For those looking for more than just lunch, Bay of Pines is exactly what you need. While their organic cuisine is reason enough to make this gem a must-try, its surroundings are what really makes this place somewhere to pilgrimage to.
Located upstairs from the MST building in downtown Monterey, the prime corner location is super convenient from nearby attractions like Old Fisherman’s Wharf, the Monterey Conference Center and Custom House Plaza. Whether you choose to take the elevator or stairs, once you are inside you will simply not believe what you see.
Dining at Bay of Pines is like dining in an underwater art gallery. The lofty space boasts floor-to-ceiling murals depicting images of the Monterey Bay just out yonder. The hand-painted masterpiece showcases everything from scenic Carmel River, migrating killer whales in the bay to a mystical take on our celestial system.
Not only is the wall art something to behold but the restaurant is also home to an array of incredible sculptures of marine animals and tall ships. Speaking of ships, the eatery’s bar and main focal point, is exactly that. A larger than life-sized ship with Captain Jack Sparrow guiding the way.
Before sitting down, be sure to mousy upstairs to the private dining room where there are even more visually stunning pieces of artwork waiting to be discovered. Artifacts from around the globe are revealed in this intimate space overlooking the mystical pirate ship down below.
Now that you have soaked in your surroundings its time to focus on the food! Restaurant owner and operator Dana Mills Helman proudly grows most of the dish’s ingredients from her sustainable ranch off of Highway 68 and sources from other organic providers in the area.
The menu is best put as Coastal California cuisine with an international twist. Their wide variety of juices is the perfect way to kick off any meal with freshly pressed options including orange, carrot, vegetable and cactus.
Appetizers are from land and sea including a zesty ceviche and lamb lollipops. Be sure to try their smoked chicken wings which are house smoked and topped with a sweet chili glaze and the Portobello mascarpone with slices of meaty mushrooms, sautéed bell peppers and crispy prosciutto crowned with a creamy mascarpone cheese.
A variety of salads, sandwiches, burgers and pastas are sure to satisfy your hunger. The Crow’s Nest Burger with hummus spread, crunchy apple wood smoked bacon and gooey gruyere cheese is a crowd-pleaser while the Lover’s Deck Avocado Salad is fantastic vegetarian option with avocado and pear over a bed of California greens with homemade mango vinaigrette.
Save room for dessert and savor every last second in this fantasyland; I mean how often do you get to dine next to Jack Sparrow? The chocolate chip bread pudding and vanilla bean creme brulee are sure to twist your arm. Ahoy!
Bay of Pines is open daily from 11am-3pm and open for dinner for groups with 12 or more. The restaurant also hosts several monthly theme and international parties including quite the Irish St. Patrick’s Day bash.