Pacific’s Edge, Carmel

My second visit to Pacific’s Edge in several years was a lot like the first: Too dark to see the view of Big Sur from the dining room.If you wish to dine here (and I suggest you do at some point), do so in the summertime when the days are longer and early enough that there is still daylight when your main course arrives. It’s much more romantic that way.

The real Pacific’s edge isn’t this straight.

Anyway, there are other reasons to dine at Pacific’s Edge other than the view, like the food. The meal I had that evening had its hits and misses, but wasn’t altogether a bad meal.

Wrong? Never.

Can anyone go wrong with oysters? I always enjoy fresh, plump little oysters on its own or with the tiniest squeeze of lemon.

The butternut squash soup should’ve provided the belly-warming comfort one seeks on a chilly night. (That evening, wind swept the light drizzle sideways.)

Visually pretty, gastronomically average

Hazelnuts wouldn’t be my first choice of topping for what’s basically chicken stock, but one, maybe if it had been more butternut squashy and, two, kudos for thinking outside the box.

Scallops here were very much inside the box, and SO. DELICIOUS.

Scallops with “blood” oranges

The perfect scallops are plump, seared to a golden brown on both sides, and still a little rare in the center. They are tender and even a little juicy. And they are these.

Accompaniments went both traditional and modern: mashed potato (lacking what was supposed to be crab meat) and orange segments made for a very interesting single bite.

All of the shortcomings in the savory courses so far were forgotten (temporarily) as soon as the first bites of dessert were taken.


The Hazelnut Cake sounded very fussy (a whopping EIGHT components!), but the resulting flavors worked.

I’m sure you’re curious about the eight components:

Hazelnut cake
Caramelized apple
Apple cider gastrique
Fuji apple gelee
Hazelnut crisp
Brown butter-sage sabayon
Granny Smith apple ice cream

Was I able to taste each and every component? Sure, with the exception of the elderberry – not that I missed it that much. Moist, autumn-y, and nutty plus bright, fruity, cold, and creamy make for a comforting spoonful.

Another windy-wet-night-appropriate dessert was the S’More.

Some more S’more plzkthx!

Chocolate lovers would love the generous serving of warm dark chocolate ganache covered with graham cracker crumbs. Chocolate lovers would especially love (or hate, depending on how you look at it) that the dish is tipped so far to the side of chocolate so that it completely overwhelms the other components. Composing the perfect single bite took a lot of trial and error and when it was accomplished, it was divine.

The most mouthwatering encore


It is just a tad out of the way for San Franciscoans, but ambience, friendly service, and a breathtaking view make dinner here worth the journey. Stick with the seafood appetizers and entrées for best results.

Don’t forget to check out my video review HERE!


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