We decided to escape the sweltering LA heat and drive up the beautiful California coast for the weekend. Our destination: the cool breezes and pristine vistas of the Monterey Peninsula. It was a weekend full of walks on the beach, crashing waves, leisurely drives, and heirloom tomatoes. Heirloom tomatoes somehow found their way into many of our meals. They were sweet, firm and memorable.
On our first night in Carmel, we stumbled upon La Bicyclette, a small, quaint, and charming French bistro. The restaurant had a prefix menu that was seasonal, simple and affordable. Our first course was a local heirloom tomato salad with arugula, garlic confit and a balsamic reduction. It was so good I almost forgot to take a picture of it. The tomatoes were fresh and lightly kissed by the balsamic reduction. The garlic confit was so tender it almost melted with each bite. A perfect start to an all-together inspiring meal.
The following night we dined in Monterey at Passionfish Restaurant. While studying our menu for a starter we were immediately drawn to the heirloom salad with fried mozzarella. We questioned having heirloom tomatoes two nights in a row but could not resist. These heirlooms were not as sweet and laid under a bed of tender field greens. They were different in their presentation, but just as appetizing.
Before leaving our weekend oasis we purchased some local heirloom tomatoes. When we got back home to our LA apartment we made our own heirloom tomato salad: the tomatoes sprinkled with sea salt and touch of balsamic vinegar. Heirloom tomatoes and a trip to the sea- two reasons why I love summer!