Review: Montrio Bistro

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February 15, 2018- by Steven E. Greer

I found another restaurant in the Monterey area that is worthy of mentioning. It is chef-owned Montrio Bistro in the city of Monterey, not too far from Cannery Row, the aquarium, etc.

Chef Tony Baker Baker (great name for a chef) opened the doors in 1995. It is rare for a chef to operate one location for so long and be so successful (I could not find a seat the night I went, so I dined at the bar).

This place is casual and welcoming, much like the tone set by Danny Meyer restaurants in New York. It reminds me of Union Square Cafe, but less expensive.

The boneless half-chicken was excellent.

On another night, I ordered the well-done salmon with asparagus. It is asparagus season nearby at some farm, and I spotted right away that this was fresh. The fish was made to my liking.

The bartender serving me has won “Best Bartenders of Monterey” awards. The restaurant has been “Best Restaurant in Monterey” for 10-years.

I was too tired from golfing to do dessert, but I will be back.

Chef Baker also makes and sells his own bacon lined called Baker’s Bacon. He gets the pork from local farms and uses his own smokehouse operations to cure the bacon.

Of note, this is an open-view kitchen, proving my hypothesis that open kitchens are conducive to good food making and less hostile working environments.

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