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The Bench Restaurant Review: This sleek restaurant with a casual vibe, eclectic menu and wallet-friendly prices is a boon to those traveling along the 17-Mile Drive. The view of the Carmel coastline gives diners a feast for the eyes. Meanwhile, the wood-burning stove is employed for many dishes, from the collection of crispy flatbreads with complex flavors and textures to steaks and salmon. We enjoy the blistered shishito peppers; the simple pleasure of the margherita flatbread with San Marzano tomatoes and mozzarella; and the duck fat truffle fries. And if they have the oven-roasted strawberry cobbler, go for it --- it will definitely provide a happy ending. The wine list shines in depth and breadth, and cocktail choices abound. If you find yourself ensconced next to one of the cozy fire pits, grab a blanket and enjoy the vistas.