The legendary Casanova was renowned for his seductive prowess, and we suspect that one of his talents was knowing how to wine and dine. This charming Carmel restaurant was named after the famous romancer, and it lives up to the fantasy: the tables are small and cozy, the lighting is warm and soft, and the food is delicious without being pretentious. You’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into a rustic European lodge as you make your way to a table in one of the four well-appointed rooms. We recommend the Fountain Patio, which has a tree growing straight up through the middle, festooned with miniature twinkling lights. The restaurant also features a hand-dug wine cellar, 14 feet beneath the floor, which is home to an astounding number of bottles. Even more exciting is the restaurant’s recent acquisition of the table used by Vincent Van Gogh during the last days of his life at the Auberge Ravoux in Auvers-Sur-Oise. So book a table and take a leisurely walk to dinner with your darling, where you’ll enjoy a meal made up of rustic European flavors culled from France to Italy, and a magnificent bottle of vino to accompany your selections. And who knows? If you’re lucky, you just may catch some of that fabled Casanova spirit…


Le Coq D’Or

Keep an eye out for a flamboyant red rooster carved into a thick wooden sign, and stay put when you find it! Le Coq D’Or is an intimate European hideaway with an intriguing menu of German and French specialties. Their heated outdoor patio is lush with vines and flowers, a charming setting for a romantic twilight repast. Start out with the savory, roasty sweetness of the tarte de l'onion, and enjoy the sensation of those onion-y layers melting in your mouth. Then, if you’re feeling a little French, don’t miss the rich Cordon Bleu, stuffed with Guyere cheese and Black Forest Ham. If you’re hankering for a more German experience, try the Rahm Schnitzel, swimming in a luscious pool of Madera Cream Sauce. And since you’re already headfirst in butter and cream, why not go all the way and order the Marillen Knodel at the end, a sweet, apricot-filled dumpling drizzled with clarified butter and cinnamon sugar? Mmmm.


Breakfast at Il Fornaio

The Pine Inn is located near the middle of Ocean Avenue, a classic hotel with lots of polished mahogany and wine-red velvet. The Italian restaurant, Il Fornaio, is attached to the hotel. Brunch here is a treat, with pots of dark, rich coffee, sparking mimosas, a basket of warm breads and a choice of entrees. It’s easily within walking distance of most Carmel Valley hotels, so it makes a perfect destination for those lazy mornings. Not hungry for a big breakfast? Head to the sunny café nook, which sports a huge, round wooden table, perfect for sipping an espresso and perusing the morning papers.


Hog’s Breath Inn

How could anything named the Hog’s Breath Inn possibly be romantic? First, start with a wide-open patio graced with polished wood tables and stone fireplaces, presided over by heaps of glossy green ivy and tall, arching trees. Then toss in a brew-pub style menu, with thick, juicy burgers and a dripping French Dip sandwich made with sliced prime rib, and you’ve got the perfect place to send your ravenous tummies on a cool Saturday afternoon. The restaurant was founded by none other than Clint Eastwood, who presided as mayor over this small town for several years, and some of the menu names recall his movie roles: the Dirty Harry Bacon Cheeseburger, for instance, recalls that tall, handsome drink of water who captured our hearts and made our day. Don’t miss it.



Bruno’s Market

What restaurant could be more romantic than Nature herself? The beach at Carmel is nothing short of spectacular, and you may decide that you’d like to dine on that soft white sand with an up-close view of the blue, blue ocean, and we don’t blame you at all. Stop by Bruno’s Market before you head out, and assemble a picnic lunch with one of their delicious sandwiches or other deli items and a selection of fruit and cheese. Grab a bottle of wine, and you’re all set. They’ve even got those little extras like paper napkins and plastic cutlery to make it simple. One last thing: once you reach the great dining room of the Pacific coastline, take off your shoes and wiggle your toes in that delicious warm sand. It’s a sensation that will take you back to the days when sand and summer held infinite possibilities, and perhaps you’ll be reminded that anything can indeed happen...


Additional Information



Casanova Restaurant

5th Street between Mission and San Carlos
Carmel, CA 93921
Phone: 831.625.0501
Open Every Day.


Le Coq D’Or

Mission between 4th & 5th
Carmel 93921
Phone: 831.626.9319


Il Fornaio

Ocean Avenue at Monte Verde (at The Pine Inn)
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921
Phone: 831.622.5100


Hog’s Breath Inn

San Carlos & Fifth Street
Open Monday-Sunday 11:30-10:00pm.


Bruno's Market & Deli

6th & Junipero Ave.
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921
Phone: 831.624.3821
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