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“A special place.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Aubergine at L'Auberge Carmel

Aubergine at L'Auberge Carmel
Monte Verde & 7th Ave., Carmel, CA 93921
+1 831-624-8578
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Ranked #12 of 151 Restaurants in Carmel
Price range: $40 - $50
Cuisines: Californian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: 7th
Description: Executive Chef Justin Cogley's and Executive Pastry Chef Ron Mendoza's cooking philosophy is built first and foremost on spontaneity. With access to an array of outstanding local products as well as ingredients and artisan purveyors from around the world, Cogley and Mendoza focus on incorporating these elements into their ever-changing menus.
New York
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
“A special place.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

We arrived at Aubergine worn down and world-weary. We left refreshed and energized, inspired by a team dedicated to forging a world-class operation. Chef Cogley, Sommelier Nadalin and the entire crew provided a fun, interesting experience that renewed our faith in fine dining and invigorated our souls. While a prix fixe is available, we chose the tasting menu, which tempts the appetite via a list of ingredients, and the kitchen team happily worked around an allergy and a restriction. Each course was a delight, featuring fresh local ingredients and inventive. No gimmicky presentation here, no extraneous ingredients or flourishes, but instead fascinating interplay of texture and flavor. The wine pairings were excellent as well, featuring local pours as appropriate but sampling from across the world. The space itself is subtly lit and intimate, but each table has plenty of space and you're not dining with your neighbors. That said, while we generally are private people, the atmosphere was such that we shared a few quiet laughs with other diners and it wasn't the least bit intrusive. It was that kind of atmosphere. Overall, this was one of the most interesting and enjoyable dining experiences we have had in a long time.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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102 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    77
    9
    4
    4
    8
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Marlton, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“A treat for the taste buds!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013

My wife and I dined at Aubergine while passing through Carmel. The restaurant is an intimate setting nestled in the L' Auberge Carmel. We opted for the chef's tasting menu and were not disappointed. Each course was creative, beautifully presented and most importantly thrilled the palate. Although we did not do the wine pairing, Marin, the sommelier, suggested some perfect wines to accompany our meal. (He also gave us a complimentary glass of dessert wine to enjoy following our meal.) The entire meal was world class.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Simply amazing and understated”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013 via mobile

Tasting menu was $125 for an 8 course brilliant dinner.

Highlights of the evening included abalone, complimentary foie gras as an amuse bouche, and clever raw milk and caviar sea urchin dish. Everything was simple yet the tastes were robust.

Words can't describe- you have to try it yourself!

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Top Contributor
107 reviews 107 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
“Not Precious, Just Delicious”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

This is the place to go for a serene, lengthy meal whose presentation is almost theater. Service was impeccable, from their concern for any dislikes or food allergies to care in our selection of wine. We had the eight-course menu (I think), but it was probably ten or eleven in all, with the amuse-bouche, palate cleanser (have you ever had mango sorbet with "shattered" cream cheese?), and little dessert extras.

Diners were pulling out their phones to snap photos of the presentations. Many of the plates are hand-thrown pottery, and food is served imaginatively on those dishes and on slate plates; twigs and pebbles add to the Japanese elan. As an idea of the menu: a crisp of black squid ink with Serrano ham; raw-milk custard with salmon roe (appetizers); Dungeness crab with sea lettuce; poached Maine lobster with milk skin, pureed fresh green peas; kampachi (fish) with smoked steelhead roe, baby baby carrots, and sauce of dates and vanilla; granache with green tea ice cream and cherries.
We decided against the wine pairing and enjoyed a fabulous 2009 Grand cru Chablis.

The serving staff was attentive but unobtrusive and patiently explained the exotic ingredients of several dishes. They seemed genuinely pleased with our interest. This was beyond a meal; it was an experience.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lugano, Switzerland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Excellent degustation a la Alain Ducasse”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2013

This is a very small restaurants with an amazing Service.The chef is young,and the food is a combination of tastes from Japan and France.
The price is very reasonable for the amount of detail that the dishes have.
On his way to become a Aliain Ducasse style,Thats not a small matter.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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