Top-Notch Cannery Row Restaurant Also Makes ‘The World’s Best Caesar Salad’ Table Side
In an area where seafood is the predominant style of restaurants, there is one place where steaks are the king of the menu.
It’s the Whaling Station Steakhouse in Monterey, CA. Just steps from the famous Aquarium of the Pacific behind Cannery Row – where seafood restaurants are as prevalent as otters in the bay – sits this high-style gem where beef is the prime (as in Prime USA) attraction.
This is not to say Whaling Station does not do seafood, and do it well. There’s charbroiled swordfish, sesame-crusted ahi tuna and a pan-seared salmon filet, plus Monterey’s own sand dabs, to name a few items from the sea.
But the majority of its menu – and its solid reputation among locals as one of the finest restaurants in Monterey – consists of steaks.
There are nine in all: a sirloin chateau, beef Wellington, a petite and full-cut filet mignon, a thick-cut New York steak, t-bone, rib eye, Cowboy rib and the “king of steaks,” the porterhouse (for two). Plus it has red wine-braised short ribs.
This is served in a nice dining area that’s lit with cool, soft colors.
The Whaling Station Menu Food & Drink Review
PubClub has dined at the Whaling Station and provides these reviews of dishes and a very good drink.
• Orange Ginger Old Fashioned Cocktail
It’s made with Templeton rye, muddled fresh orange, Amarena cherries & ginger stirrings, all-natural ginger liqueur, blood orange bitters and a splash of ginger ale. The drink is perfectly blended and strong, but not overwhelming – the identifying characteristics that let you know it was made by a truly good bartender. You want to sip this one. Let’s just say after a couple of sips, hope that somebody else better be driving back to your hotel.
• Wild Mushroom Soup
Outstanding. It’s full of mushroom flavor in a dark cream sauce. You’ll savor this one slowly. Very slowly.
• Monterey Style Clam Chowder
It contains bacon, roasted corn and potatoes. You get a full roasted corn flavor. The soup is light and thin – it’s not so thick the spoon stands up in the cup – yet it has a bounty of flavors.
• Table Side Caesar Salad
The presentation is cool enough – the waiter makes it table side in a mini-production show – but that’s a mere prelude to the taste. It’s spicy oily in a good way (think flavors). The various liquids (Worcester sauce and balsamic vinaigrette, lemon juice) make it decadent and combined with the grated Parmesan and whoa, the palate is on serious flavor overload. Anchovies help give it quite a spicy finish. In a word: awesome.
• Sirloin Chateau USDA Prime
Center cut, the most flavorful cut. On the first cut and the juices come flowing out, like the tide coming in from the sea. From there, the dark and thin sauce adds perfectly to the perfectly-cooked steak. All steaks, by the way, come with spinach and a peppery mashed potatoes topped with light onion rings.
Prices range from $29-48 for the steaks and upper 20s to mid-30s for other dishes.
As a bonus, the Whaling Station offer live local musicians from 6-8:30 p.m.