The Valley Kitchen

4.5
404 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
The Valley Kitchen showcases the natural bounty of California's Central Coast; a region renowned for its seafood, vegetables, and meat & game. The menu highlights cuisine that is ingredient driven and seasonal, focusing on rustic presentations that emphasize bright flavors in harmony with the warm, beautiful setting of the valley.
What 404 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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San Francisco
30 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I. can't. even.

This place was unbelievably incredible - in the best way possible!

We spent Christmas day here enjoying a wonderful vegetarian friendly brunch with beagle boy - INSIDE - the restaurant. Not a typo folks as yes, dogs (well behaved) are allowed inside the restaurant...seriously!

Not only was the ambiance, service an food incredible, we spent some time walking around the property and encountered wild turkeys, and herds of deer roaming the gorgeous wooded property.

Okay, let me get back to the food.

I ordered a sidecar and boy, it was super strong and not that enjoyable unfortunately. And yes, I drank the whole thing.

We started with the Artichoke Spinach Gratin $14.00
Toasted Peasant Bread and Pita - you must GET THIS! Huge chunks of artichokes in a bubbly piping hot ramekin easily shared, and filling for two ;)

Shared the Valley Garden Soup of the Day $10.00
Harvest from Swank Farms, Garnish from Our Garden - it was broccoli and so bright and green - utterly delicious!

And for our main entree Hand Cut Fettuccini Spinach Pasta $19.00
Blistered Tomatoes, Portobello Mushroom, Cold Press Olive Oil and Citrus, Garlic Toast

Our pasta arrived sans portobello, and Michael (the manager) was kind enough to fix it for us delivering a smoking hot buttery garlic bowl of enoki mushroom (bonus!)

The waitstaff was super nice to beagle boy and brought him his own water bowl, which he promptly knocked over (ugh!) and they brought out a mop to clean up the mess. Graciousness with zero hint of judgement.

Sure, you can sit outside with the heat lamps, but why when you can stay inside...nice and toasty.

Definitely a keeper and we will be back, hopefully for a staycation ;)

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PS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife loved her filet mignon which was cooked to perfection.

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CC
1 review
Dined on December 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Ranch property is beautiful and dining is a little pricey, but it's to be expected in Carmel. Food is very good and service is friendly and attentive. Would like a few more vegetarian and vegan options. Like that it aims to be local, sustainable, organic. We were seated before the warm fireplace. Very quiet, welcoming, relaxing ambiance.

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W
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a great experience. I celebrated my birthday with some friends. Beautiful place, nice service & yummy food!!

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OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We has the Tomahawk experience. It is carved tableside and the food was delicious. I loved having the local fluer de sel and the basil olive oil from their trees. The main dining room has a warm, cozy, relaxing vibe with soft, comfy couches that invite you to lounge. Our servers were attentive and helpful. It was pricey but worth it.

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I
Tahoe
40 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

WOW . WOW . WOW....we are definitely coming back here. Fantastic service, from the moment you pull up curbside to the employees that say "hello" as you are walking by. Michael the manager is completely hands-on, the employees all seem so happy to be at work. So refreshing! We had a wonderful young man by the name of Eric wait on us. I had been craving a "wedge" for so long, Eric assured me they had a salad off the menu the chefs would make which would meet that request. It exceeded it! One of the best wedge-like salad I've ever had. Delicious! My husband ordered the Tomahawk steak. Yes, pricey at $115, but it can easily feed two to three people. It looked like a Fred Flinstone steak with a foot long bone. Hahahaha. Lucky me, my husband couldn't finish, he shared some with me. The meat was uber tender and tasty. His meal came with baked garlic cloves and sweet onions that were divine. Lots of tender veggies as well. What a fantastic experience. After our meal, we sat outside, Michael brought our desert fireside, added logs to the fire-pit and kept us warm and comfy. We are planning to go back as soon as possible, and stay overnight so we can enjoy the meal and grounds. Gorgeous place!!!!!! And fantastic staff. Love it!!!! Thank you Micheal and Eric!

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FS
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I can not say enough AMAZING things about this restaurant. Michael helped us pick out a great wine. Jess our server was attentive and helpful but not over bearing at all. The food was perfect. I would not have changed a thing. We order the ribeye tomahawk. Perfectly cooked medium rare, all stuffed potatoes and broccolini. What I loved about our food was that not one thing that was served was just tossed on. perfectly seasoned and cooked. The best steak meal I have ever had.

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PC
Dallas
51 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

A good standby if you'd like a good upscale meal for two or a group, in a beautiful setting. We come here often and have for years. That said, two things I'd improve. 1) The menu seems to change a lot without keeping favorites. I'm fine with new choices and the occasional make-over but it seems every time we visit - two or three times a year - the whole menu has changed. 2) The wait staff sometimes has language challenges. Most of the front waiters speak English fluently but many of the back waiters do not. You might expect them, if they don't understand, to at least notify the front waiter and have that person come by for the request. But that doesn't seem to be what they're trained to do, so a request made to a back waiter amounts to nothing. It's a small thing but a needless rough spot in otherwise smooth service, especially if you've brought a group of folks and the back waiters are in attendance.

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F
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

We have been to this restaurant many times, but this past Sunday night they were "off". The food was overly salty, the $36.00 NY steak was gristly and fatty and we were put in the back room that was sold to us as "the adult room", but was full of children and finally, we waited too long for our food to arrive. This is not acceptable when paying a premium for what should be a nice dinner.

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OT
Seattle
6 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 2

Great for families with kids that want to run and scream, not so great for anyone wanting to talk, relax and enjoy a night out

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful!

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JD
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We started our evening at the bar with cocktails made by Hunter. He was great! Very friendly & chatted with us about the drinks we chose.
Robert waited on us for dinner....he was great also. We were celebrating our anniversary & Robert brought us champagne. It was a very nice addition to our celebration. Food was delicious.
Had breakfast the next morning & it was very good also.

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PH
New Orleans
3 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 3

Food is outstanding, The service for dinner was awful

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OT
Denver
7 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience! Enjoyed the food, service and wine.

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JL
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 5

I love this place, problem is it lunchtime the service is a little slow. They have the best soup just wish they would change it every week it seems like they have the same soup for months at a time.

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c
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Carlos is a gem on a man, really a great asset to this wonderful resort.

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Z
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 3

I have dined here a number of times. Chef Wood never disappoints. However on this evening the service was just bad. Granted it was packed and I understand there were a few private parties also. But after being seated we waited for 15 minutes to even get our drink order in. The table was not set properly with no small plates for our abundant charcuterie platter, nor any water glasses. Another 20 minutes to place our food orders. Although our seasonal salads were exceptional they arrive with our appetizer . Our entree's were also excellent but tardy. Luckily Michael the new manager stepped in and personally did everything he could to bring order to the table. As a sommelier I find their wine list to be pleasant but lacking depth and a poor wines by the glass program. Nevertheless we will return and will write this off as an off night.

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JP
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Took my wife for our anniversary, it was amazing! The service was exceptional and the food delicious!

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CR
London
3 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is truly amazing! The waiter - Leandro- was also excellent!

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EA
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

always good. always fresh ingredients. menu varies seasonally. service is fantastic. thanks valley kitchen for another memorable meal.

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S
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is the restaurant at the Carmel Valley Ranch. We ate out of its kitchen four separate times during our stay and the food was excellent every time. We got a very nice wine that was not overpriced and I had a terrific steak. They were very accomodating to our rambunctious nine year old. Highly recommended if you want to get to a warmer spot after some time on the beach.

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OT
3 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We live locally and always have a wonderful experience at The Valley Kitchen - made more special by Leandro, who is just outstanding - he always remembers us, is genuine, attentive and never fails to enhance our dining with something extra, a small dish of a special sauce, extra lemon for my tea. We love going and sharing the Tomahawk steak with our son - with extra sides and a shared salad it makes the perfect family style dinner. Highly recommend this beautiful, serene restaurant with perfectly prepared food, craft cocktails, and personal and attentive service.

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M
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My favorite restaurant in Monterey County. Great food, service greatly improved most recently, and fun!

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A
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

There weren't too many options available for late dinner on Saturday night in Carmel Valley, and Valley Kitchen was open late with availability. We were seated promptly. The menu seemed standard and a little minimalist (not overwhelmed with options). We ordered a couple of salads and entrees and were quite impressed by the flavors and portions. We decided to come back the next morning for Sunday brunch and were blown away by the quality and unique flavors. Whoever knew you could make basic eggs and hash super extra? Plus, the views of the property are simply stunning. Definitely go for window seating.

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L
Central Coast
28 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 3ambience 1

This was the single worst restaurant experience I have had in recent memory. The restaurant had a group of very rowdy guests that were loud, obnoxious with all kinds of foul language that was being heard during the entire dinner by our young children. It was not until we were almost ready to leave that the restaurant took any action on our behalf despite our frequent requests for help. The guest we had with us were embarrassed and unhappy as well. For me - spending nearly $600 dinner for a group of 8 and hating every single minute of the evening was just awful. Shame on the restaurant, the hotel and all of the management for allowing us to have such a miserable experience. If you are looking for a pleasant place for a nice dinner with family or friends - this is not it!

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MD
4 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We eat here often and always enjoy our food. When first seated the sun was in our face and we weren’t offered another spot (we should have asked!) and the music was quite loud. The sun went down and the music turned down and things were much improved. Filet was good as always, pork chop tasty, chicken and hamburger yummy also. Service was friendly and attentive.

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 2

Fabulous everything EXCEPT seated next to a VERY LOUD table of 7 adults - seriously dampened the
otherwise wonderful experience.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Farm-to-table, very well done

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b
San Francisco
64 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

We dined at 7:30, probably during the later half of the dinner rush. The waiter was nice and explained the specials, was attentive to our 3 year old daughter, getting her an extra coloring menu, but the meal service was rather slow. Bread, water, drinks and appetizer came quickly but we waited about 30 minutes for the entrees, and the dining room was clearly emptying out. Not sure what the issue was in the kitchen, but the delay was noticeable. Hopefully next time the food will be more well paced.

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SD
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

My wife and I were given glasses of complimentary champagne shortly after being seated for our anniversary celebration dinner. Nice, much appreciated touch! My pork chop was a little under and my wife's salmon was a little overcooked. Great service, and just the atmosphere we wanted! Unfortunately, my car was hit by another guest after we left it in the valet area. Marcie from the staff was super, handling everything very well and professionally, including giving us a copy of their in-house incident report. This could have been easily avoided if our car was parked promptly after we left it. Not sure if we will return. We are still relatively new to the area and like trying new places.

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OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food... great service ... fantastic chief! Best time!

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t
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We had the Caesar salad, New York steak. It was cooked perfectly. The lemon martini was delicious. The Pinot noir was great with the steak. The waiter was attentive and friendly. The ambience was romantic and upbeat. We enjoyed the music.
Only thing I will give a negative about was the dessert. We ordered the chocolate cake. It was dry and tasted like baking powder. Just a suggestion to work on dessert options.

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OT
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sat outside on the patio for a nice lunch. Food and service were both excellent. Try this chicken wings. They are sweet and spicy.

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BE
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 20, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Food not that great. Service needs improvement. Waiters need trainings

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R
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

Steak ordered medium was brought out very well done. The waiter insisted on a fixing it which we appreciated, but we got the sever the kitchen has some attention issues. Food was decent otherwise, but you’re really coming fir the views.

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c
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Chef Tim Wood has created an amazing menu. Manager, Carlos is always very attentive and accommodating. We took friends here for dinner last Sat night and enjoyed the live music and delicious food. The service was top-notch. Our friends had never been to this restaurant and they were so impressed and said they can't wait to go back.
Thank you for another perfect experience.

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f
Sacramento
155 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything is fresh and fantastic!

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f
Sacramento
155 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic everything. Highly recommend.

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DT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Best pork chop I've ever had ! Mashed potatoes were excellent, as were the veggies that came with. My wife's polenta had too much cheese, but that is her personal preference. Overall, an excellent meal.

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OT
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful grounds and very nice/ warm staff!

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