New Bistro Monterey in Hotel Abrego Underwhelms Despite Nice Patio
April 25, 2012
Maybe you’ve got hippie friends like mine who encourage you to help the Universe manifest positive things in your life.
I’m always in search of nice patio spots to snack and sip—particularly with weather like we’ve had of late—so when I discovered there’s an undercover spot hiding in Hotel Abrego (372-7551) at the “four corners” crossroads in Monterey with a nice patio, I had to thank the Universe. (Locals will remember the spot as the former Denny's location.)
The patio enjoyed pretty Mediterranean tones, wicker chairs and definitely-manifested-by-the-Universe-and-me small potted succulents.
Can’t say I can take responsibility for manifesting the view of the parking lot, though. (The inside is clean, modern and spartan with a nice polished bar and faux fireplace.)
I might’ve manifested the crab cakes ($12), the highlight by far of the quitting-time session, given a nice break-apart texture and predictable-but-tasty spiced-cream sauce that worked well, but not the flat name Bistro Monterey.
The other food wasn’t much livelier than the name, either.
The arugula pizza ($13) thoroughly underwhelmed thanks to crust that should’ve been either thicker or thinner (the Universe and me vote thinner), so-so proscuitto and toppings that seemed to be dispersed by way of a roulette wheel. A salad of the day (it was Thursday), the Tuscan bean salad ($7), with mixed greens and bell pepper, was forgettable too.
There is hope for a new rotating four-course prix fixe din din ($23) brings on things like lentil soup, Tuscan bean salad, chicken scaloppini, a prosciutto white wine sauce potato croquette and plenty more. (Get the full meal schedule at the Hotel Abrego website food section.)
Finally, while they haven’t yet provided a happy hour (Universe, are you listening?)—we enjoyed 2008 Sheid Rosé and '08 Morgan Chardonnay for $7 a glass—they did provide/manifest this recipe for the scaloppini:
CHICKEN SCALOPPINI (serve 2 persons) 2 each CHICKEN BREAST boneless/skinless, ABOUT 6-7 OZ EACH • 2 slices PROSCIUTTO CRUDO (PARMA) cut in half • 4 leaves SAGE • 1 OZ FLOUR • 4 OZ WHITE WINE • 1 EACH LEMON • 2 OZ CHICKEN STOCK • 1 OZ OLIVE OIL • 2 TBSP BUTTER • SALT & PEPPER to taste
PREPARATION: Cut in 2 lengthwise the chicken breast, slightly pound the meat with a tenderizer. Place a leaf of sage in the center of each piece and top with half slice of prosciutto. You will have 4 scaloppini. Put the flour on a plate and lightly flour the scaloppini. On a skillet pour the olive oil; heat it over medium heat and place the scaloppini prosciutto side down. Salt & pepper the top. When brown turn the scaloppini over and cook it for another minute on high heat. Turn the heat down and pour the wine, lemon juice and stock. Reduce until half and add the butter. Turn off heat. Served with your favorite vegetables, pasta or mashed potatoes!