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Diners' Choice: Good for special occasions restaurants in Monterey / Carmel

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OpenTable
Updated May 05, 2024

Looking for the best special occasion restaurants in Monterey / Carmel? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favorite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!


A photo of Fandango restaurant
4.8
4.8 (3715)
$31 to $50
European
Pacific Grove
About the restaurant
A favorite among Fandango regulars is the succulent Rack of Lamb; other menu items include Fresh Seafood, a variety of pastas, delicious and exotic Mediterranean dishes such as paella and Couscous, and a tempting selection of excellent steaks. Several daily specialties are also available.

Desserts we offer, Souffle, Profiteroles, Chocolate Mousse

Top review
Oceansteward
Dined 7 days ago
We hadn't been back to Fandangos for dinner since the pandemic. It continues to be outstanding for food, service and ambiance.
A photo of Old Fisherman's Grotto restaurant
4.8
4.8 (1436)
$31 to $50
Seafood
Monterey
About the restaurant
Nestled on the historic Fisherman's Wharf, overlooking the picturesque Monterey Harbor, Old Fisherman’s Grotto is a must-visit dining destination. Renowned worldwide for its exquisite cuisine, impeccable service, and charming ambiance, the Grotto offers a culinary experience like no other. Our menu showcases fresh seafood sourced sustainably, USDA prime beef, and an extensive wine selection with over 200 choices recognized by Wine Spectator Magazine. With a commitment to providing an intimate dining atmosphere, we enforce a zero-tolerance policy for excessive noise levels, ensuring a pleasant experience for all our guests. We kindly ask patrons to keep noise levels moderate to respect others' dining experiences.
Top review
donsvip
Dined 7 days ago
Always a great measure to dine here the best restaurant and people
A photo of Le Soufflé restaurant
4.8
4.8 (421)
$50 and over
French
Carmel
About the restaurant
**WE HAVE SWITCHED TO LUNCH SERVICE M-F STARTING AT 11:30AM**
We are located in CARMEL, CALIFORNIA, USA. Reservations are only available through OpenTable up to 3 weeks in advance. Intimate indoor dining room can accommodate parties up to 4 guests- Menu changes seasonally- see website for current menu.

Le Soufflé is a fine dining restaurant serving a traditional French soufflé lunch menu. Everything is exclusively prepared by our Executive Chef/Co-Owner creating a very unique and finely crafted dining experience. The wine list offers a selection of wines from exquisite boutique producers in France and are all available by the glass or bottle. Our guests can look forward to an elegant escape when they step into our intimate and luxurious dining room. We are located on Dolores Street, just two blocks off Ocean Avenue in the beautiful village of Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Top review
IanL
Dined 5 days ago
Simply amazing place to experience a once in a lifetime meal!
A photo of Grasing's restaurant
4.7
4.7 (2913)
$31 to $50
Californian
Carmel
About the restaurant
DINING UPDATE: Please call restaurant if desired reservation is not available online.
Grasing's is open for indoor dining and limited outdoor dining (weather permitting). Please note if stairs are an issue for any guest. Please continue to visit our website a https://grasings.com for menu updates, holiday offerings and special events.

Grasing’s, located in downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea, lies along the Pacific Coast in Central California in Monterey County. Celebrity chef partners, Kurt Grasing and Narsai David, truly created a gem. From friendly and professional service, an award winning wine list and seasonally inspired cocktails to the fresh and sustainable local ingredients.

Please contact the restaurant to request dog friendly patio seating.

Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined 1 day ago
Unbelievably great food and service. You can’t go wrong with this restaurant. Kurt Grasing must be one of the best chefs and restaurant owners in the world.
A photo of Lucia Restaurant & Bar - Bernardus Lodge & Spa restaurant
4.7
4.7 (942)
$50 and over
Californian
Carmel Valley
About the restaurant
Lucia features California-regional cuisine with local organic, seasonal produce as well as regional seafood and artisan farmed meats. Taking full advantage of the resort’s pastoral location, the new design artfully combines modern comforts with the natural elegance of Carmel Valley wine country. In addition to the signature fireplace, custom chairs, linens and drapery have added texture and depth while bringing elements of the outdoors inside. A cozy outdoor terrace with firepit and heaters also complements the main dining room.

The Forbes four-star restaurant has been named Zagat’s “Top Restaurant in the Bay Area” and received Wine Spectator magazine’s “Best of Award of Excellence” since 2001 for its wine cellar. The cellar houses 1,850 different wines and a total of more than 25,000 premium bottles, including 10,000 bottles from nearby Bernardus Winery.

Top review
CarmelHomevip
Dined 6 days ago
First time here since “new” chef. Tasting menu was really inventive and well crafted. We will be back for the next one!
A photo of Sardine Factory restaurant
4.7
4.7 (4744)
$31 to $50
Seafood
Monterey
About the restaurant
Every city has that one can’t miss restaurant, where celebrities feel at home and every other guest feels like a celebrity. Since October 2, 1968, The Sardine Factory’s cachet has made dining in our historic Cannery Row setting a tradition for world leaders, sports heroes and entertainment icons. Our award-winning chefs prepare delectable creations of fresh, sustainable seafood and USDA Prime Aged Beef; winner of Restaurant Hospitality Magazine’s "Best Wine List in America" award. The Lounge’s live entertainment, Happy Hour and affordable menu are a casual alternative to our other dining rooms. Celebrating over 50 years under the same ownership and management! Voted "Best Restaurant in Monterey" by Monterey County Herald readers.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined today
Great food. Sand dabs, prime rib, mushroom pasta, and salmon dishes were all well executed and had generous portions. The restaurant has and an old school charm. I understand the feedback that some of the rooms are very dimly lit but we were seated in the conservatory (encased in glass) so lots of natural light. Service was attentive.
A photo of L'Escargot - Carmel restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1172)
$30 and under
French
Carmel
About the restaurant
Nestled in a residential neighborhood on Mission Street, three blocks north of Ocean Avenue lies a slice of “Old Carmel”. Originally founded in 1958 by Yvan Nopert and his family, Chef – Owner Kericos Loutas carries on the traditions of superb Country French Cuisine and personalized friendly service. A local favorite for casual fine dining in a romantic atmosphere, L’Escargot offers visitors an alternative to the “tourist experience”. The menu changes frequently, as do the specials. A three-course prix fixed Bistro Menu is offered nightly.
Top review
CatherineR
Dined 1 day ago
The menu offers escargot, sweet breads and frog legs - all my favorite.
A photo of Coastal Kitchen Monterey restaurant
4.7
4.7 (237)
$50 and over
Farm-to-table
Monterey
About the restaurant
NOW SERVING SUNDAY BRUNCH!!

The Coastal Kitchen Monterey is an idyllic setting to enjoy inspirational fine dining. The culinary efforts are on display in the show kitchen and the service team is poised to offer impassioned explanations.

Chef Michael Rotondo’s multi-coursed tasting menu focuses on sustainability and celebrates the bounty of the Monterey Bay and Central Coast. A wine pairing of thoughtfully curated wines selected by the Sommelier team is available to complement each captivating course.

Additionally, we are also offering our Champagne Brunch on Sundays for 10am to 2pm.

Dinner Menus: Multiple Course Tasting Menu starts at $145 per person (Tuesday to Saturday Evenings)
3 Course Prix Fixe Menu $85 ( Tuesday to Thursday evenings)
Champagne Brunch Prix Fixe Menu: $75 per person (Sundays from 10am to 2pm)
Reservation Cancellation Policy: 24 Hours Prior to Reservation Time
Late Cancellation Fee: $50 per guest cancelation.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 6 days ago
Wonderful experience from start to finish. great team
A photo of Montrio restaurant
4.6
4.6 (4118)
$31 to $50
Californian
Monterey
About the restaurant
Located in the heart of downtown Monterey, Montrio offers a comfortable yet classic dining experience, featuring fine European inspired-American cuisine. For the past 25 years, Montrio has worked to showcase sustainable seafood, fine quality meat, and Monterey County’s best produce in all of its dishes has made this renovated 1910 firehouse a local favorite.


We feature a variety of appetizers, award-winning small bites, enticing entrees, and indulgent seasonal desserts made by our in house pastry chef. Choose from Montrio's extensive wine list, or try one of our signature cocktails. Come see what everyone is talking about!

Top review
TeriS
Dined today
We had a lovely dinner for 4 people. Food was outstanding and interesting. Portions were quite large. I particularly loved the lobster bisque and our party raved about the pork chop with the apple. Will definitely return to this restaurant next time we’re in town.
A photo of Basil Seasonal Dining restaurant
4.6
4.6 (867)
$31 to $50
Italian
Carmel
About the restaurant
Creative and modern Californian/Mediterranean dining located in the heart of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Our seasonal menu is inspired by the freshest sustainable seafood the Monterey Bay has to offer and the finest organic produce from our local farmers. Compliment your experience with fun and contemporary cocktails as well as an excellent selection of California"s most sophisticated wines. Our menu includes a generous selection of vegetarian dishes as well as gluten free options. We offer outdoor seating that is dog friendly.
Top review
Connyvip
Dined today
Wow the food and service was incredible!!! Impressive!! Conny G
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