If it’s been a spell since you’ve dined at Edgar’s at Quail Lodge, now is an opportune time to check it out: the indoor and outdoor fireplaces feel especially festive during the winter season. Not only was Edgar’s was voted “Best Family Restaurant” by Carmel Pine Cone readers in 2019, as well as “Best Dining at a Golf Course” by Monterey County Weekly readers, there’s also a new chef in town.
Executive chef Brian Parks knew from the moment the Edgar’s opportunity presented itself that this would be his next move. Having spent ten years in Santa Barbara and four in San Luis Obispo, he and his family relocated to Pacific Grove and couldn’t be happier. Parks is delighted to be surrounded by a particularly prodigious pool of culinary talent on the Monterey Peninsula.
A graduate of both the California School of Culinary Arts and College of the Canyons with degrees in Culinary Arts, Business Sciences and Social Sciences, the chef tells us, “It’s been a non-stop whirlwind since I started at Quail at the end of July, right before Car Week. Since then, all the banquets, weddings and events have made it rather hectic, but I love this community and the tremendous sense of dedication to sourcing of local ingredients.”
The main focus in tweaking the existing menu at Edgar’s is to incorporate more locally grown produce and to reflect the bounty of the changing seasons. Notes Parks, “Our clientele is pretty health conscious. They appreciate having fresh, properly prepared vegetables to accompany their proteins.”
Under Parks direction, the menu has already been reorganized a bit, creating larger shared appetizers, like the braised chicken quesadillas and the fritto misto, which includes local calamari, shrimp, zucchini and Sriracha tartar sauce. Popular dishes like sand dabs remain, but are now accompanied by roasted Brussels sprouts and apples topped with a brown butter caper sauce. For vegetarians, he’s got spicy cauliflower bites with chili sauce and he’s recently added charred broccoli with carrot radish relish and drunken goat cheese.
For lunch, try the harvest salad with spinach, kale, roasted butternut squash, cranberries and molasses vinaigrette (to which you can add toppings like salmon, chicken and shrimp), the Quail lobster roll with lemon aioli or the shrimp tacos with broccoli slaw. Don’t miss the potato puree, now available along with other side dishes like cremini mushrooms and maple-glazed yams. Oh, and the beer battered onion rings are all completely housemade, cut and fried to order. He strives to make as many things from scratch, in house, as possible.
On the dinner menu, Parks points out the succulent herb roasted free range chicken, along with the herb crusted salmon, and of course, cioppino. Don’t forget about the consistently award-winning wine list, featuring local favorites from Bernardus, Hahn and Morgan, and you’d be remiss not to check out the flavorful cocktails like the Ancho Margarita and Cinnamon Old Fashioned.
Some things won’t change though. Parks won’t mess with the Thursday prime rib night, a huge favorite among locals, or cioppino night on Fridays, which gets you a steaming bowl of Manila clams, local fish, black mussels and crab legs, topped with grilled bread, for $34 per person.
Considering himself a seafood devotee, Parks is slowly adding more local catches to the menu, including red rockfish, black cod and when available, halibut. He’d love to incorporate sea urchin and spot prawns, too, and he plans to continually expand the range of global flavor influences to keep pace with our appetite for new palate experiences.
Parks says he’s fortunate to have inherited a solid culinary team, well versed in turning out consistently prepared, perfectly flavorful dishes. They are old hands at making adaptations to menu items to accommodate allergies and dietary preferences. Says Parks, “I’m delighted to have such a well-tuned, experienced team that I can count on for the wide variety of demands we have here at the resort. They’ve easily and seamlessly made all the subtle changes I’ve introduced to the menu, without missing a beat.”
Parks is also rolling out a new Happy Hour for Edgar’s, which will go into effect beginning Monday, January 13th. It will be offered 7 days a week, from 3:00pm to 6:00pm, featuring $5 and $10 menu options in the Edgar’s Bar area only. Please note Happy Hour will not be offered in the dining area.
$5 Happy Hour Menu Highlights:
- Draft Beer
- Well Margaritas
- Well Drinks
- Beer Battered Onion Rings
- Spicy Chicken Sliders
- Cauliflower Bites
- Street Shrimp Taco
- Chips and Dip
$10 Happy Hour Menu Highlights:
- Specialty Cocktails
- Margherita Flatbread
- Pepperoni Flatbread
- Fried Calamari
Because this is a special offering, please be aware that there are no substitutions, and no other discounts apply. Tax and gratuity are not included in price.
Visit quaillodge.com/edgars for all the latest menus and upcoming holiday specials.
Surely there’s an occasion you need to celebrate at Edgar’s. See you in the New Year!
Laura Ness is a longtime wine journalist, columnist and judge who contributes regularly to Edible Monterey Bay, Spirited, WineOh.Tv, Los Gatos Magazine and Wine Industry Network, and a variety of consumer publications. Her passion is telling stories about the intriguing characters who inhabit the fascinating world of wine and food.