Monterey Dining – Jacks Restaurant & Lounge – Portola Hotel

jacks restaurant lounge portola hotel

In partnership with Portola Hotel.  As always, all opinions are my own

The Portola Hotel landed the biggest of fish with their new Executive Chef, Danny Abbruzzese.  He’s dedicated his life to learning about all facets of food and cooking, and is happy to be joining an already talented and enthusiastic staff at both of the Portola Hotel’s restaurants, Jack’s and Peter B’s Brewpub.  Danny is extremely humble and prefers to call himself a cook rather than a chef, although he’s been an executive chef for over twenty years.  As a respected expert in his craft and makes food that packs a wallop of flavor in every bite.  Even simple dishes had our taste buds dancing:

Heirloom Tomato Salad with canary, purple, Cherokee and brandywine tomatoes,  mozzarella, pickled onions, fried capers, and basil.  This salad is amazing, even my kids were devouring it like a dessert.

jacks restaurant lounge portola hotel Heirloom Tomato Salad

jacks restaurant lounge portola hotel Heirloom Tomato Salad

My Fois Gras Torchon was arranged beautifully in its flavors and plating.  On brioche toast with puffed rice, blood orange puree kumquat marmalade and microgreens.  The torchon process is my favorite, with more of a poaching and press instead of a sear.

jacks restaurant lounge portola hotel

The Certified Angus Beef Rib Eye Steak that my husband ordered which was perfectly cooked and paired with their signature barrel aged Manhattans.  The Rib Eye had local Coke Farm romanesco, Heirloom Organics rainbow carrots, potato puree and house butter.

jacks restaurant lounge portola hotel Certified Angus Beef Rib Eye Steak jacks restaurant lounge portola hotel Certified Angus Beef Rib Eye Steak

I also tried their Cucumber Martini which has a rose and elderflower liqueurs (Hendricks and St. Germain respectively), then fresh cucumber muddled in.  Yes, it was every bit as good as it sounds!

jacks restaurant lounge portola hotel

jacks restaurant lounge portola hotel pink panther

The inside is classy with nice wood everywhere and a lounge with stellar happy hour prices. We enjoyed their outdoor patio and the gas fire pit ambiance.  Our kids were having fun outside, and similar to Peter B’s the patio is a pet-friendly.   Great kids menu, this whole hotel is dialed in to the kids experience.

jacks restaurant lounge portola hotel

Jack’s has a breakfast which we didn’t try so I can’t comment on but is very popular even amongst locals and looks to have a nice spread (including mimosas).  There’s an excitement in the air at Jack’s and the Portola Hotel and Spa as they embark on a new chapter.  Jack’s has already established itself as one of Monterey’s best restaurants, and with the addition of Chef Danny Abbruzzese to an already great staff including Chef Jay Moon and GM Stacie Tarantino the sky is the limit.

jacks restaurant lounge portola hotel

jacks restaurant lounge portola hotel

Jacks Restaurant & Lounge

 Portola Hotel & Spa, 2 Portola Plaza, Monterey, CA 93940

Phone: (831) 649-2698

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Rebecca Swenor
    Oct 20, 2016 at 1:10 am

    The Portala Hotel’s restaurant and pub sound amazing. The cucumber martini would be something I would love to try along with the rib eye steak with veggies. Both of these looks and sound so good. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • Reply
    Paula Schuck
    Oct 20, 2016 at 8:37 am

    That looks like such a great place! The food looks amazing, and there’s nothing better than great atmosphere.

  • Reply
    Terri Ramsey Beavers
    Oct 20, 2016 at 10:24 am

    My goodness, I love the whole atmosphere. The food and drinks look pretty amazing as well.

  • Reply
    Pam Wattenbarger
    Oct 20, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    That looks like a great place to have a meal. I love the decor and that heirloom tomato salad is absolutely beautiful. I bet it tastes even better than it looks.

  • Reply
    R U S S
    Oct 20, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Everything is enticing! It is lovely place for dates or even catch-ups with girlfriends. I’m sure the food tastes good, too.

  • Reply
    Liz Mays
    Oct 20, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Oh my, I think I’d like their heirloom tomato salad a lot. It’s great that someone so talented is putting the dishes together at this hotel.

  • Reply
    Brandy
    Oct 20, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    This looks like a great place to dine! Loving the decor too, fantastic!

  • Reply
    Stephen
    Oct 20, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Oh wow – this place looks to die for. The decor and the presentation of the platters really stood out to me!

  • Reply
    Bart & Eena
    Oct 21, 2016 at 3:42 am

    This one is not just a great place to dine in, but their menu looks like a healthy one! Great review!

  • Reply
    Fi Ni Neachtain
    Oct 21, 2016 at 5:09 am

    The food looks absolutely delicious and was presented sp well. I love that it’s a kid friendly place too.

  • Reply
    Dina Demarest (@dinade)
    Oct 21, 2016 at 8:28 am

    that looks like a fabulous place to stay. I’ve noted it for our next vacation to California!

  • Reply
    Jeanine
    Oct 21, 2016 at 11:08 am

    Wow this looks awesome. The food looks delicious, and the place just looks incredible to dine in!

  • Reply
    Garf
    Oct 21, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    It looks like a great place to dine in. They have lots of choices of good food to choose from.

  • Reply
    Bonnie Gowen
    Oct 21, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    That looks like a very nice place to have a meal with someone special. The food looks great too.

  • Reply
    aaronica @ the crunchy mommy
    Oct 21, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    This menu!??! OMG this looks divine!

  • Reply
    Michele d
    Oct 22, 2016 at 4:20 am

    That rib eye steak looks mighty delicious! -And so doesn’t that salad. Total yum!

  • Reply
    Chubskulit Rose
    Oct 25, 2016 at 2:50 am

    The ambiance looks beautiful and the food looks so delicious! It is nice to stay to a place like this.

  • Reply
    - Posh Journal
    Oct 30, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    […] From fois gras torchon to their amazingly fresh seafood, Jack’s Restaurant and Lounge is on the money when it comes to flavorful dishes.  Jack’s had already established itself as one of Monterey’s finest restaurants, and with newly added and renowned Executive Chef, Danny Abbruzzese  heading things up we can only expect more amazing things to come.   Their Heirloom Tomato Salad was to-die-for, and my husband couldn’t get enough of his Rib Eye Steak.  They served us up some outstanding martinis (my fav was the cucumber, so fresh).   Jack’s is fine dining in an atmosphere that is welcoming and cozy… they even have a solid kid’s menu which was great for a vacationing family like ours.  Here’s our full review of Jack’s Restaurant and Lounge . […]

  • Reply
    Portola Hotel & Spa: Monterey Bay Hotel - Posh Journal
    Oct 30, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    […] From fois gras torchon to their amazingly fresh seafood, Jack’s Restaurant and Lounge is on the money when it comes to flavorful dishes.  Jack’s had already established itself as one of Monterey’s finest restaurants, and with newly added and renowned Executive Chef, Danny Abbruzzese  heading things up we can only expect more amazing things to come.   Their Heirloom Tomato Salad was to-die-for, and my husband couldn’t get enough of his Rib Eye Steak.  They served us up some outstanding martinis (my fav was the cucumber, so fresh).   Jack’s is fine dining in an atmosphere that is welcoming and cozy… they even have a solid kid’s menu which was great for a vacationing family like ours.  Here’s our full review of Jack’s Restaurant and Lounge . […]

  • Reply
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