We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Excellent food, inflexible owner”

Taste Cafe & Bistro
Ranked #13 of 80 Restaurants in Pacific Grove
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Prescott Lane
Description: Welcome to Taste Cafe & Bistro a cozy European style restaurant where guests can view chef/owner Bill Karaki prepare each dish from scratch. Our European influence menu features items such as herb-roasted chicken, grilled rabbit, escargots, pastas, organic salads, exceptional soups and Au gratin potatoes. The marvelous fresh made brioche bread pudding,apple galette and hazelnut chocolate torte should not be missed. Come join us, for a great meal in a slice of Europe, in the heart of lovely Pacific Grove and enjoy our fabulous cuisine in a wonderful atmosphere!
Reviewed February 2, 2013

Taste Cafe is an excellent find. Tucked away off of route 68 as you enter Pacific Grove from Route 1, it is a place you do not just stumble on, and it holds its own with the more well known restaurants that make Pacific Grove a culinary paradise.

The food is well prepared, the menu is Continental with a flair (salmon cooked in parchment, a wonderful appetizer concoction called "Eggplant Napoleon"), the service is smooth and non-disruptive, the portions are large (most folks will take their next night's supper home after being unable to finish), the dessert menu will appeal to almost anyone who is somehow still not sated ... what's not to like?

Well ... I had to ding them a star for inflexibility, and perhaps it should have been two stars. My wife and I showed up with a Groupon from Restaurant.com which we had PREPAID for, and which should have taken $20 off the $80 bill (which included besides the entree, a half bottle of wine, appetizer, dessert. and coffee ... this restaurant's prices are reasonable for the area).

Instead we were informed by the owner that her policy is to refuse Groupons on the weekends, even though the one we had DID NOT INDICATE there was any such restriction. We were basically told we could come back midweek, pay for another dinner, and then we could use the coupon. Period.

No apology, no offered comp ... it just left a sour note on what was otherwise a wonderful evening, and it was surprisingly ungracious. Our choices at that point were basically to pay the full check, repocket the Groupon and slink away, or to grab our coats and make a run for it, or to ask the owner to call a cop and settle the thing then and there.

If the evening hadn't gone so well before this, I'd have voted for option 3 ... option 2 was out because the bread pudding dessert, which was delicious BTW, would have slowed me down enough for her to tackle me in the parking lot.

So yeah ... I'd recommend Taste Cafe for a quiet romantic dinner for any couple that is not looking to find a special place with a "warm and fuzzy" owner who takes care to give every diner the impression that they are special. That's not what this place is about.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Ron K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (125)
There are newer reviews for Taste Cafe & Bistro
See the most recent reviews
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year

94 - 98 of 125 reviews

Reviewed February 1, 2013

While the Taste Cafe & Bistro is not on Cannery Row, it still provides an excellent French bistro experience. The menu is excellent with such great choices as rabbit, pastas, escargot, Sand dabs, and some terrific salads and desserts (esp the bread pudding). The pricing is quite reasonable and our group all felt it was well worth it, and would certainly return. The owner is Lebanese and is congenial and helpful, as was the rest of the staff. Highly recommend!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Charlie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2013

We had a really nice meal here and outstanding service. Hubby had steak and I had sand dabs both excellent. We went to 4 restaurants while here only loved them all we will be back to this one! Very charming people and very good food!

Thank imfrmars1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 26, 2012

This is our second visit to Monterey/Pacific Grove areas and we agreed that we could not miss returning to one of our favorite restaurants - Taste Cafe & Bistro. This place is amazing. The food is consistently delicious & the service both attentive & friendly. Definitely a must for your next visit to the area ! Thanks, mia n sal.

Thank Mia C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2012

Uausally this place is full - which is a good sign, but fortunately they had a light night and everything was great!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Brinbri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Taste Cafe & Bistro also viewed

Pacific Grove, Monterey County
Pacific Grove, Monterey County
Pacific Grove, Monterey County
Monterey, Monterey County

Been to Taste Cafe & Bistro? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing