To eat and sleep at the luxe L'Auberge Carmel is an experience in itself, but even those staying elsewhere can splurge at the inn's intimate restaurant. Chef Justin Cogley's prix-fixe menu includes four- or five-courses, for example Dungeness crab with pear and elderflower vinegar, sablefish with Napa cabbage, dry-aged rib eye grilled over binchotan (white charcoal), chocolate cream with pear and walnut, and an optional artisanal cheese plate. You can also choose the tasting
menu ($145), for which the chefs assemble surprise courses. The well-informed sommelier helps diners navigate the wine list—Aubergine's cellar holds 4,500 bottles.
Nov 6, 2013
I stumbled upon Aubergine while researching local restaurants in the Carmel and Monterey area. After being frustrated with the conventional menus at most places featured by local dining guides, I found the pre-fix menu options at Aubergine refreshing. I was not disappointed in my choice to go there for a celebratory dinner with my husband. The restaurant was both refined and unpretentious, with a highly skilled staff in the front and back of the
house. We chose the eight course option and I was nearly blown away by the pops of flavor and the interesting choices of impeccably fresh ingredients. We had an abalone dish with chicken broth and sake (among other delights) that was to die for. If I had one critique, it is was a beef dish (of which we were encouraged to upgrade to a wagyu-type quality for around $32 an ounce) that was somewhat of a letdown as far as texture. However, the flavor almost made-up for it. All-in-all, it was a memorable dining experience and I would encourage anyone visiting the area to go there if you are up for a culinary adventure.