A preservation project by former Carmel Mayor Clint Eastwood, Mission Ranch Restaurant sits on 22 glorious historic acres of rolling land overlooking Carmel River Beach, Point Lobos and the Pacific Ocean. And let me tell you, this is the spot to come for a bit of pastoral R&R amid the tourist chaos of the coast. The grounds are romantic and steeped in California history. Spared from condo development, the site now houses a one-of-a-kind resort with coastal access, luxury accommodations and resident sheep grazing the grounds.
But we’re here to talk about Mission Ranch Restaurant. Tucked into a low-ceiling room with windows to the sweeping lawn and water views, the restaurant is at first glance just a simple farm home. But listen closely and you will hear notes from the live piano music in the softly lit bar to draw you into the cozy atmosphere.
The menu by Executive Chef Owen Appelt and her colleagues is classic California with grilled local artichokes, fresh clam chowder, and crisp vegetable salads on the bill of fare. For guests looking to soak up atmosphere but keep the dinner tab light, the restaurant offers hearty sandwiches. If you’re in the mood for a more substantial meal, try the short rib osso buco style or the roasted half Maple Leaf duck in cranberry and port wine reduction.
If you have your heart set on your own new favorite bottle of wine, bring it along. The restaurant offers a $20 corkage fee and will split entrees for $8.
Our meal was quite nice with accommodating wait staff. When our order of char-broiled salmon came out a little too done for our liking, the kitchen immediately fired another (perfectly) and delivered it to our table in just a few moments.
Mission Ranch Restaurant
26270 Dolores Street, Carmel, CA 93923
Direct Line: (831) 624-6436
Toll Free: (800) 538-8221