We almost passed up on this restaurant because the signage is too shiny with the floodlit sign outside. We had no idea that the food was so good and the lateness of the hour made us think about just having an appetizer. Those two appetizers were enough to convince us that we had to come back for dinner the next day. Allow me to back up time-wise.
We had come to Cambria after imaging the elephant seals just up the road from Cambria. There were over a thousand seals resting on that beach and we spent an extra amount of time imaging them. That is another review to be posted on Trip Advisor.
The next day we came back after having an appetizer dinner the evening before. We had also tried a Cabernetfranc wine from Madeleine winery in Monterey, Ca. the night before and we were impressed enough to buy another glass and eventually buy a bottle to bring home. The previous evening we both were very impressed with the menu and our server the night before gave us enough ideas to make sure we were going to check out this restaurant this evening. When we came back the following evening, the menu was pretty much the same with one or two items not on the menu. We had the California Halibut and the Fettucini Primavera. The halibut was very good and the sauce was superb. The primavera was truly excellent as the shrimp were done to perfection and were bigger than expected. Yes, we had the Cabernetfranc and chose to purchase a bottle. Yes, we are going to order a case from the winery. Overall I am quite impressed with Madeline's for the size that it is. The bill was what we expected based upon our stop the night before. As we were leaving we noticed how many people were showing up at their reserved time. There is another part of this restaurant that is a wine bar tasting area. They have a couple of tables to accommodate overflow walk-ins so we realized that Madeline's has both a tourist trade and a good number of locals. This place is on our list of places to eat in Cambria. I do recommend setting up a reservation, especially if you are going to bring a larger number than four or six. I did notice that the kitchen has a stove capable of ten burners so the owner does expect large number of patrons. Talked with the head chef and am impressed with his whole layout of his kitchen. He could be a victim of his own success if he starts getting a large summer/ vacation crowd. We were further impressed with real fabric napkins and table cloths. The spacing of the tables also allows relatively personal conversation.
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