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Montrio Bistro, Monterey

414 Calle Principal
Monterey , California
Tel: 831 648 8880's insider take:

Formerly the Monterey firehouse, Montrio is the sexiest dining room on the peninsula, with cool metal sculptures, high ceilings, and a good-looking crowd of bon vivants hanging around the always-lively bar. The ambitious New American menu is extensive and diverse, with dishes—Caesar salad, crab cakes, steak, and salmon—prepared with imaginative if sometimes heavy flourishes. (The sides, like Cheddar cheese–jalapeño corn bread and foie gras–truffle french fries, easily overpower the more delicate mains.) Service is erratic, tables are close together, and the decibel level climbs high on busy nights, but the energy here is undeniably appealing.

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