on June 7, 2013
Before my trip, I had done some inquiring for dinner recommendations in the area. The Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill came highly recommended by locals and visitors alike. Given the limited options around San Simeon and the less than positive reviews of several places in the area, we were generally very happy with this choice.The menu was quite expansive, with appetizers, soups & salads, entrees and desserts being offered. Because their prices were a bit more than what we had seen the night before, we opted to keep it simple. My sister ordered the Cove Scampi . . . "large prawns sautéed with mushrooms, onions, garlic, and fresh herbs finished with white wine and butter. Served with rice pilaf and fresh vegetables" . . . while I opted for a self-made dinner of the crab cakes appetizer with a side of "new potatoes topped with a roasted garlic cream". Our dinners were served with warm bread. Soup ($5.95) and/or dinner salad ($6.50) were additional, so we passed.We were both very pleased with our choices. The shrimp were tender and flavorful, although they were served with their shell, which made eating them a bit messy. My ala-carte dinner included three crab cakes, probably three to four ounces each and made with little breading or fillers. Amazingly, ordering my meal in this manner made it less expensive ($19.90) than any entree option on the menu, including chicken ($23.75).Dinner was very filling, especially with the delicious bread so we had no room for dessert. Not to mention, we had promised our server Jorge at the Cavalier that we would return there for dessert that evening. We did see a couple of interesting desserts go by our table, however. The ice cream and Oregon berries really caught my eye. Served in a large goblet-style glass, it was a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream with "strawberries, marionberries, blueberries, red raspberries, sautéed in Grand Marnier" over the top. The four layer Red Velvet Cake also looked wonderful.They have a full service bar. Given the tropical atmosphere of the restaurant and the ocean view from inside the dining room, I felt a pina colada was the perfect end-of-the-day cocktail; while my sister opted for a bottle of the 805 brew she had enjoyed a couple of nights earlier. When it was time for a second round, my next drink arrived frothy, without ice and very yucky. It was as if it was the leftovers from my first cocktail, or perhaps it had been blended previously, sat for a while and then reblended. Not sure what happened or why, but that drink went back immediately. Later the manager Jim stopped by to apologize and offer another drink. Because we were done eating, I had no interest in another.In total our dinner came to $66 plus tip. I suppose given the high quality of the food, this was a reasonable price. One thing I should comment on is their view of the Pacific Ocean, especially if you are considering a sunset evening meal or cocktail (or two). From inside the restaurant, you cannot see where the sun sets. They do have an outside patio area, which seemed to make it possible to see the sunset. The evening of our visit was brisk and too windy to eat outside. I don't think food could have stayed warm for more than about two minutes outside that night.
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