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Esteban Restaurant Review: We wish we’d had a table of ten to celebrate the Spanish-inspired cooking at this restaurant in the middle of Monterey. Flavors are clean and intriguing, from the crisp sweet disks of watermelon with creamy goat cheese and just-right sprinkling of coarse salt and cracked pepper to the sweet dates with fresh ricotta and a drizzle of honey for dessert. We like that the crispy duck salad comes with purslane and that the chef adds fresh figs to the pork belly. And for once, vegetarians have choices in the double digits. A wide range of portion sizes and prices makes this a great cocktail stop or a full-on dinner spot. Servers are cheerful and knowledgeable, and the chef carefully curates the wines for food-friendliness. The party’s on the plate and at your table; it’s like eating at your foodie friends’ house, only you won’t be asked to do the dishes.