Carmel-by-the-Sea may be all of 1 square mile, but this tiny seaside town now boasts two Michelin one-starred restaurants.
In fact in July, when Chez Noir became the second restaurant to receive that coveted honor less than a year after opening, the entire crew from long-time star-holder Aubergine walked over, toting a hefty Jerobaum to offer hearty congratulations.
This family-owned, fine-dining jewel of a spot may seat only 36 in a dining room not much larger than some folks’ living rooms, but it’s long been held in high esteem. In fact, when a friend dined there months ago, she spotted none other than Eric Ripert, chef-owner of New York City’s Michelin three-starred Le Bernardin, ensconced in a corner banquet with his family, savoring the fabulous Monterey coastal cuisine.
The accolades are not surprising when you consider that Chez Noir is helmed by Executive Chef-Owner Jonny Black, whose impressive credentials include cooking at Michelin powerhouses Per Se in New York; Quince in San Francisco; and Atelier Crenn in San Francisco, where as Dominique Crenn’s first executive chef, he oversaw all her restaurants. Most recently, he was the executive chef of Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur. His wife, Monique Black, worked in the front of house at Quince, and at Coi in San Francisco.
The cozy, romantic, French bistro-styled restaurant is in a former Craftsman house, where the couple and their kids live upstairs. Out front is a 22-seat brick patio, but it is not covered, meaning if it rains, you’re out of luck as outdoor reservations are cancelled and refunded.Read more