Overall Rating: 5.600

Address: 1 Old Ranch Rd.
Cross Street(s): Robinson Canyon Rd., in the Carmel Valley Ranch resort
City, State ZIP: Carmel Valley, CA 94923
Phone: 831.626.2599
Hours: Tu-Sa 6pm-10pm
Type of Establishment: Restaurant
Cafe Rating: 5.50
Barista: 4
Savvy: 4
Ambiance: 7
Presentation: 7
Consistency: Consistent
Espresso Machine: UNIC
Coffee Rating: 5.70
Aroma: 6
Body: 5
Brightness: 6
Crema: 6
Flavor: 6
Taster's Correction: -0.5
Size: XL
Primary Taste: Warming
Coffee Beans: Illy
Cup Manufacturer: Fortessa
Price: $4.00
Last Update: 03/14/2009
First Reviewed: 03/14/2009
Notes: None

This ain't no D.C. version of Michel Richard's Citronelle. (So much so that we won't even consider it an outlet of a "chain".) This is Richard's West Coast bastard offspring - what happens to a celebrity chef when his empire extends beyond his ability to provide adequate quality control. It's not a bad place. But just about every course with a dinner has something off, not to mention the erratic service. The espresso isn't any better. Inside the hotel clubhouse, the restaurant has large glass windows overlooking the golf course and a bar that overlooks the pool. Electronic lounge music plays ubiquitously as if it is still 1999. Using a UNIC Twin in the rear service area, they pull shots of Illy espresso to produce shots with an even, lighter brown, not-too-thin crema. That said, the pour size is large - and the Fortessa cups it is served in are immense. This results in a thinner body and a muted flavor profile. It has the Illy characteristics of wood amd mild spice, but with all elements brought down a couple notches in strength due to the pour volume. Their milk frothing is even scarier: sloppy with very wet milk, little foam, and large bubbles.