined on 2/14/2014This is a small bistro that provides a relaxing ambience with excellent service and great execution of classic dishes. Off the tourist path in pacific grove. Truly a "neighborhood gem".Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Valentine's Day dinnerOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 2/14/2014Food had flair and tasted great. Very attentive staff. Very good value for price.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Food not up to parPeterPGDined on 2/14/2014We've eaten here many times before and always had a good experience. However, this time was an exception. The Calamari was rubbery and over-breaded, the salmon was underdone. It was Feb. 14, so they were busy, but still this is not the sort of meal we expected.
- Get a taste of TasteDolkerDined on 2/14/2014Taste has been around for quite awhile and seems to fly under the radar, perhaps because it's a bit off the beaten track. However, every time I have eaten there, whether lunch or dinner, I have had a very positive experience. This restaurant is underrated and underappreciated. My wife and I had supper early Valentine's day evening; she had the halibut special and I had the lamb fillets. Both were excellent, the lamb better than the halibut IMHO. My only negative is that parking is very limited and one has to be creative to find nearby parking during peak time. Nevertheless, I encourage ppoeple to give it a try.Special Features:
- Warm & InvitingValentinesDined on 2/14/2014My wife and I love this place. The family that runs it is a joy to be around and the food is always great!Special Features:
- Family-Owned Traditional BistroMsFoodieVIPDined on 2/13/2014Once a year or so, when we're in Monterey, we come here. Suzanne & Bill always make us feel as though we are family. I'm sure some of the many regulars believe they ARE family. The attention to detail impresses. We've never had an over-cooked fish, or a too-salty dish. Seasonings have depth & authentic flavor (the tomatoes in the soup are roasted; the vanilla in the silky creme brûlée is scraped from the pod; the lamb is always tender; the blue cheese on the salad is top-notch, etc.). The scalloped potatoes are so rich & creamy they could be a meal in themselves. They offer FOUR vegetarian entrees. Portions are generous. What's not to like? Oh, maybe the wine list isn't totally fabulous, but there are some good ones, even so.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.