Recently, Carmel Valley's most iconic hitching posts was sold by the founder of Bernardus Lodge to the folks down the street at Holman Ranch. Will's Fargo Steakhouse & Bar, found in the heart of cowboy country, may have new owners but don't let that "steer" you astray. The landmark's fresh proprietors, Nick Elliott and Hunter Lowder don't plan on changing a whole lot; they like most patrons fell in love with its rustic charm, friendly service and some of the most luscious steaks in Monterey County.
Upon entering you are greeted by the bar and saloon (complete with bar stools) which looks like it was plucked right out of an episode of Bonanza. The cowboy culture continues into the dining room with warm wooden character and beautiful landscape images of the area.
Another untouched gem with the ownership transition is Chef Jerome Viel. The France native has been the restaurant's executive chef for the past 12 years and lucky for us isn't going anywhere anytime soon. His seasonal menu is chalked full of the high quality meats and local veggies sourced just down the road at Earthbound Farms.
On a recent visit I was fortunate enough to post up on their enchanting patio for light bites and sips. The cozy bonfire and twinkling party lights make this a perfect setting for a full-on steak dinner or apps and drinks.
Speaking of drinks, their wine and cocktail menu is a hard one to beat. The Ruby Red Cosmo in particular is the perfect refreshment on the outdoor patio which has just the right amount of citrusy kick without being overly sweet.
I highly recommend the smoked duck tasters. The tender poultry was paired with sweet plum chutney which played nicely with the duck's subtle smoky flavors.
If there's bacon on it I'm going to eat it, especially if it's wrapped around jumbo shrimp and slathered in BBQ sauce! This winning sweet and savory combo had me going back for seconds.
The showstopper of the evening, by no surprise, was the rib eye; the scent alone will have you salivating before the dish even hits the table. This perfectly seared steak is simply seasoned with a few dashes of good ol' salt and pepper, no fancy sauces needed! I hate to sound cliché but every morsel literally melted in my mouth, as if it was straight butter!
Will's Fargo located at Carmel Valley Road and is open nightly for dinner beginning at 4:30pm.