About Aubergine at L'Auberge Carmel
The award winning restaurant Aubergine is located at L’Auberge Carmel, a Relais & Châteaux in the heart of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Chef Cogley’s cuisine showcases the finest ingredients with a razor-sharp balance of deference and innovation. The menu served nightly highlights the best ingredients of the season, enhanced by skillful technique and an eye toward varied textures and flavors. Desserts, masterfully prepared by Chef Mendoza, are irresistible complements to Cogley’s savory courses.The daily changing eight course Tasting Menu is an of-the-moment celebration of seasonality and creativity. For a supplement, course-by-course wine pairings are available to enhance your experience.
Reservation Cancellation Policy: 24 Hours Prior to Reservation Time.
Late Cancellation Fee: $50 per person Cancelling.
Dining Room Attire: Smart Casual. Jackets for gentlemen are encouraged. Ties are optional. No t-shirts, shorts, or tennis shoes please.
Californian, Seafood, Contemporary American
Hours of Operation:
Dinner served daily from 6:00pm to 9:30pm.
Private parties in the Wine Cellar or al fresco dining in the flower-filled courtyard can be arranged upon request. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
$50 and over
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
For weddings, private dining and special events please call our Events Coordinator at 831-622-5907 or email: email@example.com.
Valet parking is offered; street parking is optional.
Private Party Facilities:
Restaurant buy-outs are possible at L'Auberge Carmel. L'Auberge Carmel's private Wine Cellar can seat parties up to ten people.
Private Party Contact:
Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Smoking Area (patio only), Wheelchair Access, Wine
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Aubergine at L'Auberge Carmel Ratings and Reviews
Superb and creative dishes, impeccable ...
Superb and creative dishes, impeccable service.
An Enchanting Evening
We chose to dine at L'Aubergine because of it's high ratings and wine list....as we are always looking to see how menu's pair with wine collections at this level. I must say, my husband was engrossed in reading the list and so we became more and more curious about the food portion of the experience. I was confused at first about the format as only ingredients are offered on the menu website posting. We were pleasantly surprised to learn of the format and in hind sight, wish we would have engaged with the sommelier tasting portions too. As it stood, we liked all the courses with the exception of the pork belly. It was simply too fatty for us. Our multiple levels of servers were very appropriate and well trained. Uniforms could have been a bit more tidy, as one of our gals had a wrinkled blouse, would be nice to see it starched. I know that is nitpick-y but when spending this money at a Chateau Relais establishment, I would expect that to be an absolute. I would recommend this experience to a friend and to colleagues, but with warning that they don't have control over their menu. They do call ahead of time to ask for allergies and sensitivities. It was also nice to meet the chef, as he delivered one of the courses. The plate ware and presentations are also pretty fun and adventurous. Oh, and the music probably could have been less contemporary and more classic and jazzy. I felt as though the music was catering to the servers and not the experience of the guests. We loved the wine list and chose a nice pinot noir as we did not know what to expect with our meal, so probably another reason to have chosen the wine pairing. We missed out on that one.
Unexpectedly found they wear serving a C ...
Unexpectedly found they wear serving a Chef's tasting. Gave it a try and it was fantastic! Each dish was above the rest and they were all delicious. Highly recommend both the restaurant and hotel as a romantic getaway.
It's all about the sauces and ingredients
If you are in Carmel this is probably the only resturant worth spending time and money on. Fresh local ingredients , wines that pair perfectly,attentive and friendly staff, sauces and flavors that keep you wanting more. Loved this place thank you to Chefs Cogley and Mendoza and all the staff for a creative menu and delicious evening.
A little too precious
Clean food is clean good food....does not need to be so precious, so minut, so tediously olde Relais Chateau.... Wine was lovely, staff were beautiful ( if unasking of food allergies or restrictions....actually the only 2 I have: raw fish ( because of health issues) and goat cheese ( because of having raised them, I'm almost repelled by scent/taste) happened to litter the entire menu. So it was too bad. Room was pretty but nothing special.... Very expensive....almost ridiculous for what we ate.....barely had a bottle of wine, if....
Excellent service, delicious food, unforgetable!!
My husband and I celebrated my birthday here. It's small, quaint, no ambiance but excellent service!!!! Very attentive staff. The food was delicious. There was only a chefs menu available that consisted of 8 items. From caviar to dry aged ribeye to hazelnut chocolate parsnip. Exquisite. Wine pairing was also available. At the end we got a private tour of the immaculate kitchen and staff. We even took a picture with the chef. Very warm and friendly crew!!!! We will definetly return when we are in Carmel. It was a wonderful experience :)
Phenomenal kitchen wizardry coupled with a serene and elegant ambience and unobtrusive staff make for an interesting experience
They have a beautiful unique prix fix me ...
They have a beautiful unique prix fix menu. Just go with it. You won't be disappointed. They also are very happy to accommodate any food restrictions.
Review of Aubergine
Excellent Michelin star quality food. Quality and preparation as good as anywhere worldwide. 7 courses, light and tasty, with an emphasis on ocean flavors and a hint of Japan. Decent but not amazing wine pairing
A guaranteed dinner to remember!
This is my fourth time to eat at Aubergine, and every single time has exceeded my expectations. Service is top-notch and impeccable--these guys know how to orchestrate a dinner. The courses are built like a symphony--a subtle beginning builds into a powerful crescendo and then finishes with something sweet and memorable. Chef Cogley is a master! TIPS - Definitely spend the extra money on wagyu beef flown from Hokkaido - it's worth it! - Definitely spend the extra money on the cheese platter - it's worth it!
Fantastic! Great service, very low noise ...
Fantastic! Great service, very low noise, good was so delicious. I was amazed how well the chef paired every taste with each other. Such a delicious well balanced meal. Also, I love seafood and loved the emphasis on the flavors of the sea
Prepare to be amazed ! From the moment you enter the restaurant you are greeted by the staff, you begin a culinary adventure. It was my 70th birthday and I had requested abalone to be one of the courses. They served it two different ways and it was great. The sommelier was a young lady who knew all aspects of the craft, and she took us on a tasting travelogue. Everyone was so well paired with our small plates, we had to pause to allow ourselves the opportunity to savor the experience. Be prepared to spend a good deal on your meal, but you will be more than happy with the results.
Tasting menu is the only way to go...tru ...
Tasting menu is the only way to go...trust the chef and be rewarded. Service is top notch. Try all the extra special add-ons (i.e. wagyu beef, etc.). The add-ons cost extra, but if you're there for a special occasion, might as well splurge!
Aubergine was a wonderful experience. The sommoleir actully made our drinks in the bar when we arrived and the reserve wine pairing was amazing. The wines paired perfectly with what we had to eat. The tasting menu from the kitchen was fabulous! Everything that we got to eat was perfectly prepared and wonderful to look at! It was a fantastic experience and I would not hesitate to recommend this restaurant to anyone- just great!!
Delectable food presented with careful c ...
Delectable food presented with careful consideration. Highly recommend the reserve pairing- kudos to bother the chef and sommelier!
First time at Aubergine for my 6 Wedding Anniversary. Was blown away by the food. Absolutely a delicious flavor explosion with every bit. All courses where beyond outstanding. Will definitely recommend to friends and family and will return for an encore meal! Hats off to the chef and all of his staff. Was such a pleasure meeting the chef and all his staff as well. Thank you to the wait staff for your performance. And a special thank you to the gentleman who made my cappuccino - was perfect.
Exquisite meal and service Every attenti ...
Exquisite meal and service Every attention to detail
The forced tasting menu was a nightmare ...
The forced tasting menu was a nightmare for me and my partner. Did it ever occur to the owner and chef that people have food allergies? I could not eat half of the presentations because I am allergic to shellfish. My partner squirmed every time that brought out another "experience." We dropped over $700 on the meal, which was an outrage. The wines were mediocre. I was forced to provide a credit card guarantee in advance-otherwise, we would have left immediately. What a terrible "experience"-four thumbs down!
The 8 course meal, though satisfactory i ...
The 8 course meal, though satisfactory if you weren't hungry, was way overpriced at $150 pp. I've had much more filling and delicious 4 course meals for less ($100 pp). The service was very good, except for the the timing. We asked for a cocktail and the first course came before our cocktails. Though they all were nice and attentive they need training on timing. Ambiance was good but the table arrangements could be better to create an even better experience. Definitely has potential.
A truly memorable experience and I would ...
A truly memorable experience and I would recommend it to all. I am looking forward to my next experience there. Food and service were outstanding and the evening just seemed to just pass by.
I thought this place had Michelin Stars ...
I thought this place had Michelin Stars and was shocked to find that it has not because it really deserves them. The service was impeccable and still approachable. I don't know if the sommelier is a master but if not, he could be. The food was divine. Unlike some other establishments of this caliber, the food has depth of flavor and lots of it! I cannot fathom the time and processes they must employ to craft each dish. They call ahead to ask about dietary restrictions and made a vegetarian menu for me that made my carnivore husband jealous. This is a very expensive meal, I must warn. Only a tasting menu is offered with the options for add ons. The basic food menu is $150pp. We had a glass of champagne to start $35pp. Shared a cheese course $38. Did the regular wine pairing (there is a reserve option) $118pp. My husband had the A5 Wagyu beef upgrade $138 for 4 oz., a glass of port $16 and I had a latte $6 plus 20%grat + tax it was over $1k for 2 people. But you could certainly have a fun, delicious and memorable meal for less than half of that. The restaurant only has about 12 tables or so. You meet the chef and kitchen staff at the end and you will be thanking them for a beautiful, flavorful and truly personal meal!
This was an edible art form, a delight f ...
This was an edible art form, a delight for all of the senses
If you are in the area you must dine at this restaurant. The service is spot on. The food is evolving beautifully. I now have found an excuse to travel to CA...to dine at Aubergine again. I'd like to do it sooner than later. Justin Cogley is an excellent chef who knows how to create inspiring and delicious tasting menus that satisfy completely!
It just continues to get better every year. Staff just adds to the great experience
We made a reservation without realizing that the dinner would be an 8 course tasting menu. We were gone the option of choosing between 2 menus, one with more ' rare' delicacies. We chose the more conservation one. The waiter welcomed our request to swap out a few ingredients that we preferred not to eat. Each course was like a work of art. The ambiance made the dining experience even better. Each course was more delicious than the last.
Less than expected
We went to this restaurant for diner as it had been recommended as a place not to miss while in Carmel. We had been already to many restaurants that offer this set menus of several dishes, most of them in Europe and some with "stars".. We had a regular diner full of small dishes of the same trend, that leave you with the idea that something is missing. You know you have eaten and that you feel full, but you still feel you didn't had a proper diner. Food may be good, but it's not consistent. Worst of all the outrageous bill, inconceivable for that diner. You better go to Paris or Madrid !! Will be much cheaper, half the price for a much better experience.
Lovely dining experience.
Beautiful dinner. Imaginative food, beautifully presented. Service was superb. Fantastic wine list.
We made our reservation because we were staying at the hotel. We did not know that dinner was prix fixe. Had we not been staying at the hotel, we would have left immediately upon learning that. The food itself was good and the chef was creative, but at $150/person, the meal was substantially overpriced. Half that price would have been reasonable. There are many other excellent restaurants in Carmel.
We had a wonderful meal here on 1 August. We both had the (compulsory) tasting menu, which was somewhere between 8 and 12 courses I think (can't remember exactly). It was truly excellent. We've eaten at some of the nost famous restaurants in Europe and several fine dining spots in California, and this was the best of our 4 in California (after Coi and Gary Danko in SF, and Auberge du Soleile in Napa). Very creative dishes but not stupidly so. Everything in balance. Phenomenal wine list and really great service. Only downside was waiting 20-25 minutes for our table, but we were offered complementary Crémant de Loire and the rest of the evening more than made up for this. You should dress quite smartly (shirt and smart pants for men), as a couple before us were turned away. Really a fantastic experience and strongly recommended for real foodies. Our two tasting menus plus wine and taxes and service etc came to around US$ 475 for 2 people. We did not do the wine pairing.
If perfection was a meal, you would find it here.
From the moment you walk in to Aubergine, you are embraced with a sense of elegance and refinement. The service is absolutely stellar and the food is utterly amazing. Combine this with a fabulous sommelier and you have perfection. The food is playfully exquisite and wine pairings are pure art! The meal is worth every penny!
One of the Best meals of my life. A true experience. Exceeded my expectations. The chef is innovative and pushing the boundaries with his cooking.
Probably one of the most expensive and d ...
Probably one of the most expensive and disappointing meals of my life.
We came to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and we're thrilled we did! From the moment of our arrival, in which we were greeted by name, to the end of our gastronomic journey, when we were sent home with a small cellophane bag of 4 fabulous chocolate cookies, we were treated as if we were honored guests. From the opening "cherry, lemon verbena and lemongrass" drink which opened our palettes, through the "flavors of gazpacho, uni" that truly did explode with the essence of gazpacho in our mouths, and on to the "dry-aged ribeye, broccoli , parsley, " and the palette cleanser of melon granita with almond and Buddha hand, we were tantalized, dazzled, excited and amazed. I don't think we have ever experienced such extraordinary food and the service was over the top. Everyone was kind, helpful, and knowledgeable. When you are paying a lot of money for the experience, you do have an expectation that it WILL BE an experience. And it was. Simply spectacular. When I called the restaurant prior to our reservations to ask about the dress code, I also asked if they could accommodate my gluten free diet. No problem, I was told, and true to their word, my servings (with the exception of the cookies, I believe) were all prepared gluten free and were all delectable. We ordered 1 of the reserved wine pairing which the sommelier split into 2 glasses (for an extra $35), because that was more than enough for me, and it was perfect. Great food, a memorable and wonderful experience, and the best spouse to celebrate 25 years with! Lol!
Take the money, buy 2 coach seats to Paris.
Two glasses of champagne, $85.00. Two Prix Fixe Meals, $300.00, one bottle of California wine, $95.00. Service charge and taxes, $150.00. The stench of overly pretentious Service, priceless. Seriously, there are so many great places to eat in Carmel, unless you want to do something over the top--skip this place. While the food is well prepared, ingredients and and presentation interesting, the dining area is spare and unremarkable. The service is pretentious, and the 2 diners next two us, the kind that always seem to have an oversize camera with them, took several shots of every food item. Take the money (in excess of $600.00 for the evening at the level we chose to partake, without the wine paring or cheese cave offer), and simply buy yourself a couple of coach tickets to Paris and eat many fine meals, in a setting , and with service that befits them. The dining room has no artwork, is a mixture of beige, beige, and some brown. You might think a classical guitarist, a harp player, or even some light piano background might be in the cards--but no. Just a lot of swirling around by the servers, and a host which seemed a bit at odds with the evening, just as we were. They give you small cookies as a pertaining gift, wrapped up like a party favor from a wedding shower. There is a nice library setting adjacent to the dining room, and you might think that they would offer to set a table for you in the room for an after dinner coffee or brandy. That's where the thinness of service shows through. Proper hosts, at this level of expense particularly, would offer that to guests along for a true evening of gastronomic adventure. There is a plea at the end of the meal, to please contact Michelin should you feel the experience is up to the task. Clearly, getting stars is important to this group. Understood. If you have ever eaten in a Michelin star restaurant abroad, you will have never had anyone make a plea like this to the diner. We wish them well. Bon Jour.
Deserves a look by Michelin
Aubergine ranks up there with the likes of French Laundry and Gary Danko. Incredible dining experience - service, food, everything. My only regret is that I don't live closer to take advantage of this place more often. Definitely a hidden gem.
Beautiful Meal, Thoughtfully Prepared
Aubergine ranks right up there with Michelin 1 and 2 star restaurants we've visited. Perfectly prepared courses, thoughtfully arranged menu, wonderful flavor profiles, and excellent service.
OK, we're older and we have the time to travel a bit. We have vacationed in recent years to NYC (3 times), Rome, Venice, Paris, Lyon, and most recently Barcelona and the rest of Catalonia. All of that said, for credibility, we both believe our dinner at Aubergine was the best meal we've EVER had. From the initial bite, peach wedges w/little green things, to the unctuous foie gras (yes, we did), which was substituted for an oyster because of my wife's seafood allergy. to the deep-friend little Ayu (fish), to the bit of chicken breast roll on fermented and pureed lettuce shreds (two preps), to the slow roasted pork (the texture of very fine carnitas) on crispy kale with roasted pumpkin seeds and a to-die-for cornbread brioche to the perfectly cooked rib-eye steak pieces with tiny broccoli florettes and pickled cauliflower, to the roasted, FRESH, morels under a bit of a Basque sheep cheese and, finally, the four tiny dessert items that ended with a small, delicate exploding chocolaty block over unsweetened chocolate bean pieces -- WE WERE BOTH IN HEAVEN. We always thought this kind of menu "cute" but not really satisfying. Au contraire! We are already figuring when we can return. Service was outstanding, both wait staff and bussers. Wine steward was extremely helpful. Whew. Thank you, Aubergine!
This was our second visit after a phenomenal first visit some years ago. I admit my expectations were high. The cuisine was interesting, but not remarkable. The wine tasting selection was inventive, although some had been been open a while. The service was very attentive, but if they could have been warm or friendly, it would have made the difference. 1100.00 for two. Scooted us out quickly. Just not what I remembered.
On our Top 5 List
This our first dinner at Aubergine at L'Auberge. It's was delightful from start to finish. I would rate it with Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence and Le Taillevent in Paris...Aubergine really is superb.
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