We stayed at Carmel Valley Lodge and found the restaurant a pleasantly good surprise. We ended up having a meal or two there each day including breakfast, lunch and/or a dinner over the 3-4 days we stayed at the hotel. It was able to handle a variety of dinning experiences with more formal and less formal tables inside and out. We liked that staying at the hotel and being able to either pick up a quick meal and/or have a special more formal dinner one night. It had a pretty good menu with unique items focusing on local faire. We loved the creative appetizers and do try the french fries and soups. The kids loved each of those. Wait staff was good and prompt and accommodating. Now, before I say the next good thing, remember this is a very dog friendly hotel and they also have their own bull-dog mascot. SO, we had a puppy with us and took walks often and when we walked back for lunches or meals, they were fabulous to allow well mannered dogs to stay at your feet or on our dog pillow during our meal. Of course, they only allowed this outside the main dining room or on the really casual tables and I found this really accommodating. I am not one of those "take your dog everywhere annoying owners" either but it just seemed to work at this property and it was really nice. We also saw this restaurant handle romantic couple meals, families with kids, special event dinners and even a few prom night dates which was fun. It is a really good option to have even aside from being on-site to this wonderful hotel.