By Coastal Living

BIG SUR
Deetjen's Big Sur Inn Restaurant, 48865 Highway 1, Big Sur,CA; 831/667-2378 or deetjens.com/restaurant.htm.The fare is hearty and well prepared, from breakfast's blueberrypancakes and eggs Benedict to dinner dishes such as pan-seared duckbreast with potato gratin and rack of lamb with risotto andbroccoli. (July-August 2000)

CAPITOLA
Bella Roma Café, 316 Capitola Ave., Ste. 1, Capitola,CA; 831/464-2608. At this converted house with Tuscan terra-cottawalls, an open view of the kitchen reveals chef/owner GaetanoBalsamo animatedly instructing his staff in Italian, Spanish, andEnglish. (January-February 2002)

Gayle's Bakery & Rosticceria, 504 Bay Ave., Capitola,CA; 831/462-1200 or gaylesbakery.com. Locallylegendary; Gayle's Bakery & Rosticceria makes a great breakfastvenue, and can pack a picnic lunch to enjoy with a walk along NewBrighton State Beach. (January-February 2002)

Margaritaville, 231 Esplanade # 101, Capitola, CA;831/476-2263 or margaritavillecapitola.com.Serves Mexican food and drink to a younger crowd. (January-February2002)

Paradise Beach Grille, 215 Esplanade, Capitola, CA;831/476-4900 or paradisebeachgrille.com.A well-appointed restaurant with a creative menu. (January-February2002)

Shadowbrook Restaurant, 1750 Wharf Rd., Capitola, CA;831/475-1511 or shadowbrook-capitola.com.A Capitola landmark for more than 50 years. Star selections includea house salad of spinach with bay shrimp, candied pecans, and amango vinaigrette, and almond-crusted scallops with crispy onionrings and mashed potatoes. (January-February 2002)

CARMEL
Bouchée Restaurant and Wine Bar, on Mission betweenOcean and Seventh, Carmel, CA; 831/626-7880 or boucheecarmel.com. Anevening here becomes a work of art; unforgettable fine dining,impeccable service, intimate ambiance, and extraordinary cuisine.(January-February 2004)

Casanova Restaurant, on Fifth between Mission and SanCarlos, Carmel, CA; 831/625-0501 or casanovarestaurant.com.(March 2006)

Grasing's Coastal Cuisine, corner of Sixth and Mission,Carmel, CA; 831/624-6562 or grasings.com. Central Californiagrows some of the world's best produce, and award-winning chef KurtGrasing celebrates fresh local harvest with an elegant touch.(January-February 2004)

Katy's Place, on Mission between Fifth and Sixth, Carmel,CA; 831/624-0199 or katysplacecarmel.com.With relaxed indoor and outdoor seating, Katy's offers a greatstart to your day. Try one of her 12 varieties of eggs Benedict, inhuge portions that you can't help but finish. (January-February2004)

Porta Bella Restaurant, on Ocean Avenue, Carmel, CA;831/624-4395 or carmelsbest.com/portabella.Lunch at this stylish and popular establishment. (March 2006)

CAYUCOS
Pier Café, 55 Cayucos Dr., Cayucos, CA; 805/995-2032.Enjoy the definitive bowl of seafood chowder. (July-August2002)

MONTEREY
Monterey's Fish House, 2114 Del Monte Ave., Monterey, CA;831/373-4647. If you prefer your mollusks cooked rather than on thehalf shell, try the heavenly oak-grilled oysters. Sample theexcellent bouillabaisse, too; this restaurant fills up fast, socall for a reservation. (November-December 2003)

Montrio Bistro, 414 Calle Principal, Monterey, CA;831/648-8880 or montrio.com. This restoredhistoric downtown firehouse rates high with residents and touristsalike; elegant atmosphere. (October 2004)

Portola Café, at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, CA;831/648-4870 or montereybayaquarium.com.Guests receive binoculars along with a list of wildlife that mayswim or fly by the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the bay.(October 2004)

The Sardine Factory Restaurant, 701 Wave St., Monterey, CA;831/373-3775 or sardinefactory.com.Features live music most nights and a raw bar open until 11 p.m. onweekends. Clint Eastwood sealed the success of this revampedcannery when he showcased it in his 1971 directorial debut, PlayMisty for Me. (October 2004)

Stokes Restaurant & Bar, 500 Hartnell St., Monterey, CA;831/373-1110 or stokesrestaurant.com.Combines the sustainability concept with this one-time statecapital's rich past; cozy dining rooms and eat-in bar exude warmth.(October 2004)

Turtle Bay Taqueria, 431 Tyler Street location, Monterey,CA; 831/333-1500 or fishwife.com/turtlebay.htm.This restaurant's Yucatán-influenced menu strictly offers fishcaught locally, in season, or in ways that do not damage the oceansor endanger species. (October 2004)

MORRO BAY
Harada Restaurant, 630 Embarcadero, Morro Bay, CA 93442;805/772-1410. Their lobster onigarayaki-charbroiled lobster tailand shitake mushrooms in miso butter sauce-is off the charts.(April 2007)

Kitty's Kitchen, 890 Main Street, Morro Bay, CA;805/772-3677. Homemade breakfast favorites are served all day.(April 2007)

Taco de Mexico, 980 Main Street, Morro Bay, CA 93442;805/772-5796. Come here for fresh carne asada tacos and sweethorchata, a cinnamon-laced rice milk. (April 2007)

Windows on the Water, 699 Embarcadero, Morro Bay, CA 93442;805/772-0677 or windowsonthewater.net.Revered for its brothy clam chowder. (April 2007)

PACIFIC GROVE
Fishwife, 1996 1/2 Sunset Drive, Pacific Grove, CA;831/375-7107 or fishwife.com. Enjoy aMillionaire Margarita at this Monterey peninsula restaurant. Mellowand smooth, this house specialty and ocean-view sunset will makeyou feel like, well, a million bucks. Stick around for theaward-winning Tilapia Cancun, a flaky white fish spiced withachiote and cilantro-cashew pesto. (September 2005)

Lattitudes at Lovers Point, 631 Ocean View Boulevard,Pacific Grove, CA; 831/658-0880 or lattitudesatloverspoint.com.Offers views of Lovers Point. (January-February 2007)

Passionfish, 701 Lighthouse Avenue, Pacific Grove, CA;831/655-3311 or passionfish.net. Withinwalking distance of the Seven Gables Inn. (January-February2007)

Red House Café, 662 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove, CA;831/643-1060 or redhousecafe.com. Withinwalking distance of the Seven Gables Inn. (September 2005,January-February 2007)

Robert's White House, 649 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove,CA; 831/375-9626 or robertswhitehouse.com.Serves an exceptional prix fixe dinner menu in one of LighthouseAvenue's most austere Victorian mansions. At $37 for three coursesof top-quality Californian cuisine, this may be the best dealaround. (September 2005)

Toasties Café, 702 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove, CA;831/373-7543. (September 2005)

Wildberries, 212 17th Street, Pacific Grove, CA;831/644-9836. (September 2005)

PEBBLE BEACH
Club XIX, at The Lodge at Pebble Beach, Pebble Beach, CA;831/625-8519 or pebblebeach.com. Frenchcuisine with a modern flare; overlooks Stillwater Cove and thefamed 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach Golf Course; formal.(May-June 2003)

Stillwater Bar & Grill, The Lodge at Pebble Beach,Pebble Beach, CA; 831/625-8524 or pebblebeach.com. Acontemporary, grill-style setting; Enjoy breakfast, lunch, ordinner overlooking Stillwater Cove and the famed 18th fairway ofthe Pebble Beach Golf Course. (May-June 2003)

The Tap Room, The Lodge at Pebble Beach, Pebble Beach, CA;831/625-8535 or pebblebeach.com. The Tap Roomstays lively for a late casual supper. Its menu includessautéed lemony petrale sole paired with exquisitely light,crispy fries. (May-June 2003)

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