The anticipation and planning of vacations are one of Jan’s and my favorite past times. We love to immerse ourselves in different cultures and cuisines. It thrills us that our travels abroad have enhanced and expanded The Tin’s spice selection, introducing new spices and dishes to you.
This year with Covid still lingering, we’ve decided to stay local and hold off on any aboard travels. We’re having a blast exploring what’s right here in our own backyard without having to board a plane. We’ve had so much fun planning and discovering new cuisine adventures, all within driving distance.
Our latest getaway was an invitation to visit Jan’s childhood buddies in the Monterey area. Of course, we could not turn down this precious invitation for these lifelong friends to reunite. Jan, Bill, and Jeff have known each other since kindergarten and second grade.
Golden Friendship Bounty
Exploring The Monterey Area
Who doesn’t love the Monterey area? Quaint and inviting villages surrounded by picturesque and scenic landscape is a perfect getaway for a little rest, relaxation, and some new foodie experiences. On this short trip, we decided to stay in the serene, mysterious, and beautiful coastal village of Pacific Grove.
Our leisurely itinerary was filled with beach hikes/strolls, shopping at locally owned boutiques and antique stores, and of course discovering new delicious seafood eateries.
Must-Go-Back Seafood Eatery
Passionfish on Lighthouse Drive in Pacific Grove, CA wins Jan’s and my “Must-Go-Back” award. This sustainably harvested gourmet seafood restaurant enticed both of our palates. Our waiter helped us select a wine that fit not just our menu selections but our flavor preferences in a fun and joyful manner. His wine knowledge and ability to connect with us set the perfect tone for our evening at Passionfish.
I started out my first course with the beet salad topped with Medjool dates and gorgonzola dulce cheese, lightly drizzled with their homemade curry dressing. I decided to override the women at the neighboring table’s raving review about the crab salad with a spicy ginger vinaigrette. Which is an anomaly because if you know me, I’m one to usually order crab; however, this beet salad with gorgonzola dulce cheese had me intrigued.
And I’m so glad I ordered it! This mouth-watering salad immersed my tastebuds with layers of earthy flavors and a deliciously rich creamy, bold bite that melted in my mouth from the gorgonzola dulce. It was so good that I could not get the medley of flavors out of my head for days. I had to duplicate it as soon as I returned home. This is, in my humble opinion, “The Perfect Summertime Salad!”
Passionfish Food From The Heart
I honestly had no clue that gorgonzola dulce cheese existed! This sinfully bold cheese leaves notes of a creamy spice that I can’t wait to try again. I will be headed over to Lavender Ridge in Murphys, CA to see if they can order some for me.
It seemed as if my dinner was complete with that salad. However, I ordered Sea Scallop with caper-raisin-walnut relish on top of an artichoke risotto cake as my entrée.
Jan’s dinner selection started with a mixed greens salad with basil honey dressing, and his second course was halibut with tomato truffle butter complemented by a savory rice custard.
Passionfish’s tagline is “food from the heart.” Passionfish has mastered the craft of creative cuisine made with passion. Both of our dishes were vivid in flavors and colors, and their staff was professional and relatable. We highly recommend this sustainable seafood restaurant in Pacific Grove, CA.
I love how Jan and I have discovered bounty in our backyard. We’ve not allowed our limited travels to stop us from bringing new life to our table. These past few months, our short trips around California have expanded our experiences with old friends, new chefs and their creative uses of spices in their cuisines.
Check out my new favorite Summertime Salad recipe here.
Patty & Jan Schulz
The Spice Tin