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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Portola Hotel & Spa, 2 Portola Plaza, Monterey, CA 93940
Phone: (831) 649-2698