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Sunday, March 22, 2009

CARMEL PICKS -- Lynn Sampson Recommends

Too often ritzy restaurants are very disappointing. The servers are sour and distant and the food isn’t much better than adequate. I have always found it risky going out to dine at pricey eateries. Too often I leave angry and penniless. It was with great pleasure that I recently found an exception to that rule in tony Carmel.

Anton and Michel’s is one of Carmel’s most respected eateries. In it you will find a staff that is amiable and sincere and food that is tasty without pretension. Of course, it’s expensive. Of course, the décor is dreadfully chic. Of course, the atmosphere is glumly refined. What else would you expect? The whole experience put together, however, is sublime.

If you elect to shoot your paycheck on a night out at an elegant restaurant, there is no better place to do it than Anton and Michel’s. The environment is comfortable and the menu is sensible. You don’t have to speak French to order and no Matre’D is going to scowl at you. For romance and understated elegance, there is no better place. There are no unpublished novelists or fledgling actors on the wait staff. The hostess is not foreign born and the chef is not on loan from Chez Panise. Everything at Anton and Michel’s is down to earth, professional and human. The food is traditional and appetizing. The whole experience is lovely without being cloying and gracious without being arrogant. That’s what I call a great restaurant. I think you will agree. Anton and Michel’s, Mission and Seventh Streets, Carmel, CA, (831) 625-2406.

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