With just a few hours to spare I opted for a quintessential Carmel experience. I started my quick jaunt at the uber-exclusive Mountainsong Galleries on Ocean Avenue. This gallery represents more Oil Painters of America and American Impressionist Society Master Artists than any other gallery in the world! Their incredible contemporary collection includes stunning glass art, bronze sculptures, custom furniture, paintings, drawings to pieces from "The Dogman!" collection by Marty Goldstein.
The intimate setting really made this a rarity; where else can you find so many masterpieces in one setting with such attentive service? As soon as I win the lottery I will make this one of my first pit stops!
Just down the street I was able to kill three birds with one stone. Trio Carmel does a stupendous job bringing together art, wine and olive oils/vinegars all under one roof! The charming shop on Dolores Street is lined with fascinating contemporary art but the true showstopper is their vast selection of extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the globe.
Luckily Trio has an entire cheat sheet of olive oil and vinegar pairings for specific dishes. I got a little carried away with the free samplings of the savory oils but finally settled on a favorite combination. The mixture of strawberry balsamic vinegar and basil olive oil was sensational; I cannot wait to try this concoction on a Caprese salad!
Trio's adorable wine bar hosts three small-vineyard Monterey County wines for tastings. Today's samplings included wines from and Pelerin, Mesa Del Sol, and I. Brand & Family wineries. My favorite was the rich Syrah from Mesa Del Sol grown in the Arroyo Seco region.
By now my time was up but I felt like I had achieved a sliver of Carmel's unique offerings. Next time I will certainly arrange for more time exploring at its shops and unexpected pathways.
If you do have more time burn I recommend perusing the various art galleries along Ocean Avenue, purchasing a Carmel Wine Walk passport and ordering tapas and small bites at some of the local eateries. You can also stop by Salumeria Luca for all of your picnic needs before choosing the perfect spot on Carmel Beach to watch the sunset.