Santa Cruz Good Times

Thursday
Apr 24th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Cuisine With A View

dining highexteriorNearby—and perfect for a staycation getaway—the Carmel Hyatt Highlands charms with its world-class food, wine and more 

Situated in a magical spot on the California coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the stunning Carmel Hyatt Highlands offers the guest much more than simply an upscale place to stay.

Here is a little corner of heaven where one can relax in absolute comfort—completely taken care of by the gracious staff. On checking into the hotel, one is immediately impressed by the welcoming warmth, the beauty of the property and the panoramic vistas offered from almost every location in the hotel.

The Carmel Hyatt Highlands, a Hyatt Vacation Club Resort property, offers luxurious rooms, unparalleled service and world-class food.

Pacific’s Edge, the hotel’s award-winning glass-walled restaurant with stunning ocean views of the Big Sur coastline, has been rated one of the top 100 restaurants in the United States by Zagat, and has consistently received AAA four-diamond awards for its outstanding cuisine. Executive Chef Matt Bolton has planned a very impressive menu of contemporary American selections—carefully focusing on the freshest local ingredients, meats and seafood—with a hand-picked daily fish feature.

As a lover of all seafood, I found a plate of Yellowfin Tuna Tartare ($17) as a first course to be incredibly delicious. Served with jalapeño-lime aioli, toasted brioche and wakame, the chef has elevated this mélange of flavors beyond the usual – with an interesting subtly sweet taste from the deep-green wakame seaweed. Yellowfin Tuna is also served as a main course ($34), as well as a Maine Dayboat Scallop dish ($38), Atlantic Black Bass ($42) and a vegetarian Wild Mushroom Ravioli ($24).

For meat lovers, there is Colorado Rack of Lamb ($57); Filet Mignon ($42); a Bone-In Rib Chop ($55) weighing in at a hefty one pound, and more. My dining companion enjoyed a perfectly prepared Berkshire Pork Chop ($38), a 10-ounce wonder served with Granny Smith apple puree.

Side dishes are imaginative offerings such as wild mushrooms, herb risotto, Anson Mills polenta and seasonal fresh vegetables.

Pastry chef Gina Scalla came over to our table with mouthwatering descriptions of her concoctions, including her Berry Shortcake ($11) was absolute heaven. Served with blackberry-cabernet consommé, Marcona almond, pink peppercorn, cinnamon streusel, buttermilk ice cream—it can only be described as utter ambrosia and a decadent treat for the palate.

With wine director Paul Fried overseeing the vast selection of wines from all over the world, one has incredible choices that only a high-end establishment such as this provides. With everything from the finest French champagnes to some of the best California wines available, Fried has put together an eclectic wine list to satisfy every taste. A sommelier is always on hand to offer professional help with choosing the right wine to go with each dish.dining highex2 

The Sunset Lounge, which opens daily at 3:30 p.m., offers a smaller menu and tapas—just perfect to have with a cocktailor a glass of wine from the full bar. Dessert, too, is available in the lounge after 5 p.m. What could be nicer than a slice of strawberry-rhubarb shortcake and a glass of champagne as you take in the spectacular views of Point Lobos State Reserve.

For a more casual setting, the California Market offers the diner an al fresco experience, or the cozy interior warmth of a rustic bistro. Here is where you choose from a delightful array of breakfast items or gourmet sandwiches for lunch. Seafood and daily specials are offered, too. On those chilly Monterey Bay days, this is a wonderful spot to huddle around the pot-belly stove with a steaming bowl of soup or a robust cup of coffee and a Danish pastry.

A heated outdoor pool is just what’s needed for a brisk dose of exercise, or you can take a spin on the lifecycles in the fitness room before relaxing in one of the three whirlpools.

This is a place where you can pamper yourself to the max, enjoy some world-class food and wine, take in an abundance of fresh coastal air, and experience some of the best scenery on earth —all at the same time. 


Carmel Hyatt Highlands, 120 Highlands Drive, Carmel, (831) 620-1234, highlandsinn.hyatt.com.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Best of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.

 

Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

Latest Comments

 

Palate-Stretching 101

A wine education with Soif’s experts As a veteran of many weekend wine “seminars” at Soif, I have to confess that I’ve never known less (going in) and learned more (coming out) than I did last week at the Spanish Wine Tasting with ace rep Brian Greenwood. These are classy, casual events and it’s hard to imagine having this much flavor fun anywhere for $20.

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Sauvignon Blanc 2011 One of my favorite wines is Sauvignon Blanc, and this one made by Martin Ranch is particularly lovely. Bright, crisp and refreshing, it’s perfect to pair with fish and shellfish—and good for picnics as it has an easy screw-cap bottle. There’s nothing worse than setting down your blanket, pulling out your sandwiches—and then realizing you don’t have a corkscrew.

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management