Old Monterey District Blog

Delighting Monterey Peninsula locals and visitors since 1995, Montrio Bistro is located in Old Monterey just minutes away from Pacific Grove, Carmel and Pebble Beach. As a California Central Coast culinary leader, Montrio Bistro holds numerous national, regional and local awards.

As a member of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sustainable Seafood Watch Program, Montrio Bistro has been at the forefront of responsibly sourced ingredients in the Monterey dining scene for over 20 years. Featuring locally sourced ingredients and sustainably caught seafood, Executive Chef Tony Baker's European-inspired American menu combines the best of Italian, French and California cuisines. Every dish that leaves the kitchen is crafted with exciting flavors and the highest quality ingredients available.

Montrio Bistro is committed to exceeding customer expectations with unique menu items prepared with the freshest ingredients and presented with impeccable service. Established in the historic Monterey Firehouse building, Montrio Bistro offers an elegant and welcoming atmosphere perfect for any occasion. From small, intimate affairs to the grandest celebration dinners, the experienced crew at Montrio Bistro is able to accommodate any dinner party.

The restaurant is located steps from the Monterey Conference Center and Fisherman's Wharf and near the Pebble Beach Golf Links, 17 Mile Drive, Monterey Wine Country and the National Steinbeck Center. If you happen to be in the beautiful Monterey Peninsula and are looking for an extraordinary culinary experience, the team at Montrio Bistro welcomes you.

Maybe on Monday: Call for Local Artisans

Posted on December 7th, 2014 by omba

Calling all local artisans! Maybe on Monday, a small, newly opened, curated gift shop located in Old Monterey at 251-B Pearl Street, is looking for unique items to add to our collection. We are seeking handicrafts, arts, jewelry, curios, and collectibles - handmade items only. For more information, please contact us at 831-275-1831 or email [email protected].

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Ice Skating by the Bay 2014

Posted on December 6th, 2014 by omba

Celebrate the holidays along the scenic coastline at Ice Skating by the Bay’s seasonal ice skating rink, November 22 - January 4. At Custom House Plaza, located behind Portola Hotel & Spa in Old Monterey, skaters can spend the day in a winter wonderland by the Bay.

Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for children 12 and under; skate rental fee is $3. Hours are Monday-Saturday, 11am-11pm and Sunday, 12pm-8pm. Special holiday hours on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day, 11am-10pm.

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Alvarado Street Brewer's Log, December 2014

Posted on December 5th, 2014 by omba

It’s the most wonderful of the year, especially if you like spiced beer. Personally, those aren’t my favorite to drink, but there’s a time and a place ANY beer is enjoyable, right? Rather than focus on the gamut of peppermint spiked stouts and nutmeg infused amber hybrids, let’s talk about some traditional craft beer styles that are synonymous with colder temperatures, shorter days, and the occasional California rain shower. Here are a few of my favorite styles to drink this time of year, in no particular order:

Yes – IMPERIAL Stout, which signifies a higher alcohol content, and RIS (for short) is no exception. It usually ranges between 8 - 12% alcohol by volume, which adds considerable body to the beer – a heaviness on the palate and also a “warming” sensation. Be it known, examples that reek of alcohol are exhibiting a problem with fermentation – the better RIS will hide any traces of “booze” relatively well as it melds within the layered, rich dark chocolate, burnt caramel, and vanilla that all but characterize this thick, chewy, darkest of ales. Why Russian? The style was brewed primarily for export due to its popularity within the Royal court of the 18th Century Russian monarchy (i.e. Catherine the Great). Some popular examples are Stone’s Imperial Russian Stout, AleSmith Speedway Stout, North Coast Old Rasputin, and Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout, among MANY others.

Note: Many of these imperial stouts are treated to year long stays in bourbon barrels, so keep an eye out for the barrel aged versions – the oak accentuates notes of vanilla, and darker spirits will always complement the roasty, smokey, cocoa-infused malt character of the stout family.

Often lost in a sea of Trappist ales (namely, Singel, Tripel, & Quadruple), the often 6 – 8% Dubbel is one that harmonizes rich malt character with the traditional Belgian yeast esters of white pepper, clove, honey, and an array of floral notes. No need to add spices to this style! The yeast takes care of that (as long as fermentation temperatures are allowed to get a little crazy). The best Belgian Dubbels will almost taste like fruit cake – literally. Biscuity, pie-crust-like malt notes will seamlessly blend with the fruity, spicy tones of the yeast to create quite the holiday sensation of beer drinking experiences. Like I said, no spices needed. Some of my favorites include Ommegang Abbey Ale, Rochefort 6, and Chimay Red.

Note: Belgian Dubbels are extremely versatile when it comes to pairing with food. On the lighter side – anything sauteed; the maillard browning effect of caramelization is virtually the same as the kilning of specialty malts found in the Belgian Dubbel style. Heartier dishes like barbequed pork ribs, grilled steak, and braised lamb shank pair well, as Belgian styles of beer are typically higher in carbonation...Read More


New Beers at Alvarado Street Brewery and Grill

Posted on November 21st, 2014 by omba

The week of November 21, 2014, Brewmaster J.C. Hill at Alvarado Street Brewery and Grill is launching two new beers, Old Town Brown and Monterey Common, and bringing back a favorite, Citraveza. We invite you to stop by and try them!

Old Town Brown: An American-style Brown ale with notes of caramel and cocoa. Brewed with Patagonian specialty malts that lend a distinct richness, making this a full flavored beer that goes great with heartier dishes and colder weather.

Monterey Common: A toasty, biscuit-like amber hybrid that's fermented with lager yeast at ambient Monterey temperatures. This is a remake of regional classic known as a California Common. Malt forward and balanced with just enough hops, our Monterey Common is brewed with Munich and a touch of Pale Chocolate malt to impart a subtle vanilla character in the background.

Citraveza: a hoppy, Mexican-style lager brewed with 100% Citra hops, which impart a unique tropical character coupled with the clean, crisp zippiness of a lager. A refreshing beer that should satisfy light beer drinkers and hop heads alike.

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Looking for the perfect holiday gift, personalized for someone special? Infusion Candles & Bath in Old Monterey makes custom candles using repurposed bottles! Bring us your recycled bottles and we will cut them, turn each one into a candle holder, and fill it with a beautiful, all natural candle, infused with your choice of signature fragrance created right here in our studio.

Our palm wax candles with cotton wicks are clean burning and soot free, using custom-blended scents made from premium fragrances and essential oils. Lead free, paraben free, and eco-friendly, these candles come in a variety of colors and have an exquisite hot and cold scent throw.

For more information, please phone us at (831) 238-1935, or stop by our studio on the second floor of 550 Abrego Street.

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Just in time for a long winter's nap, Coastal Home Furniture Gallery is offering manufacturer discounts on both Tempur-Pedic and Serta iComfort mattresses now through December 1, 2014. Save up to $500 on a Tempur-Pedic mattress and adjustable base, up to $300 on iComfort and iSeries mattresses by Serta, and up to $1000 on select Serta adjustable foundations. For more information, please stop by our showroom at 458 Alvarado Street in Old Monterey, or phone us at 831-373-2443.


The Alvarado Street Brewery & Grill, located on Alvarado Street in historic downtown Monterey, is a brewery and New American restaurant offering locally sourced and thoughtfully created, approachable food and artisan craft beer. We feature Chef Brandon Miller's delicious American cuisine paired with Head Brewer J.C. Hill’s hop-forward brewing style focused on bright, West Coast style ales, Belgian-inspired ales, and a variety of experimental batches across all styles.

Alvarado Street Brewery and Grill’s mission is to provide our guests, both local and visitor alike, a unique yet casual environment where they can enjoy cuisine that has been prepared with a nod toward the expert pairing of a specific beer. This educational mindset offers the customer an elevated yet approachable meal in a relaxed atmosphere. As a family owned and operated business, we continually strive to provide exceptional service and quality fare at a reasonable price. We look forward to seeing you and invite your family to become a part of ours at the Alvarado Street Brewery & Grill.