The Forge in the Forest is a fine dining restaurant in downtown Carmel. There actually is a small forge located within the restaurant, but we will also remember it for the potent margaritas and the chef's skill with pan-seared halibut and desserts.
The berry margarita, on the menu the night we were there, was probably the strongest margarita I've had in recent years. Made in-house with fresh berries (and no pre-made mix), it is not for the faint of heart or anyone who plans to operate a motor vehicle.
We tried the two halibut entrees on the night's menu: both were pan-seared, with a mango cream sauce and a dijon mustard (dijonnaise) sauce, respectively. Both came with rice and fresh vegetables. The chef is skillful with pan-searing fish, and we enjoyed both dishes.
The chef is also skillful with desserts, and especially the fresh "three-berry" cobbler with vanilla ice cream and fresh whipped cream. It was a fitting way to end our dinner.
Unfortunately, the combination of alcohol, cream sauces and a rich dessert may not be for everyone. I was fine the next day, but my dining companion was not so fortunate... That said, we will certainly return next time we are in Carmel.
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