Hello, everyone! Welcome to Tradewinds, an Asian-themed luxury boutique hotel in downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea. We have been hard at work putting together an extensive list of the best restaurants, shopping, art galleries, and outdoor attractions in the area. Whether you're a nature enthusiast, an avid art collector, a wine aficionado, a foodie or a fashionista, Carmel has it all. We look forward to helping you plan your next trip to the area and hope to see you here soon!

The Staff at Tradewinds Carmel

Monday, December 29, 2014

Mondays on Mission Street: L'Escargot

It's hard to believe we are in the final few days of 2014! We hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season, whether you were celebrating Hanukkah, or Christmas or any other special occasion. We've been exceptionally busy there at Tradewinds, as Carmel has been bustling with visitors for the holidays. As mentioned in our Holiday Dining post, we strongly encourage you to make reservations for New Years Eve and New Years Day if you are planning on eating out. Today, we are happy to present one of our Mission Street neighbors, L'Escargot, as this week's "Mondays on Mission Street" featured business.

Mission Street at 4th Avenue
(831) 620.1942

Open Daily for Dinner at 5:30 PM

A picturesque, quintessential Carmel Cottage nestled in a small courtyard on Mission and 4th is where L'Escargot calls home. A traditional French country-style bistro, L'Escargot consistently serves some of the best food in downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea.

The restaurant offers an a la carte menu with traditional appetizer, salad and entree selections, as well as their "Bistro Menu," a fixed price menu offering a 3-Course Meal for $36/person. As a connoisseur of French cuisine, I love to try the same dishes at different restaurants to get a feel for the restaurant's style and creativity. I'm always "trying a bit of everything," which is why I end up with three appetizers, an entree and a dessert every time I go out to eat!

The appetizers are outstanding, from the French Onion Soup, to the classic Escargot (which lives up to the restaurant's namesake), to the Veal Sweetbreads, cooked with mushrooms in a Madeira cream sauce.

Entrees are equally as delicious - not exactly the healthiest cuisine, but definitely tasty. Seafood options include a local Petrale Sole with a lemon caper beurre blanc and Monterey Sand Dabs with house made tartar sauce. For fans of poultry, the restaurant offers a Pan Roasted Duck Breast, Roasted Chicken with mashed potatoes, and Chicken in a black truffle cream sauce. Rack of Lamb, Medallions of Veal and Rabbit Fricassee round out the protein options.  They also offer their house made version of Cassoulet, a traditional French bean stew with sausage and poultry.

The Bistro Menu features salad and other light appetizer options, a selection of entrees as well as your choice of dessert.

Round out your meal with a bottle of wine (we hear they sometimes offer half-priced wine on wednesdays) and have a relaxing meal, with great service and a charming ambiance.

As always, if you are planning a trip to the Carmel area, give us a call here at Tradewinds, we would be happy to help you organize a memorable stay in town.

Until Next Time...

The Staff at Tradewinds

Monday, December 22, 2014

Mondays on Mission Street: The Carmel Plaza

In the spirit of the Holiday Season, today's "Mondays on Mission Street" column is all about SHOPPING! Downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea is home to myriad clothing boutiques and specialty shops, and The Carmel Plaza, specifically, is the epicenter and home to some of the area's best shopping in terms of variety and quality.

Ocean Avenue & Mission Street

The Carmel Plaza is an outdoor shopping center, with beautiful floral accents, a cozy, cottage-like exterior, and both upscale and casual shopping options. The Plaza is home to contemporary stores such as J Crew, Anthropologie, Kate Spade, Cole Haan, as well as luxury stores like Tiffany and Co., and Bottega Veneta. Many stores you would find in a metropolitan area have found their way into this charming shopping complex in the heart of downtown. 

In addition to the plethora of apparel options, The Carmel Plaza is also home to specialty beauty retailers Cos Bar and L'Occitane. Both of these offer luxurious cosmetic and bath amenities, and cater towards a more pampered clientele. 

Boutique linen and home furnishing stores, as well as the popular cookware store, Sur La Table, round out the retail experience.

Take a break from a day of shopping and enjoy a coffee at Carmel Coffee and Cocoa or a bite to eat at Flying Fish Grill, Bistro Beaujoulais, or 400 Degrees Burgers.

Other activities include wine tasting at Wrath Winery and cheese sampling at the world renowned gourmet Cheese Shop.

Carmel Plaza has something for everyone and should be on every visitor's itinerary!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Our Holiday Dining Guide

Season's Greetings, Everyone!

We are making our final push toward the end of the year and are currently working on some new packages and specials for all of you to enjoy here at Tradewinds. We are really optimistic about what 2015 has in store for us!

While many of you will be celebrating the holidays with friends and family, cooking and entertaining during this most festive time of the year, others will be traveling or simply looking to dine out. We want to take as much of the headache and stress out of the equation as possible. With that said, we have compiled a list of the restaurants that will be open over the holidays and hope you will find this information useful as you plan your visit to the area.

Christmas Eve, December 24th
- Anton and Michel
- Christopher's  (5 - 9 p)
- Pacific's Edge
- Aubergine 
- Grasing's 
- Il Fornaio 
- Flaherty's (open until 7:30 p)
- La Bicyclette (lunch hours only)
- PortaBella (11:30 a - 9:30 p)
- Merlot!
- Grill on Ocean Ave
- Forge in the Forest
- Andre's Bouchee (open until 5 p)

Christmas Day, December 25th
- Anton and Michel (3 p - 9 p)
- Christopher's on Lincoln (5 - 9 p)
- Pacific's Edge (prix fixe, $110/person)
- Aubergine (9 pm seating available only)
- Grasing's (2:30 p - 8:30 p)
- Il Fornaio 
- Flaherty's (open until 7:30 p)
- PortaBella (2 p - 10:00 p)
- Merlot! (special menu available)
- Grill on Ocean Ave
- Andre's Bouchee (open for dinner)

New Years Eve, December 31st
- Anton and Michel
- Basil (special menu)
- Christopher's on Lincoln (5 - 9 p)
- Pacific's Edge (5:30 - 9:30 p)
- Aubergine 
- Grasing's
- Il Fornaio 
- Flaherty's 
- La Bicyclette 
- Casanova
- PortaBella (11:30 a - 12 a)
- Merlot!
- Grill on Ocean Ave
- Forge in the Forest
- Mundaka
- Flying Fish Grill
- Andre's Bouchee
- L'escargot (5 p - 9 p)

New Years Day, January 1st
- Basil (special menu)
Christopher's (5 - 9 p)
Pacific's Edge (5:30 - 8:30 p)

We love tradition here at Tradewinds - in fact, the hotel itself is a family tradition - owned and operated by the same family that built it in the 1950's. What are your family traditions? Perhaps you should consider making Carmel a part of your holiday plans!

Until Next Time...

The Staff at Tradewinds Carmel

Friday, December 12, 2014

A Winter Storm Update

After a day of gusty winds and heavy rainfall, we welcome the light drizzle we are experiencing today. The rain should pass by the end of the day and give way to some sunshine just in time for the weekend!

Thankfully, the storm did not do as much damage as we had anticipated; however, it did bring down some trees and branches around the Monterey Peninsula. A stretch of Highway 1 from San Luis Obispo to the Coast Gallery in Big Sur remains closed as of today and a small stream flood advisory was issued. Be sure to check the news for updates and road closures if you are headed to the area!

This photo was taken in Pacific Grove yesterday when the rain subsided for a moment and allowed for a beautiful rainbow to be cast over Lovers Point Beach.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

This Weekend in Carmel: 12/12 - 12/14

The winter keeps humming along as we get even closer to the end of the year festivities, including both Christmas and New Year's Eve. This weekend's events reflect the height of the Holiday Season, and we hope some of you will be able to join us in celebration!

Hand Crafted at the Barnyard
Barnyard Shopping Village
Friday 5:00 - 9:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sunday 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
The opening evening party of this pop-up store at the Barnyard will offer food and libations. Throughout the weekend Hand Crafted will offer handmade items from local artists.

The Talbott Vineyards Holiday Affair
Talbott Vineyards Carmel Valley Tasting Room
Saturday 12:00 - 4:00 pm
Mary Chamberlin of "The Traveling Soup Pot" will be sampling White Turkey Chili and Tortellini. The event will also feature live music, jewelry and samples from Gil's Gourmet.

The Nutcracker at Sunset Center
Friday and Saturday 7:00 pm
Sunday 2:00 pm
Dance Kids of Monterey presents the 21st year of its Nutcracker production. Accomplished professional dancers lead a cast of 120 locally trained pre-professional ballet dancers in the holiday classic. Tickets can be purchased through the Sunset Center website.

Santa's Fly-In at Carmel Valley Airfield
Saturday 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
For the 56th year, Santa and Mrs. Claus will travel by helicopter through the sky and touch down at the Carmel Valley Airfield to meet everyone. Once on the ground, they will hop in their sleigh and parade through the village to the Community Center on Ford Road, which will be followed by a holiday bazaar at the Carmel Valley Youth Center.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Mondays on Mission Street: Casanova

Food has always been a huge part of my life. Every family gathering, celebration or special occasion somehow revolved around food. Perhaps it was because my dad was a chef, or because my mom managed restaurants, that somehow, so many of my memories are sparked by names of restaurants and favorite dishes. I am ecstatic to be able to present to you the first restaurant I think of when I am planning a special occasion, and this week's "Mondays on Mission Street" feature, Casanova Restaurant.

Mission Street & 5th Avenue
Lunch -
Dinner -

Casanova is a Carmel Institution. A bold statement, maybe, but well-deserved. For years, I have attended everything from engagement parties, to birthdays, to anniversaries and graduation parties, and Casanova has proven time and time again to be more than capable of hosting the most joyous of occasions. With its cozy, romantic ambiance, its great service, impeccable French country-style décor, and amazing rustic French-Italian cuisine, Casanova really embodies traditional European dining.

Begin your meal with the spinach gnocchi, a light, doughy pillow of potato pasta served "au gratin" style. The parmesan cream sauce is ever so delicately salty, and creamy, and if you're anything like me, you will want to take a loaf of bread and soak it in this deliciousness.

The lunch menu features items such as the classic Croque Monsieur, Beef Ravioli, Shrimp Scampi, and a personal favorite of mine  - Steak Frites.

The dinner menu features heartier fare - classic pasta and meat dishes with both French and Italian roots. The Seafood Linguini is a personal favorite and features lobster, clams, mussels, prawns and a white wine & Meyer lemon cream sauce. The Wild Mushroom Pappardelle and Wild Mushroom Risotto are both great options for vegetarians and equally as delectable as their omnivorous offerings.

For those with a bigger appetite, I highly recommend the Braised Beef Short Rib with new potato and mushroom accoutrement. They offer additional carnivorous entrees such as Lamb, Duck, Salmon and Pork - classic dishes created to evoke the most memorable European-style dining experience.

I must note that their wine list is impeccable as well, but I suppose it doesn't hurt that the owners also call "Georis Winery" their own! Casanova is the definition of romance and charm and a definite must for all of those looking to have the quintessential Carmel experience.

If you are looking to celebrate something special, let us here at Tradewinds know, and we will help you plan the ultimate getaway!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

This Weekend in Carmel: 12/5 - 12/7

We have many events in store these upcoming weeks for those of you who are taking advantage of visiting Carmel before the new year arrives - and the rain should subside just in time for this weekend!

Friday, December 5th

Sunset Center Holiday Party, 3:00 - 5:00 pm
Enjoy complimentary wine, cookies and coffee in the Theater Lobby before heading to Devendorf Park for the Tree Lighting Ceremony. A photographer will be on hand to take photos in front of the Sunset Christmas Tree.

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Devendorf Park, 4:30 pm
Festivities begin at 4:30 pm with special performances by Junipero Serra School Children and the Carmel Middle School Choir, as well as a recitation of "Twas the Night Before Christmas." Mayor Jason Burnett will light the tree around 5:45 pm.

Carmel Plaza Holiday Open House, 5:00 - 7:00 pm
Carmel Plaza is hosting a Holiday Open House following the Tree Lighting Ceremony. There will be live music, appearances from Santa and his elves, as well as free warm beverages from Carmel Coffee & Cocoa and small bites from the restaurants at Carmel Plaza.

Saturday, December 6th

- The Carmel Foundation Holiday Bazaar at Diment Hall, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Shop a variety of crafts, gift baskets, jewelry and breads all handmade by talented local artists. The Carmel Foundation's cause nourishes the enrichment and productivity of active lives.

- Wine and Wreaths at Joullian Vineyard, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm, $45 per person
Join Joullian Vineyard for their open house and food drive, where you can sample the latest vintage wines and enjoy a BBQ lunch. Juniper, holly, mistletoe and grapevines will be available for wreath-making and a contest will be held and prizes given for the best wreaths!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Mondays on Mission Street: Andre's Bouchee

Can you believe it's already Monday? After a Thanksgiving weekend full of friends, family and food, it's about time we all get back to work! For this week's "Mondays on Mission Street," we are featuring a favorite restaurant of ours here at Tradewinds, Andre's Bouchee. Located on Mission Street just two doors south of Ocean Avenue, Andre's Bouchee is an authentic French bistro serving classic French dishes with a "Californian Coastal flair."

Mission Street between Ocean & 7th

Lunch: Wednesday through Sunday 11:30 am until 2:00 pm
Dinner: Daily from 5:30 pm until 9:30 pm

Nestled in the heart of downtown Carmel, Andre's Bouchee is a cozy, charming restaurant serving delectable classic French cuisine in an intimate setting. The restaurant is the perfect spot to stop for a lunch break during a day of shopping in town, or for a lovely, romantic dinner in the evening. 

And now, I present a break-down of the menu (accompanied by a little lesson in the French language).

As part of my own neurosis, I almost ALWAYS always order wine before I even look at the menu, depending on whether I want red or white. And then I choose an entree accordingly. A word to the wise - DO NOT DO THIS HERE! Let their in-house sommelier do the work for you and peruse the menu before picking out a wine. They have an extensive wine menu and will recommend the perfect wine pairing based on your entree selection and taste preferences. Here are some of my favorites, from start to finish. 

French Onion Soup (Soupe a L'Oignon) is typically my go-to, however, the Cream of Mushroom (Creme de Champignons) is in a league of its own. If I know I'm going to be ordering an extra rich entree, I'll typically order a salad, perhaps the Mixed Baby Greens with Duck Confit (Salade de Confit de Canard). Or you can always share an appetizer... the escargot or mussels are perfect for that! Whatever the case, don't overdo it here, because you'll definitely need to save room for your entree and dessert!

You really can't go wrong with any of their meat or seafood entree selections. When I am eating out, I always try to go for the option that is most unlike anything I can make for myself at home. The Duck Legs Confit (Confit de Canard) and Braised Lamb Shank (Jarret d'Agneau au Sirop d'Erable et Citron Vert) both have that je ne sai quoi I look for when I'm dining out. Their seafood options are equally impressive, and include a Lobster Saffron Broth Risotto (Rissoto aux Fruits de Mer) and Grilled Striped Bass (Striped Bass Grille au Citron Vert). 

For dessert, you should definitely opt for the Vanilla and Rum Creme Brûlée or the Melting Chocolate Cake (Coulant Aux Chocolat et Carambar), or finish your meal with a lovely selection of cheeses. 

Do not miss out on some of the best food and service in the area - just be sure to let them know Tradewinds sent you!