5th & Junipero, Carmel, California 93923. (831) 624-2233

The last time I was at The Forge in the Forest was in the 8th grade. I was sporting big bangs, a piggyback perm and my favorite Esprit sweatshirt and Guess jean jacket. My best friend, Julie, and I were visiting her cousin Carol in Monterey and as a treat she took us to Carmel for lunch. It's been years and I've forgotten what I ate there and how it tasted but the memory of the lush green topiary that surrounds their patio is ingrained in my memory. I loved it, it was like eating in my own private little enchanted forest. So last week when Mr.S. and I were strolling about in Carmel, I suggested we pop in there for lunch. I had heard they were under new ownership, so I wasn't sure what to expect but I was excited to see the place again.

Every aspect of our lunch went swimmingly. Our host was welcoming and immediately led us to an intimate table for two on the brick patio. It was perfect, since it was located in the shade and we wouldn't be subjected to the blazing midday sun. For our meal choices, Mr.S. went with one of his favorite sandwiches- the Reuben. He never seems to get tired of those...or Club sandwiches for that matter. I was feeling a bit indecisive so I opted to get an appetizer and a salad. My appetizer, the duck empanadas with a pistachio nut chutney, was quite good. The empanadas were crisp and flaky on the outside and the duck meat inside was nice and moist. The chutney was ok...I would have liked something with a bit more kick...perhaps like a spicy mango jalapeno chutney? What surprised me though was the beet salad I ordered- it was HUGE! The salad consisted of a rainbow of roasted purple, golden and white beets (which were absolutely delicious) over a bed of mixed greens, crumbled goat cheese and juicy strawberry slices. They didn't skimp on the portion at all and everything tasted bright and fresh. I was impressed with the food. It was solid. Also, our server, Carly, did a great job. She was friendly, attentive and on top of everything.

If you're ever in Carmel, I would highly suggest stopping by for lunch at The Forge in the Forest.  The patio's really quite lovely and there appears to be a nice balance between regulars and tourists there. It's a perfect place to take a break from shopping, sip on a refreshing cocktail and people watch. There's also a big outdoor fireplace and heat lamps, so you can still enjoy eating al fresco comfortably even when the sun's not out. By the way, my fellow dog lovers will be happy to know that The Forge in the Forest is dog friendly (they even have a special dog menu), so you don't have to leave Fido at home. :)

1 Response
  1. Foodiewife Says:

    I'm glad that you lucked out at the Forge. I remember when the place first opened, and I knew the original owner. My brother worked there, as a sous chef. Sigh. It's just not the same. I do love the patio, but oh, how I miss the quality of the food. I was hoping to hear about the places where you ate. So sorry I missed out on meeting the two of you for some good eats. Next time...

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