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Monte Verde St. at 7th Ave. Send to Phone
A gem of a setting and a treasure-trove of creative food and wine.
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Dining room at Aubergine, Carmel, CA

Aubergine Restaurant Review

: This tiny, enchanting restaurant inside L'Auberge Carmel ranks among the area's finest. Executive chef Justin Cogley's creativity with top-tier, seasonal, local ingredients (especially from the sea) leans towards the playful and beautifully executed. Spot-on pairings bring out the best in both food and wine --- it’s Fred and Ginger dancing on the palate. There’s a chef’s tasting menu featuring an enviable grocery list of ingredients (abalone, Meyer lemon, locally foraged candy cap mushrooms) for Cogley to prepare according to his whim, or a five-course dinner (with an optional sixth course) with possibilities both adventurous and deceptively familiar, such as the diver scallop with lemon balm in its shell, nestled in seaweed. Slivered green almonds share a plate with smoked fish roe in a sour-and-salty duet. And if you’ve ever wondered how “green” tastes, asparagus in its own jus with wild ginger is the answer. The globally sourced and terroir driven wine list proposes approximately 2,500 bottles. There’s an international tour-de-force of cheese carefully selected from the cheese cave just inside the front door, too. Executive pastry chef Ron Mendoza’s sourdough rolls are flavorful and chewy. And dessert? Cucumber sorbet with a dark chocolate mousse and assertively tart flower petals: we sank into our comfortable banquette and relished every bite.

User Ratings & Reviews for Aubergine
Average rating    3.67
Reviews 1 - 3 of 31
Aubergine at L'Auberge Carmel, CA
by karen williston on Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:26 am
An exceptional meal in an elegant, warm and intimate setting. A memorable dining experience featuring fresh, seasonal menus with inspired wine pairings. It was a superb evening. We received gracious service, dined in the wine cellar where the ambiance was great. The freshly harvested abalone in a shell with oyster, pickled sea bean and wild sea lettuce was outstanding, a must try dish....displays artistry and freshness at its very best. Some of our favorites included hamachi, lamb, artisan cheeses, black garlic and the expresso martini. Chef Ron outdid himself with the desserts. We have already reserved for the local menu in November featuring wild mushrooms and can't wait to see and taste what Chef Justin prepares.
Truly Exceptional Evening
by Richard Lee07 on Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:17 am
We returned to this quiet setting having last dined here in March. Again the food and wine were exquisitely prepared and presented. this time we found truly outstanding food in a 4-course prix fixe menu. The cuisine has elements of French tradition complemented by a light touch of modernist California cuisine. Each plate was both attractive to the eye and pleasant to the taste. the tuna dish was superb; the lamb, and beef were cooked to perfection. The wine selections matched perfectly. The room is intimate and although several other tables were full, the servers and sommelier were quietly efficient at making us feel this was a quixotic, secluded dinner for two.
Horrible experience at Aubergine at L'Auberge Carmel
by Loving Annie on Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:50 pm
Last year at Aubergine I had a fabulous 8 course tasting meal, and so I eagerly looked forward to dining there again.

Approximately a week prior to my visit, I called to make the reservation, and spoke with the person answering the phone about an 8 course tasting menu again, and my dietary preferences for a primarily vegetarian oriented meal. He said that he had it on file from the last time that I dined there, and they would be happy to do so.

I then e-mailed the Chef directly perhaps 3 days before my reservation, and asked for a copy of his planned menu to be sent to me prior to dinner, as it makes it easier for me to take notes during the meal, since then I have all the necessary ingredients covered with needing to ask unnecessary questions.

No answer to my e-mail.

An hour before my reservation, I received a voice mail telling me that an unexpected last minute private party for 30 had taken over the restaurant, and they would be moving me to the bistro for dinner.

I wasn't particularly pleased, since the dining room is so lovely, and the bistro not as much so, but as long as the food is superb, it wasn't that big of deal.

I arrived, and was shown to my table. Again inquiring about the menu, I was told that Chef had decided to make it up as we were speaking.

Then the sommelier came out and said Chef wanted to do a special wine pairing for me with each course. I had not requested anything but water to drink, and assumed it was a nice gesture made to make up for the lack of menu preparation.

Although I am not a wine drinker, I agreed to try them, although I said it was unlikely I would have more than one or two sips of each.

Th first course was brought - something definitely not on the list of things I could eat. I was a little shocked, but thought it was a minor error, and said nothing. The second course was brought and again, nothing I could eat.

The entire meal was taken strictly off the existing heavily fish and game oriented menu, and I refused the last few courses outright.

I was fuming inside, for I would not have dined at the very expensive Aubergine had I known Chef had no intention whatsoever of preparing a tasting menu that I could eat.

I had several desserts which were good, and then requested a bill. The 8 course dinner came to $272 dollars, including a $95 charge for the wine pairing, and a mandatory 20% gratuity.

What a total outrage for a meal that except for dessert I could not eat, unrequested wine pairings, and such unprofessional behavior from a restaurant that prides itself on its stellar reputation.
Reviews 1 - 3 of 31


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