Tuesday, March 21, 2017

 All the communities of the Monterey Peninsula are close together mileage wise and Monterey and its famed Old Fishermen's Wharf were only minutes away on Highway One from our base at Hofsas House.
 There is much to see at the Plaza and at the Wharf itself.  We had made a previous visit to the adjacent History Museum and Custom House but this visit was to have dinner at the Abalonetti Bar & Grill that has achieved fame over sixty years for its many recipes of Calamari. 
We immediately liked what we saw at this restaurant.  It offers both indoor and patio dining and includes an attractive bar at one side and on the other 'Monterey's Original Antipasto Bar".  This collection of goodies invited closer inspection.  The variety of antipasto included grilled eggplant, marinarted artichoke hearts, feta cheese. assorted olives, in all ten items.
 We opened with the fried Monterey Calamari, the benchmark for sixty years, then looking over the long selection of entrees chose the Shrimp Scampi.  This came with tomatoes, artichoke hearts and a most flavorful bed of rice.
But first from the bar a pina colada, always a favorite close to the water.  Also an opportunity to chat with Manager Aracely Perez who told us something of the history of Abalonetti which first opened in 1951 and how ,from the beginning, the restaurant became known for its many calamari choices.
 Besides seafood think pasta at this restaurant. The Antipasto Bar demanded a photo shoot with Ernest and lovely hostess Daniella.  Our waiter, Joe Sanchez, has been with Abalonetti over twenty years and so could provide us with much history of the restaurant and Fishermen's Wharf.
 In town there are nineteen wine tasting rooms and bars, all showing the wines of the Monterey appellation which has become recognized as one of California's best for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.  And in May the annual Winemakers Celebration takes place.
While strolling through downtown we discovered the Fifth Avenue Deli and once inside, with a view of the tempting delights, decided to buy lots of goodies to take home and enjoy in our very own kitchen back at Hofsas.
    And waiting for us there was a bottle of 2013 Ventana Pinot Noir, from an estate grown vineyard located in Monterey's Arroyo Seco.  So we moved from kitchen to balcony to watch the sunset and golden glow that followed and then back to the kitchen for our Tiramusi dessert.

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