Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Vegetarian Thanksgiving in Carmel

After an 8-mile hike in the beautiful Big Sur area, V and I were looking forward for a great evening out and a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. Usually we avoid the Italian restaurants in US because of their predilection for cheese and a rather unimaginative use of vegetables (aka eggplant parmigiana and veggie pizza). However on this special occasion, Il Fornaio's menu and ambience convinced us otherwise and we did not regret it.

After a lovely stroll along Ocean avenue window-shopping, we arrived at the restaurant hungry and cold. We started off with beautiful saffron colored bowls of butternut squash soup in to which dunked the house bread. It warmed us up and vetted our appetite for the main course.

V ordered the butternut squash ravioli (he really believes in eating seasonally!). The presentation was lovely. Each plump ravioli was alternated with fresh sage leaves fried in butter. The ravioli also seemed to contain quite a lot of butter, but it was so delicious.

I ordered the veggie pizza which was simple, sparse on cheese and filling. We took half the pizza back home with us and it made a good dinner for the next 2 days for me.

We finished off with a special dessert of pumpkin pie with pumpkin icecream, which V thought was rather average. I thought the icecream was delicious. The meal came to about $30 per person including tips.
Surprisingly it was difficult to find a good vegetarian place in Carmel-by-the-sea. There are some deli-type vegetarian places, but that is about it. However we did not regret our visit to Il Fornaio.

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