When asked if I wanted to attend a pre-grand opening tasting of Pebble Beach Resort’s newest restaurant my reaction was simple, “Duh!” Any reason to go Pebble Beach, especially to try its busiest new restaurant, is a no-brainer in my book. The Lodge at Pebble Beach My co-worker and I arrived at The Lodge at Pebble Beach and made our way down to The Bench. Once inside we were immediately awe-struck with the epic vistas of the 18th hole of Pebble Beach Golf Links. The interior of The Bench complements the amazing view just outside. The open floor plan is clean, crisp and inviting, definitely a place you could just relax. View of the 18th Hole at the Pebble Beach Golf Links The Bench at The Lodge at Pebble Beach After oohing and ahhing over the scenic panorama our friendly hostess sat my fellow diner and I down at a cozy table. Luckily I was quick and scored the seat overlooking the patio and beautiful view. Our waitress, Jackie introduced herself and advised us to order 3 dishes: an appetizer, main entrée and dessert; tough gig! After a quick glance at the menu I realized this was easier said than done, everything looked scrumptious. Sample Menu For the appetizer I thought I would try something out of comfort zone and opted for the tomato-braised eggplant. I have never had eggplant but figured this would be the place to give it a shot. As for the entrée, the garlicky Farfelle was calling my name. We even got a sneak peek of the dessert menu which almost made me want to have the meal in reverse. After much deliberation my co-worker and I decided on the apple crumb cake and roasted strawberries with cheesecake ice cream. Portobello Mushroom Fries with Cheddar-Parmesan Dip After a short wait Jackie brought out our first courses. Boy was I glad that my dining partner ordered the Portobello mushroom fries! These plump fungi were perfectly coated in fried goodness with an amazing cheddar Parmesan dip to top it off. I couldn’t keep my hands off of them! Tomato-Braised Eggplant I finally moved onto my eggplant. This too looked delicious, even for something I am not accustomed to. I was surprised by the meaty texture of the eggplant and loved the roasted tomatoes and added capers but the creamy ricotta cheese really made the dish! Farfelle: Shrimp in a Garlic White Wine Sauce Next up were the entrees. I was happy to see that my pasta dish was served up with a hefty portion of shrimp. The buttery sauce was swimming in garlic which also made me one happy girl. The Burger with Sea Salt Fries My co-worker ordered “The Burger” which was served on what looked like an English muffin topped off with Gruyere cheese and pickled peppers. I was able to snag a bite and boy was this thing juicy! The peppers gave it just the right amount of kick. Warm Apple Crumb Cake with Caramel Drizzle And for the grand-finale…dessert! The long awaited sweet concoctions arrived and poor Jackie could barely put the plates down with our forks attempting to dive in. The warm apple crumb cake and ice cream came with a side of caramel which was just plain sinful. The thick apple slices infused in the pecan crust tasted just like Thanksgiving! Roasted Strawberries, Cheeskcake Ice Cream and Balsalmic Reduction Drizzle The roasted strawberries weren’t bad either. The sweet fruit was served in a warm streusel topped with cheesecake flavored ice cream and a balsamic reduction glaze. The cheesecake ice cream was out of this world! I wanted to take some home to make a milkshake. The Bench at The Lodge at Pebble Beach I will definitely be returning to this “causal yet sophisticated” eatery at Pebble Beach. You can’t beat the famous view, kick back atmosphere and ambrosial menu. And did I mention they have an awesome drink menu? The Bench officially opens August 8, 2012 You can taste all of the wonderful offerings beginning August 6, 2012. For reservations please call 800-654-9300. Bon appetit!