We stopped by Merlot Bistro right in the heart of Carmel on Ocean Ave, with a Brazilian flag outside? Brazilian food? I'm afraid not.
Merlot offers a 'super bird' special, $16 for soup/salad and one of four entrees: sand dabs, three cheese polenta, beef stroganoff, and pork tenderloin.
We take a chance and enter an elegant restaurant, with night ceiling lights, tables with white tablecloths, set with silverware, wine glasses, lighted candles with a small vase of fresh cut colorful flowers, and a wall of windows facing Ocean Ave. Great ambiance!
As it is only 530pm, the place is virtually empty. They seat us next to another group right by the front windows -the best seats in the house. They want pedestrians to see a restaurant with people eating.
We glance over the menu and check out the Dom Perignon 2000 bottle at $299.00, and wonder if we are in the right place.
We order the beef stroganoff, and the pork tenderloin, one with salad and one with the coconut shrimp bisque soup. The meal comes with heated sour dough bread and butter, which we devour immediately, as we are ravished, having completed hiking 4 hours at Point Lobos.
The coconut shrimp bisque soup is very good, but not with too many shrimp. As I am not a coconut soup fan, I get the salad. It's the leafy kind, with stems in a vinaigrette dressing with a single slice of tomato and some carrots slices for color. Nice serving size for a starving guy.
The pork tenderloin comes as two four ounce portions of meat, covered with a salty sauce, with roasted potatoes and cooked purple cabbage. I concur with a previous reviewer that the pork is not so tender. This cut of pork is not the darker loin meat, but the cheaper and tougher white pork chop area, with the bone and fat removed, but covered with sauce. The potatoes were impeccably cooked, and the purple cabbage delicious mixed in with bits of bacon, somewhat incredible, given that I usually don't like purple cabbage.
The beef stroganoff a very hearty portion in quantity and is very filling. It is in a mushroom sauce with fettucine pasta, with at least half a dozen meatballs size chunks of shredded beef, very pliable with the prongs of my fork - a good sign of its tenderness. Definitely a dish to come back for.
My wife has sand dabs before, and is not impressed with the lemon flavored white fish -not enough flavor.
Great attentive service. The waiters filled our glasses of water, and removed our finished plates promptly.
Not sure if we will be back, as the 4 choices of super bird specials is not enough of a variety to entice us to come back. The pork tenderloin is tastes like the cheaper cut of pork chops, with the bones and fat removed before cooking, although the beef stroganoff is a nice pasta dish.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.