Sunday, September 23, 2007

Meet Me in Monterey...

With our hectic work and (separate) travel schedules, Jason and I try to grab a little quality time where we can. We usually aren’t in the same town for more than a few days at a time, so a weekend getaway is the perfect opportunity to tune-out from computers and cell phones, and tune-in to each other!

Our weekend getaways are geared around what we love most – food, cocktails, wine, a little nature and, of course, a little luxury.

On a recent getaway, we snuck out a little early on a Thursday afternoon and drove north up the 5 Fwy to Hyatt Regency Monterey, which has just undergone a $45 million rennovation. The rooms are stylish and comfortable with simple lines, natural colors and intriguing, artful d├ęcor (even the bathrooms are sleek!). The lobby’s Fireplace Lounge features large glass windows overlooking an outdoor patio and golf course. (It's almost like never having to leave the outside.)

The Monterrey / Carmel area is very animal-friendly, as exemplified by its famous movie-star-and-animal-activist resident, Doris Day. The Hyatt keeps with the dog-loving community, welcoming pets throughout the property, and regularly hosts the “Paws For A Cause” Happy Hour benefiting Monterey County’s SPCA. Tickets are on sale now for the SPCA’s annual fundraiserWild Celebration” on Sunday, October 14.

After we pet the pooches on the patio and sampled a round of freshly-squeezed juice cocktails in the Fireplace Lounge, we headed into TusCA Restaurant to fill our bellies with seasonal delights.

We were there toward the end of summer and had the most gorgeous heirloom tomato salad which the chef had just bought that morning. Yellow, orange and red tomatoes were drizzled with olive oil and basil paste, and we slathered roasted garlic on freshly made bread.

That palate opening first-course was followed by an earthy, creamy risotto, and then a sumptuous duck dish. Obviously, every meal needs a little liquid accompaniment, and TusCA’s long and impressive wine list leaves the mind spinning with options! We wrapped up our experience with a three-cheese plate and the rest of our bottle of choice.

And, need I tell you, that by the time we finished a leisurely dinner, we began to feel re-acquainted, and had the best night’s sleep in a long time.

(the Aquarium, Cannery Row and the Four Seasons in Silicon Valley – and wine dinner at Quattro – coming soon…)


Deb said...

What a great time! The meal sounds wonderful, the hotel heavenly. I just cam back from a weekend at teh Hyatt in Indian Wells. Nice but not nearly as beautiful...they did a great job. Sounds like just what you needed!

Shawn said...

Tusca rocks. I had a great meal there when I was in Monterey for business four years ago. Glad you got to enjoy a trip to Monterey -- I can't wait to go back.