Passionfish offers a unique California dining experience with serious food and wine in a fun and casual atmosphere. The ever-changing menu features the freshest, sustainable seafood, slow-cooked meats, organic greens and delectable desserts, all complemented by an award winning wine list priced nearly retail and well below what you've come to expect. Passionfish is owned and operated by Chef Ted Walter and his wife Cindy Walter. They are vocal advocates for sustainable seafood education and were the first officially certified 'Green' restaurant in Monterey County.
Pacific Grove, CA 93950
Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00PM - 9:00PM
Friday - Saturday: 5:00PM - 9:00PM
$30 and under
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Private Party Facilities:
Passionfish offers two rooms available for private dining. One room seats up to 30 persons and another up to 60 persons.
Private Party Contact:
Cindy Walter: (831) 655-3311
Banquet, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Farm to Table, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Passionfish Ratings and Reviews
This was our third time dining at Passionfish. The seafood stew appetizer was almost a meal in itself and a variety of seafood shared some space with a flavorful spicy sauce. My husband loved his duck confit and we shared a fabulous banana bread pudding laced with bourbon and chocolate with a delicious dark cherry on top. We did have leftovers to extend our enjoyment including most of a bottle of French Pinot Noir selected from a full page of Pinot noir wines from all over. Awesome!
The occasion was Valentine's, so it was a full house, but in spite of that the service was attentive without being obtrusive. The wait staff was congenial and efficient and the busing was discretely done. The cuisine was excellent, the appetizers, a scallop plate done to perfection and an unusual brussel sprout dish, were followed by a perfectly prepared rainbow trout main and a poached Maine lobster which was exquisitely prepared. Desert was a cheesecake dish that was extremely light yet flavorful.
Passionfish is a local gem in Pacific Grove that is not to be missed.
I was so looking forward to Valentine's Day dinner here. It was everything I was hoping for. The scallops with tomato truffles sauce and bacon gremolata were divine. Even the goat cheese salad had me doing a happy dance. Our server Sara was attentive and very knowledgeable. I asked her to help me select a Pinot Noir and she hit the nail on the head. Cindy was a delight to meet. I can see why they are so successful. The name describes them accurately, "Passion".
My wife and I arrived with a 7:45 reservation to find a packed restaurant. We had forgotten that the AT&T Pro-AM golf tournament was underway, regretfully corresponding with our anniversary. We were, nonetheless, shown to our table within 15 minutes of our reservation. Our server, who was understandably overwhelmed by a huge group of semi-drunk and rowdy golf event goers who lingered at their tables, made an unnecessary apology and proceeded to offer excellent service, responded to questions about the menu, guided us to an excellent Pinot Noir at a reasonable price and made our evening special. The food was excellently prepared, though menu choices were somewhat limited. That shouldn't keep anyone away who may be thinking of dining there. Although, if you wish for a quiet, romantic evening on a holiday, you may want to consider Yogi Berra's admonition, "Nobody goes there anymore...it's too crowded!"
I love this place! We come here every year. Last night something happened with my favorite dish and it wasn't up to expectation. The restaurant immediately corrected it. We are going back tonight to try it again. Everything else was beyond expectation. Our waitress was very accommodating and lovely.
Passionfish is our favorite restaurant in the area...we are never disappointed. The fish is fresh and beautifully prepared, the menu brings creativity and beauty to the table. Our server was interesting and interested...top notch. We will, of course, return!
It was just OK.
Service was slow but that's not a bad thing. We all rush too much.
We were only 2 and shared a bottled of wine, quite reasonable. Given the long wait and no bread to nosh, we were feeling the wine before salads were served. They did offer a 'bread' as an appetizer. Still not used to restaurants that do not offer good bread as part of the package.
We were at Asilomar Conference Grounds for 3 nights and we had dinner at Passionfish for the two nights as we were so pleased with the food. We had the same entrees both nights, scallops and lamb as they were delicious. We changed the dessert and both the bread pudding and the pana cotta/crème brulee were delicious. The servers were personable and knowledgeable.
If you're looking for a wedge salad and chowder in a bread bowl, or a waiter who wants to be your best buddy, don't bother. However, we chose Passionfish because the menu wasn't the usual Monterey fare. We found the food eclectic and innovative, and the service both efficient and attentive. Highlights included the duck confit and the lamb stew.
I used to like this place more when they had a shank and chop on the menu. Now it just seems like the food is "heavy" and I prefer more delicate food with less fat. We ordered two Wagyu Short Ribs and while I have had Wagyu many times, these cuts were pure fat (brought one home and let it cool in the refrigerator - pure white fat when cooled). The tables were close to each other. The wine list was obscure or very pricey. Our waiter seemed to have difficulty understanding the timing I was trying to create between courses, and was moderately helpful. I am afraid the amount of butter, deep frying, and long term braising is being used to reduce kitchen waste. The wine list is trickery to be a profit center with poor recommendations as "future cult wines." While trying to be branded as "Sustainable" they are not addressing their clientele. Unless they make a big turn-around, I will be surprised if they are around much longer.
Every time we go to the Monterey Peninsula, we eat at Passionfish. When we leave, we cancel our reservation elsewhere for the next night and return to Passionfish. It's that good. Nancy's buttermilk biscuits are a must. Everything else is also a must but one can eat only so much in an evening. Thus, once you've eaten there, you have to go back the next night to try the things you couldn't stuff in the first night.
I went into Passionfish for the first time this past Tuesday. And my experience was incredible. The menu was small but sweet. And most importantly, my server Samantha was something special. She detailed each appetizer and entree to perfection, allowing me to choose amazing foods that I was certain to like. It made my whole night and trip to Pacific Grove
More than worth it. I will certainly be back for more scallops!!💯
Unfortunately a disappointing experience. Ordered the Rock fish, it arrived cold in places and warm in others. It also had poor after taste. Had to flag the server to call to attention after waiting for her to come check on the quality of the food. She was gracious, and allowed me to order something else. Not sure I would go back, specially in lier of so many other choice.
We returned to Passionfish on our annual trip to Pacific Grove. We dined there twice last year and found it wonderful and were equally impressed this year. Seafood was prepared and presented perfectly. The half-bottle of Merry Edwards complimented the meal well. We plan to return again before we leave.
Best seafood in the region. Perfectly prepared, so tender. Waiter would not admit they use sous vide, but I suspect they do. Seared sesame tuna was exceptionally tender. Scallops were perfect. Stuffed trout delicious. Plating done with artistry. Deserts devine. Service prompt, polite, well trained, and efficient. Portions generous without being too much. 10/10, would go again. Very noisy, almost deafening, so consider working on improving acoustics with sound absorbing tiles or walls
PASSIONFISH IS CONSISTENTLY OUTSTANDING
I visit Monterey 3 or 4 times a year, and every time I make it a point to dine at Passionfish. I truly cannot think of a restaurant that excels it in offering the exquisite (and amazingly creative) cuisine for which Passionfish is known, together with their emphasis on sustainable seafood, their unusually low mark-up of their professionally curated wine list, and their graciousness of service -- all of this in a quiet and serene atmosphere. Bravo Passionfish!
We visit Carmel twice a year. Passionfish is always a good choice because of their tastes and fish choices. I tried Arctic char for the first time served on a jasmine rice pudding with braised fennel and could not believe how good it was. We had their snapper crudo to begin with and will try our best to reproduce it at home. You need to treat yourselves to this restaurant. And it is affordable. Don't forget Nancy's buttermilk biscutes.
The server (Rebecca) was superb. The delicious seafood dishes we enjoyed were creative. The wine list offers a large variety of wines that are reasonably priced. The two wines we drank fit that description and were of high quality. Overall, we regard this restaurant as an exceptionally good value. We plan on returning.
Excellent dining with interesting menu, reasonable prices, great service and a very nice wine list. The dishes were creative, tasty and arrived hit. The service was friendly and helpful. Our waitress helped one of our guests navigate the large list of beer so tap with her knowledge of the brews. All in all, a very good dining experience!
Passionfish is our all time favorite restaurant on the Monterey Peninsula and time and again they never disappoint. Always surprising new additions to the menu seasonally like their hot brussel sprout mustard salad, standards like their Wagu beef, and always beautiful fish--delicate and refined and tasting like heaven!!! And even better...It's SUSTAINABLE!!! We love that they support Seafod Watch. The service is beyond reproach--very helpful and accommodating. The parking is on the street but usually fairly good. Incredible wine list, focusing on European whites. They have been a little light in the dessert department but this time we tried the mint mud pie and it was pretty good==rich and gooey!! Oh, and last but not least--try the fried olives--FAB appetizer!! Oh yeah, and the biscuits!! Oh yeah, and.......just everything!!!!!!!!!!!!
Our first time here even though we are longtime locals and have heard much praise. We made reservations the night before for 5:30 and dined with my 6mo old niece for my Birthday dinner. Kid friendly. Things start to get busy around 7PM. Everything we ordered was delicious and had a distinct flavor palate. Fresh, local, sustainable, well seasoned, well priced, and accommodating to vegetarians as well. Between 3 adults, we shared two of the appetizers (fritters & brussel sprouts), 2 biscuits, 2 entrees (spoonable lamb, rainbow trout) and a dessert (banana bread pudding). The portions were perfectly sized, and our server was happy to give us extra plates to eat family style, and we left feeling comfortably full. All of us were very impressed. My mother is a Carmel local, my sister from the NYC expensive and trendy cuisine scene, and I am a person who rarely dines out because I am usually disappointed when I go out because I often find I can make more tasty, healthy and affordable dishes at home. Nothing on the menu was bland or uninspired, and you know they are using locally and seasonally sourced quality ingredients. Definitely will return and recommend making reservations if you plan to go later than 6:30.
Everything we had was excellent. We started with the trout ceviche which was fresh and nicely prepared. The duck confit was tender and delicious. The scallops were small but wonderful. For dessert we had the bread pudding which was amazing. Service was friendly and attentive. We will definitely return.
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