Chef Don Rentfrow and the Fuse Lounge at the Carmel Mission in where just reviewed by Mike and Mellisa in the Herald. Make sure and read the entire review, here are the highlights.
Once the hottest trend on the restaurant scene, the popularity of small-plate dining has waned a bit over the past few years.
But Chef Don Rentfrow is not ready to send this Spanish-inspired tradition the way of the Hula Hoop, and has made the concept a huge part of his new gig at the Fuse Lounge Café inside the Carmel Mission Inn.
"We're appealing to people in 'snack mode,'" said Rentrow, a longtime local chef with previous stops at Rio Grill in Carmel and Roy's at the Inn at Spanish Bay. "We have many items in the $4, $5, $6 range. We're a lounge, after all."
The fiery snack inspired me to order a nine-buck margarita (part of a sinister plan that I gladly fell for), and the bar nailed it; Cazadores tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime juice and housemade simple syrup (the greatest quartet since The Beatles).
The trio of sliders is a trite idea but pulled off to perfection; I loved them. I felt like Wimpy of Popeye fame throwing down whole cheeseburgers without so much as a full chew. Cheddar, Jack and blue cheeses atop a tiny, lump patty. Add a pickle and close the soft minibuns around it all.
Other things I liked: the quiet, leisurely pace of dinner; knowledgeable, efficient servers; a thoughtful, by-the-glass wine selection; and the promise of great things to come from this place.