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If you are on assignment and would like to stay or dine at any of our properties, we would be pleased to assist with your press trip. For further information, photography or to answer questions, please contact:

 

Melissa Welles 
mw@melissawellespr.com

 

 

Press Kits

 

| L'Auberge Carmel Press Kit
Download Here
|

Aubergine Press Kit
Download Here

| Cantinetta Luca & Salumeria Luca Press Kit
Download Here
   

 

 

 

Bios

 

| David Fink, CEO
Mirabel Hotel & Restaurant Group
   
| Jason Balestrieri
Executive Chef - Culinary Director

Cantinetta Luca, Salumeria Luca & 400°
|

Justin Cogley, Executive Chef

Aubergine

|

Ron Mendoza, Executive Pastry Chef

Mirabel Hotel & Restaurant Group

   

 

 

Press Releases
Vist our blog for more information, mirabelgroup.com/blog

 

 

 

 

 

In the News
L'Auberge Carmel & AubergineCantinetta LucaSalumeria Luca400° Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest

 

L'Auberge Carmel & Aubergine

 

Aubergine awarded #16 of Top US Restaurants, Opinionated About Dining, March 31, 2014

 

Relais & Châteaux Chefs on Travel, Hotels, and the Weirdest Foods Ever by Kate Parham, Conde Nast Traveler, March 27, 2014

 

Justin Cogley of Aubergine talks coastal cuisine and discovery by Paolo Lucchesi, Inside Scoop SF, March 20, 2014

 

The 2014 Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists: Best Chef: West - Justin Cogley, James Beard Foundation, February 19, 2014

 

Relais & Châteaux Puts on a Show by Shivani Vora, New York Times, February 13, 2014

 

World's Best Cities for Romance: No. 3 Carmel, CA by Stephanie Orma, Travel and Leisure, February 2014

 

How Star Chefs Take Their Eggs by Justine Sterling, Food & Wine Blog, January 28, 2014

 

Forbes Travel Guide names Five-Star porperties by Nancy Trejos, USA Today, January 22, 2014

 

the best of 2013: the restaurant edition by Ulterior Epicure, ulteriorepicure.com, January 9, 2014

 

Where to Eat Well in Carmel by Dana Rebmann, 7x7, January 7, 2014

 

Boston's 2nd Shake Shack Opens; Aubergine Collaboration, by Erin DeJesus, Eater.com, January 2, 2014

 

#35. Ossau-Iraty, Best Dishes of 2013 by Ulterior Epicure, ulteriorepicure.com, January 2, 2014

 

Artist of Flavors: Justin Cogley, Gourmet Festival Sylt, January 15-19

 

The 15 Best Dishes of 2013 According to John Sconzo, AKA Docsconz by Paula Forbes, Eater.com, December 30, 2013

 

Aubergine – A Walk on the Sea, Chuck Eats, December 23, 2013

 

Relais & Châteaux Celebrates New Members with Lunch at Daniel, Luxury Travel Magazine, December 12, 2013

 

      Additional Pickup:

      Justin Cogley Gets Grand Chef Nod; Comal's Spinoff Plans by Rose Garrett, EaterSF, December 12, 2013

      Name Dropper, Monterey County Herald, December 13, 2013

 

Aubergine - Carmel Cool by John Sconzo, Docsconz: Musings on Food & Life, December 3, 2013

 

Aubergine - Carmel, CA, insert food blog, November 17, 2013

 

A Visit to Aubergine at L'Auberge Carmel by Carolyn Jung, Food Gal, November 8, 2013

 

Aubergine, Carmel, CA,this guy's food blog, October 14, 2013

 

Central Coast Classic & Cool by Joanne DiBona, USA Today Travel, October 11, 2013

 

101 Best Hotel Restaurants Around the World 2013: #6 Aubergine, The Daily Meal, October 7, 2013

also listed on CNN and NBC

 

Tasting Menus Blaze Trail by Michael Bauer, SF Chronicle, September 15, 2013

 

Chef Diaries: Justin Cogley, Nowness, August 23, 2013

 

The Best Drives - 2. Pacific Coast Highway, Cheapcarrental.com, August 2013

 

A Passion for Pastry by Deborah Luhrman, Edible Monterey Bay, Fall 2013

 

Coastal California: From the Bay Area to Monterey in an Aston Martin D85, Automobile Magazine, August 2013

 

Driving California's Pacific Coast Part Three, by Christopher Mariani, Virtual Gourmet, July 28, 2013

 

Get To Know Aubergine’s Buzzed-About New Head Chef, Maria C. Hunt, Forbes Travel, July 18, 2013

 

Justin Cogley, The Lift from Aspen 82, June 15, 2013

 

Check That ID, Carmel Magazine, page 159, Spring / Summer 2013

 

TripAdvisor is delighted to recognize Aubergine at L'Auberge Carmel with a 2013 Certificate of Excellence,
May 2013

 

Aubergine awarded #8 of Top Nothern California Restaurants / Aubergine awarded #5 of Top New American Restaurants / Aubergine awarded #39 of Top US Restaurants, Opinionated About Dining, May 30, 2013

 

Celebrate 10 Years of Uchi; Guest Chef at Oxheart by Eric Sandler, Eater Houston, May 10, 2013

 

Aubergine in Entree Magazine, page 11, May-June 2013

 

travel: rediscovering coastal cuisine… by the ulteriror epicure, ulteriorepicure.com, April 24, 2013

 

Cogley cooks up savory post-skating career by Lois Elman, Icenetwork.com, April 25, 2013

 

Amazing Tastes: Justin Cogley and Aubergine’s April Tasting Menu by Mark Anderson, MC Weekly, April 17, 2013

 

Carmel chef Justin Cogley one of the best in U.S., KSBW Television, April 12, 2013

 

Coastal Retreat in the Heart of Carmel-by-the-Sea: L'Auberge Carmel by Nicolle Monico, Just Luxe, April 4, 2013

 

In San Juan, 'Best New Chef' Jose Enrique shines by S. Irene Virbila, LA Times Daily Dish, April 3, 2013

 

Food Fodder Radio Show with Off the Menu and Grub Hunter, KRML, April 3, 2013 (download mp3, 13 mb)

 

Justin Cogley is FOOD & WINE’s Best New Chef 2013, April 2, 2013

Justin Cogley

RESTAURANT Aubergine (Read a review)

LOCATION Carmel, CA


WHY HE’S AMAZING
 Because he combines ultra-seasonal ingredients with flavors from his world travels, creating a menu that changes nightly and that’s purely Northern California.


CULINARY SCHOOL
 The Western Culinary Institute (Portland, OR)


BACKGROUND
 Charlie Trotter’s (Chicago)

 

QUINTESSENTIAL DISH Abalone and oyster with pickled sea beans and wild sea lettuce on a braised pig’s tail cake


PREVIOUS CAREER
 In his early 20s, Cogley toured the world as a professional figure skater with Disney on Ice. “We had so much downtime when the show was being transferred to different cities—it could take as long as a month. We’d eat out wherever we could.”


ON HIS TRANSITION FROM SKATER TO CHEF
 “It was very natural. I was so used to working long hours. Restaurants were a natural fit for me.”


TAKEAWAY FROM CHARLIE TROTTER’S PRECISION AND SPONTANEITY
Precision and spontaneity: Cogley’s dishes look like tiny scenes from nature—seemingly unscripted but composed.

 

Food and Wine lists 2013's best new chef, CBS This Morning, April 2, 2013

 

Former figure skater is among top new U.S. chefs by Richard Leong, Reuters, April 2, 2013

 

Aubergine's Justin Cogley wins F&W Mag Best New Chef, Edible Monterey Bay, April 2, 2013

 

10 Things You May Not Know About F&W Best New Chef Justin Cogley by Meesha Halm, Zagat, April 2, 2013

 

Bowien, Cogley Are Food & Wine 2013 Best New Chefs, Eater SF, April 2, 2013

 

Danny Bowien, Justin Cogley among Food & Wine’s 2013 Best New Chefs by Paolo Lucchesi, Inside Scoop SF, April 2, 2013

 

Carmel chef honored by Food & Wine magazine, The Californian, April 2, 2013

 

Carmel, CA - Part II by Mari Chatlin, Mari's Travel Blog, March 27, 2013

 

Aubergine awarded #39 of Top US Restaurants, Opinionated About Dining, March 25, 2013

 

The Most Romantic Old-World Hideaway in Northern California: L'Auberge Carmel by Ann Abel, Forbes.com, March 21, 2013

 

Best Restaurant to Splurge: Aubergine, Monterey Weekly, March 14, 2013

Local Dungeness crab paired with nitrogen-prepared coconut froth is a rare treat. And ridiculously fresh Monterey Bay abalone plucked from the kitchen tank within 10 minutes of consumption and garnished with seaweed that Japanese foragers risk their lives to harvest can only be described as a small miracle. Chef Justin Cogley creates these kinds of moments on a daily basis; keeping his cuisine unbelievably simple, while at the same time blowing minds. Generally one prodigious taste-wizard in a restaurant is enough, but Aubergine boasts the skills of Chef Ron Mendoza in the realm of pastry/sorbet/milkballs/holy wow as well. It all makes for a rare destination where $120 for a tasting menu is actually a good value.

 

Eat Your Way Through Carmel by Dana Rebmann, 7x7 SF, March 14, 2013

 

Aubergine Awarded Best Service by Open Table Diners, March 2013

 

Justin Cogley is Nominated for FOOD & WINE’s The People’s Best New Chef® 2013 award, March 11, 2013

Justin Cogley

RESTAURANT Aubergine (Read a review)

LOCATION Carmel, CA

WHY HE’S AMAZING Because he combines ultra-seasonal ingredients with flavors from his world travels, creating a menu that changes nightly and that’s purely Northern California.

CULINARY SCHOOL The Western Culinary Institute (Portland, OR)

BACKGROUND Charlie Trotter’s (Chicago)

QUINTESSENTIAL DISH Abalone and oyster with pickled sea beans and wild sea lettuce on a braised pig’s tail cake

PREVIOUS CAREER In his early 20s, Cogley toured the world as a professional figure skater with Disney on Ice. “We had so much downtime when the show was being transferred to different cities—it could take as long as a month. We’d eat out wherever we could.”

ON HIS TRANSITION FROM SKATER TO CHEF “It was very natural. I was so used to working long hours. Restaurants were a natural fit for me.”

TAKEAWAY FROM CHARLIE TROTTER’S PRECISION AND SPONTANEITY Precision and spontaneity: Cogley’s dishes look like tiny scenes from nature—seemingly unscripted but composed.

 

Aubergine Chef Hosts Epic Meal by Mike Hale, Monterey Herald, March 5, 2013

Chefs love working with the finest ingredients available because they spark excitement and creativity. But they also scream out for restraint. No chef knows this more than Justin Cogley, who tries to find a sophisticated balance between innovation and purity, knowing that he must often pull back in deference to what nature provides.

The brilliant chef at Aubergine in Carmel tracks down the finest ingredients on the planet (most of them from Monterey County), and he lets them shine on the plate with "complex simplicity" (an oxymoronic phrase to the layman, but logical to a chef). No confusing, muddled flavors, just a harmonious, flavor-packed tribute to quality.

It's simply brilliant.

Take his treatment of Monterey Bay abalone. Tender and succulent, the mollusk is sliced and served with local sea grapes (small, fluid-filled bulbs that resemble Pinot Noir grapes) and alba mushrooms (a clamshell variety that is distinguished by its mild shellfish flavor). Cogley ties it together with a broth spiked with umeboshi (Japanese pickled salt plums) and bits of seawater suspended in a gel.

The dish tastes of the ocean, briny and sweet and delicate.

Or how about Cogley's ribeye? This is no cliché seen in steakhouses. He starts with imported Wagyu beef from the Miyazaki Prefecture in the southern islands of Kyushu, Japan. It is recognized as the most superior beef in the world, and each shipment comes with 100percent traceability, including a detailed birth

certificate that even includes an animal nose-print.

 

This well-marbled, succulent beef is seared simply, but served alongside complex flavors of yellow beet, tonka bean (a wrinkled legume from South America that imparts flavors of vanilla, almond and spicy cinnamon) and fermented black garlic. No knife needed here as the meat melts on your tongue.

"I spend a lot of time getting the best ingredients," Cogley said "I try my best not to get in the way. I want the flavors to be unique and pure."

 

Toward that end, the restaurant underwent a recent renovation, including new carpeting, fabrics, lighting and chairs — and a custom-built cheese cave to hold Cogley's amazing fromagerie collection. In the kitchen, he installed a live fish tank with a bio-wheel to create the perfect environment for live spot prawns, sea cucumbers and abalone.

 

Prior to his career as a chef, Cogley took a turn as a professional international figure skater with "Disney on Ice." Traveling and touring with the show for four years in Asia, Australia and Europe, Cogley became fascinated with new flavors and cuisines.

 

When he returned to the United States, he enrolled at the Western Culinary Institute. After graduating with top honors in 2005, he launched his culinary career at the prestigious Charlie Trotter's in Chicago before moving to Carmel.

 

Cogley's talent is no secret. A large circle of chefs knows about his exploits at Aubergine, and five of the most esteemed chefs in the country will visit on Saturday for an epic 12-course meal designed to rediscover coastal cuisine. Cogley will host the dinner and join the five chefs (Scott Anderson, Elements, New Jersey; James Syhabout, Commis, Oakland; Matthias Merges, Yusho, Chicago; George Mendes, Aldea, New York; and John Shields, formerly of Town House in Washington, D.C., and now building his own concept) in creating two dishes apiece. The meal is sold out (at $250 a plate, not including wine), which reveals a lot about Cogley's talent and reputation.

 

Now it's about convincing the Michelin Guide to venture this far south. If that happens (and there are rumors that it will this spring), a "star" will definitely be born.

 

 

 

The Weekly Feed by Carolyn Alburger, San Francisco Magazine, March 4, 2013

Another gathering of amazing chefs from across the country will be going down this Saturday in Carmel atAubergine. The local talents are James Syhaboutof Commis, and Justin Cogley of Aubergine, who will be cooking a 12-course tasting menu in concert with George Mendes of AldeaMatthias Mergesof YushoJohn Shields, and Scott Anderson ofElements. It’s not every day chefs like this come together in one dining room, so if you can spring for the $250 price tag (plus $110 for wine pairings), you probably won’t be disappointed.

 

European Charm by Casey Chiotti, San Diego Magazine, March 2013

 

Aubergine's Coastal Dinner; Solstice's Last Night by Allie Pape, Eater SF, February 27, 2013

 

Expect the Unexpected by Alison Clare Steingold, C Magazine, March 2013

 

Central Coast cooking classes dish up big fun, flavor by Christine Delsol, SFGate, February 20, 2013

 

Aubergine - Carmel, CA, Insert food, February 9, 2013

 

Aubergine's re-opening is well worth the wait by Elaine Jesser, Off 68, February 14, 2013

 

Down-Low Diner: Aubergine- The Restaurant at L’Auberge Carmel by Allyson Thommen, SeeMonterey Blog, February 1, 2013

 

Sampling Monterey County's Bounty by David Armstrong, Alaska Airlines, February 2013

 

10 Must-Try Black Truffle Dishes in SF Bay Area by Meesha Halm, Zagat, January 23, 2013

 

Grand Reopening at Aubergine Delivers Fresh New Future by Mark Anderson, Weekly, January 16, 2013

 

 

 

 

Perfect Meal 2012, ChuckEats, January 3, 3013

 

L'Auberge Carmel hotel gets million-dollar makeover by Phillip Molnar, Monterey Herald, December 19, 2012

 

Carmel offers gifts that can't be wrapped by Jeanne Cooper, SFGate, December 11, 2012

 

Carmel's L'Auberge gets a cosmetic make-over by Elaine Hesser, Off 68, November 29, 2012

 

The Great Catch Up Part 2 - Another 25 Restaurants That I Visited This Year, Opinionated About Dining, November 27, 2012

 

Aubergine (Carmel-by-the-Sea) – Justin Cogley is doing a great job at this kitchen in the lovely L’Auberge de Carmel, located a short block and a half off of the main drag at this lovely seaside village. A veteran of Charlie Trotter’s kitchen, when Cogley replaced Christophe Grosjean, he had the difficult task of modernizing this restaurant’s cuisine, while keeping a clientele that is predominantly older and well-heeled, and not necessarily open to new culinary concepts, happy and wanting to come back. How did he manage it? With well thought out and tasty dishes like live spot prawn, frozen apple and smoked char roe and ribeye, yellow beet, tonka bean and black garlic. You get to enjoy Cogley’s cooking in an intimate 12 table dining room which comes with a wine list that can be easily described as stupendous. Recommended ++ 

 

 

 

L'Auberge Carmel - Old World Luxury by the Sea, Global Adventures, November 2012

 

Dining Detectives: World Class Dining at Aubergine Restaurant at L’Auberge Carmel by FBWorld Team, November 27, 2012

 

L'Auberge Carmel & Aubergine Restaurant Goes Through Extensive Remodel, Luxury Travel Magazine, November 22, 2012

 

World Class Dining at Aubergine Restaurant at L’Auberge Carmel by Joe Davis, Examiner.com, November 20, 2012

 

It's Dessert for Dinner in Sand City by Mike Hale, Monterey County Herald, November 20, 2012

 

Creme of Carmel by Bob & Sue, Andrew Zimmern.Com, August 30, 2012

 

Abalone: Local, delectable, and not as daunting as I previously imagined by Camilla M. Mann, Edible Monterey Bay Blog, August 27, 2012

 

Aubergine at L’Auberge Carmel – Fog of the Sea, Chuck Eats, August 13, 2012

 

5 Bay Area Dining Destinations Worth Traveling For, Zagat, July 30, 2012

 

A Chateaux by the Sea by Lisa Crawford Watson, Guest Live Monterey Bay, July 12, 2012

 

Atelier Crenn annouces next dialogue dinner with Aubergine, by Jenna Broughton, SF Examiner, July 9, 2012

 

About.com Guide, by Betsy Malloy, May 2012

 

Dinner for Two, by Dr. Stefan Elfenbein, Luxury, May Issue (German, PDF 7 mb)

 

Top 25 Northern California Restaurants, Opinionated About Dining 2012 Restaurant Survey

11 Awesome Amuse Bouches From Across the U.S., Jennifer Evans Gardner, Zagat, April 16, 2012

 

Fink dishes out luxury, Mike Hale, Monterey Hearald, April 10, 2012

 

Abject Terroir, Aubergine elevates the art of service, by Mark C. Anderson, MC Weekly, March 8, 2012

 

Three Restaurants that are the Talk of the Town, Dr. Stefan Elfenbei, VIP International Traveller, February 2012

 

Aubergine continues 'Terroir' series, by Elaine Hesser For Off 68, February 10, 2012

 

Spring / Summer Menu Preview 2012, by Irene Sax, Food Arts, January 2012

 

Cooking up gourmet adventures across the West, By April Orcutt, Special to the Los Angeles Times, January 29, 2012

 

Knuckles grasps the future of beer, by Mike Hale, Monterey Herald, January 4, 2012

 

Dungeness Crab for the Holidays: Get Cracking!, MarketWatch's Anthony Lazarus reports, December 20, 2011

 

Restaurant Aubergine Carmel, by Felix Hirsch, QLI, October 27, 2011

 

Carmel's Aubergine Earns Number Five Zagat Ranking, Beating Out Slanted Door, Chez Panisse By Mark C. Anderson, MC Weekly, September 20, 2011

     

Zagat San Francisco Bay Area 2012: Gary Danko is still tops and the city is full of bad tippers, Inside Scoop SF, September 20, 2011

     

Carmel and Monterey make their mark on fine dining by Michael Bauer, SF Chronicle, September 18, 2011

 

The picturesque land of plenty by Patty Burness, Northside San Francisco, September 2011

 

Aubergine Dream By Mark C. Anderson, MC Weekly, April 28, 2011

 

Aubergine Pastry Chef Competes for Best Dessert in the World by Mark C. Anderson, MC Weekly, March 30, 2011

 

 

 

Cantinetta Luca

 

Destinations: Carmel-by-the-Sea by Milla Sukonik, Caviar Affair, Winter 2014

 

Lady in Carmel-by-the-Sea, A Lady in London, January 13, 2014

 

Carmel: Tickle Your Fancy by Brenna McGowan, Style Magazine, August 2013

 

Cantinetta Luca - ristorante squisito by Tammy Neal, 65 Degrees Magazine, Spring 2013

 

A Brief And Opinionated Guide To Monterey County, Carmel, And Big Sur, California by Ann Abel, Forbes.com, March 18, 2013

 

Central Coast cooking classes dish up big fun, flavor by Christine Delsol, SFGate, February 20, 2013


Sampling Monterey County's Bounty by David Armstrong, Alaska Airlines, February 2013

 

Carmel offers gifts that can't be wrapped by Jeanne Cooper, SFGate, December 11, 2012

 

Carmel's Cantinetta Luca - Authentic Italian Flavors, Global Adventures, November 2012

 

Coming Soon: La Maialata V at Cantinetta Luca by Off the Menu, November 21, 2012

 

True Italian Food Artists by Larry Harland, Carmel Magazine, November 2012

 

Giuseppe returns to Luca, Carmel Pine Cone, November 9, 2012

 

Off the Menu: Monterey's Bistro Moulin comes out on top when it comes to favorite restaurants by Raul N., Monterey Herald, October 31, 2012

 

After last week's review of Cibo, I got to thinking whether any other restaurants around town had taken on the challenge of crafting an Italian dinner that's both rustic and refined.

As I sat down to a long overdue dinner at Cantinetta Luca, I realized I already knew the answer: yes — and resoundingly well at that. At Cantinetta Luca, chef Jason Balestrieri's cuisine honors Italian tradition, but gives it a modern, fresh feel.

The best bite from dinner was the sardine appetizer — crostini topped with grilled sardines, tomatoes, grapes, capers, shallots and arugula. I loved the combination of bitter arugula, sweet shallots and briny capers, all accented with a bite of acid.

The evening's special pizza — fig, gorgonzola and prosciutto, topped with arugula — was superb. And the entrée addition for the night — braised pork cheeks with gnocchi and butternut squash — was a rich, savory feast of fall flavors.

For dessert, we finished with a decadent chocolate semifreddo with citrus and milk jam.

That delicious dinner at Cantinetta Luca wiped away the sad memories of my disappointing experience at Cibo a couple nights earlier, proving that in the right hands, rustic Italian food can be a gourmet experience.

Cantinetta Luca is on Dolores Street, between Ocean and Seventh avenues in Carmel. 625-6500.www.cantinettaluca.com.

 

 

Grand Central: Ciao Bella! by Gillian Flyn, Riviera San Diego, October 2012

Cantinetta Luca & Salumeria Luca: The Down-Low Diner, by Allyson Thommen, See Monterey Blog, August 27, 2012

 

Dose of Vitamin P: Cantinetta Luca Salume Selection, By Joshua Lurie, Food GPS, April 17, 2012

 

Tapas Time!, by Raul N. Off the Menu, Monterey Herald, March 28, 2012

Best Bite 
Looking to try a delicious dessert closer to home? I enjoyed a mighty tasty ricotta cheesecake ($6) at Carmel's Cantinetta Luca on Monday night.

The ricotta gave this cheesecake a velvety smooth texture. Topping a dessert with fennel might sound strange to some, but cooking down the fennel brought out its sweet, licorice undertones, while keeping a little hint of something savory.

And the pairing with a light tangerine sorbet made the perfect sweet finish to a delightful dinner.

 

Best Restaurant of Carmel 2012 - Cantinetta Luca, MC Weekly Readers Poll 2012, March 15, 2012

 

Top 100 bites: Local dishes you've got to try before you die, By Mike Hale and Raul N., Monterey Herald, January 31, 2012

· Pumpkin ravioli with prosciutto and sage brode, toasted breadcrumbs and saba at Cantinetta Luca in Carmel

· Burrata cheese and crostini at Cantinetta Luca in Carmel 

· Olive oil gelato at Salumeria Luca in Carmel 

 

Feeling Cured: Salumeria Luca unfurls an impressive assemblage of Italian charcuterie, sandwiches and other treats, by Ulia Zettie, MC Weekly, December 22, 2011

 

New masters revive an age-old craft, By Pete Rerig, Edible Monterey, Winter 2011

 

Lady Fates: A search for foodie meaning, from school lunch to Brendan Jones’ new Lokal restaurant in Carmel Valley by Mark C. Anderson, MC Weekly, December 15, 2011

 

La Mailata IV: Celebration of the Pig, by Elaine Giuliano, Edible Monterey Bay, 2011

 

Off the Menu: Cantinetta Luca's delicious La Maialata pig dinner happens only one night a year, by Raul N. Off the Menu, Monterey Herald, December 15, 2011

 

The arrival of fall means pumpkin and squash galore at many restaurants, by Raul N. Off the Menu, Monterey Herald, November 3, 2011

 

Mike Hale, Grub Hunter: Embracing the art of charcuterie, Monterey Herald, October 12, 2011

 

Italian deli opens in Carmel by ELAINE GIULIANO, The Californian, October 7, 2011

 

A search for foodie meaning, from school lunch to Brendan Jones’ new Lokal restaurant in Carmel Valley by Mark C. Anderson, MC Weekly, September 29, 2011

 

Carmel and Monterey make their mark on fine dining by Michael Bauer, SF Chronicle, September 18, 2011

 

Tips from a seasoned grubster by Mike Hale, Herald, August 31, 2011

 

Chewing through Car Week and a salumeria to swear by. By Mark C. Anderson, MC Weekly, August 25, 2011

 

 

Salumeria Luca

 

Where to Eat Well in Carmel by Dana Rebmann, 7x7, January 7, 2014

 

Getaway Guide: Kids And Dogs Welcome At Carmel-By-The-Sea by Liz Laing, CBS Los Angeles.com, March 15, 2013

For dessert, we couldn’t resist one more trip for gelato at Salumeria Luca, which is also a great place to stock up on picnic goods as you explore the surrounding area or buy some gourmet gifts to take home and remember your trip to Carmel-by-the-Sea.

 

Eat Your Way Through Carmel by Dana Rebmann, 7x7 SF, March 14, 2013


5 Things We Love About Carmel
by Jenna Scatena, Via Magazine, March / April 2013

 

Sip and Stroll through Dog-Friendly Carmel by Dana Rebmann, 7x7 SF, January 30, 2013

 

Grand Central: Ciao Bella! by Gillian Flyn, Riviera San Diego, October 2012

Cantinetta Luca & Salumeria Luca: The Down-Low Diner, by Allyson Thommen, See Monterey Blog, August 27, 2012

 

Top 100 bites: Local dishes you've got to try before you die, By Mike Hale and Raul N., Monterey Herald, January 31, 2012

· Pumpkin ravioli with prosciutto and sage brode, toasted breadcrumbs and saba at Cantinetta Luca in Carmel

· Burrata cheese and crostini at Cantinetta Luca in Carmel 

· Olive oil gelato at Salumeria Luca in Carmel 

 

Feeling Cured: Salumeria Luca unfurls an impressive assemblage of Italian charcuterie, sandwiches

and other treats, by Ulia Zettie, MC Weekly, December 22, 2011

 

New masters revive an age-old craft, By Pete Rerig, Edible Monterey, Winter 2011

 

Lady Fates: A search for foodie meaning, from school lunch to Brendan Jones’ new Lokal restaurant in Carmel Valley by Mark C. Anderson, MC Weekly, December 15, 2011

 

La Mailata IV: Celebration of the Pig, by Elaine Giuliano, Edible Monterey Bay, 2011

 

Cantinetta Luca's delicious La Maialata pig dinner happens only one night a year, by Raul N. Off the Menu, Monterey Herald, December 15, 2011

 

The arrival of fall means pumpkin and squash galore at many restaurants, by Raul N. Off the Menu, Monterey Herald, November 3, 2011

 

Mike Hale, Grub Hunter: Embracing the art of charcuterie, Monterey Herald, October 12, 2011

 

Italian deli opens in Carmel by ELAINE GIULIANO, The Californian, October 7, 2011

 

A search for foodie meaning, from school lunch to Brendan Jones’ new Lokal restaurant in Carmel Valley by Mark C. Anderson, MC Weekly, September 29, 2011

 

Tips from a seasoned grubster by Mike Hale, Herald, August 31, 2011

 

Chewing through Car Week and a salumeria to swear by. By Mark C. Anderson, MC Weekly, August 25, 2011

 

 

 

400° Gourmet Burgers & Fries

 

Just in time for the holiday weekend and the close of National Hamburger Month, 400° Gourmet Burgers & Fries made a splash in the Carmel last week.

This new project from David Fink and the Mirabel Hotel and Restaurant Group finds chef Jason Balestrieri — also executive chef at Mirabel-backed Cantinetta Luca — trading Italian fine dining for good old-fashioned burgers. (And don't worry, Balestrieri isn't leaving Luca — he's juggling both kitchens.)

I popped into the new burger joint twice last week. This isn't really a review, but more like my first impressions of things that showed promise and things that needed a little work. (It's only their first week of service, after all.)

The burgers at 400° are cooked medium on a custom-made cast-iron griddle.

On opening night, I ordered The Kobe — a Kobe beef patty with soused onions, smoked cheddar cheese, crispy potatoes and 400° spread ($13.95).

The burger (ordered medium-rare) was juicy and flavorful, a rich patty complemented by tangy onions and smoky cheese.

The bun was grilled with olive oil, leaving it a little greasy, but no less effective at holding onto the juicy patty. I was impressed that even with all those toppings it didn't turn too soggy.

I sampled a couple bites of the turkey burger, with cranberry-currant spread, Swiss cheese and wild arugula ($8.95) in a tasty nod to Thanksgiving.

On my second visit, I ordered a cheeseburger, withcheddar, lettuce, tomato and 400 sauce ($8.95, double for $13.95). I made it breakfast for dinner and added applewood-smoked bacon and fried egg ($1.50 extra each).

I'm a big fan of bacon and eggs on a burger, and this burger didn't disappoint.

I also tried a few bites of the veggie burger, with chopped spinach, bean and grilled vegetable patty, griddled mushrooms and eggplant-miso spread ($8.95).

The patty was a little mushy, but I liked the earthy flavors of the mushrooms and spinach. I recommend adding crispy onions ($1.50) for a bit of sweet crunch too.

While the burgers were pretty tasty, the much-hyped duck fat fries ($3.95) were a bit of a disappointment.

Cooking in duck fat should have yielded rich, crispy fries — that's the experience I've had with other fat-fried foods. But honestly, I couldn't tell much of a difference between the house-cut Kennebec fries ($2.95) and the duck-fat fries.

There's no formal table service at 400° — you order at the counter, get a number for your table and food is bussed by floating waitstaff, a model that stirred up quite the controversy in Carmel.

I thought the counter service model was perfect for a burger joint, but even my patience was tried opening night when customers and servers piled up at the counter in an awkward traffic jam.

I also found it a little odd that my ticket stayed open throughout my meal. Most times when you order at a counter, you pay at the counter, end of story.

This has been the top complaint on Yelp, confusion and frustration when it comes to pay.

On my second visit, each table was equipped with a tablet computer for ordering. The tablets were supposed to make it easy to place, modify and pay for your order from the comfort of the table. But mine kept popping up error messages, and I had to seek out a human being instead.

I think service would be improved by keeping things as simple as possible: clear direction for ordering and paying, and reliable technology.

The burgers haven't ousted those at Umami Burger for the title of all-time best in my book, but 400° is a welcome addition to our local food scene that's sure to be sizzling this summer.

 

400° turns up the heat, by Mike Hale, Monterey Herald, May 16, 2012

David Fink's much-ballyhooed and controversial gourmet burger joint will open in Carmel on Wednesday, with a design, a menu and a philosophy that should put to rest any concerns the eatery will somehow destroy the cherished fabric of the village.

Little about 400° Gourmet Burgers & Fries should remind guests of a fast-food operation, the great fear among some provincial folk. Customers may order from the counter or receive table service in the comfortable dining room or on the dog-friendly patio. The 2,200 square-foot, 80-seat restaurant offers dramatic and contemporary design elements (including a woven stainless-steel wall and two-story tall windows) and a sustainable-leaning philosophy (biodegradable containers, low-voltage lighting and low-flow toilets).

Executive chef and partner Jason Balestrieri created the menu, featuring house-blended beef patties (Angus ground chuck and skirt steak), locally sourced produce, house-made sodas and shakes, assorted variations of fries and fresh salads. Wine and beer are available.

The name comes from the optimal temperature for searing burgers to create that tell-tale crust (Fink installed a custom-made cast-iron griddle for that purpose).

Hamburgers start at $7.95, but the price goes up with the customer's creativity. And, yes, there will be a veggie burger. Sides include house-cut Kennebec fries ($2.95), duck fat fries ($3.95) and zucchini fries ($3.95).

400° Burgers & Fries is at the corner of Mission and Seventh streets. It's open Sunday through Thursday from 11a.m. to 11p.m. Information or to-go orders: 244-0040, or online at 400degrees.com.

 

 

Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest

 

 

Hunting for Mushrooms was Wild on the Santa Lucia Preserve in Carmel, California! by Priscilla Pilon, The Daily Basics, April 8, 2014

 

GourmetFest Brings Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams to Carmel by Mary Orlin, Huffington Post, April 7, 2014

 

We’ve had our fill of foodie upgrades. Now… more?! by Mark C. Anderson, Monterey County Weekly, April 3, 2014

 

GourmetFest Carmel: Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams [Part I], The Cuvee Corner Wine Blog, April 2, 2014

 

This week's tablehopper: Carmel-ized. by Table Hopper, April 1, 2014

 

Relais & Châteaux Chefs on Travel, Hotels, and the Weirdest Foods Ever by Kate Parham, Conde Nast Traveler, March 27, 2014

 

GourmetFest squeezes into Carmel by Meredith May, SFGate, March 26, 2014

 

Next week's GourmetFest in Carmel promises a lavish feast - Carmel GourmetFest brings the best by Mike Hale, Monterey Herald GO Magazine, March 18, 2014

 

Two wine events to hit before March ends: GourmetFest 2014 and Garagiste Festival by S. Irene Virbila, LA Times, March 19, 2014

 

Relais & Châteaux’s Inaugural GourmetFest by Sasha Levine, Departures, March 13, 2014

 

Check Out Gourmet Fest in Carmel March 27th-30th, Tablehopper.com, March 11, 2014

 

Celebrate the Inaugral GourmetFest in Carmel, Rundown SF, March 9, 2014

 

Relais & Châteaux Launches Gourmetfest in Carmel-by-the-Sea by Amanda Millin, Robb Report, March 5, 2014

 

 

Carmel a shining star in February by Mike Hale, Monterey Herald, February 26, 2014

 

Relais & Châteaux Puts on a Show by Shivani Vora, New York Times, February 13, 2014

 

A Foodie Fest on the Cali Coast by Sara Clemence, Wall Street Journal, February 6, 2014

 

South Beach festival kicks off season of feasts countrywide by Heidi Mitchell, New York Post, February 3, 2014

 

GourmetFest arrives in March, Edible Monterey Bay Newsletter, January 28, 2014

 

Culinary extravaganza remasterd by Mike Hale The Grub Hunter, Monterey Herald, January 27, 2014

 

Wildly fancy foodie event, GourmetFest, debuts this spring in Carmel by Mark C. Anderson, Monterey County Weekly, January 21, 2014

 

 

 

 

Newsletter Archive

 

2012: Winter │ Summer │ Winter

 

2011: Spring

 

2010: Spring │ Winter

 

2009: Spring │ Summer

 

2008: Summer │ Fall │ Winter

 

 

 

 

 
L'Auberge CarmelAubergineRelais & Châteaux GourmetFest Cantinetta Luca  │ Salumeria Luca   │ 400°

MIRABEL HOTEL & RESTAURANT GROUP - PO Box 7228, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, 93921    T: 831.622.5900

South Beach festival kicks off season of feasts countrywide by Heidi Mitchell, New York Post, February 3, 2014