When guests first arrive at Monterey Tides, they often walk right past the front desk and make a bee-line for the wall of windows on the far side of the lobby, drawn in by the dazzling view of the Pacific Ocean. Following the recent major renovation, the view is even more jaw-dropping. “People walk in and you watch them stop and say ‘Wow!’”, says Food & Beverage Director Jesus Olvera.
Another exciting update to the space was the opening of Bar Sebastian, a new lobby lounge area serving wine, sangria, local beer, and Spanish-inspired tapas in a casual and inviting atmosphere. And did we mention the panoramic ocean views?
We checked in with Olvera and Chef Jose to get the dish on dining at Bar Sebastian.
Joie de Vivre Hotels: Introduce us to Bar Sebastian. What is the guest experience like?
Olvera: It’s a relaxed yet elegant setting that makes guests feel at home. The cozy setup creates a sense of belonging. The food is something to explore — sauces and ingredients that take you on a trip to the lands of Mayans and Aztecs.
JDV: What has its opening added to the hotel?
JDV: What is the story behind the Spanish-inspired tapas?
Olvera: Chef wanted to create something unique, while making a menu that was simple and approachable. Tapas allow us to offer small bites so people can enjoy different flavors. The flavors are inspired by Chef’s grandmother’s kitchen and her herb garden. It’s a tribute to her and the happiness she provided him through her cooking.
JDV: How would you recommend a first-time visitor approach the menu?
Olvera: We made it easy for everyone. If you are in a group, the best option will be to order two or three dishes per person and share family style. Sample as many as you can!
JDV: What is the happy hour scene like at Monterey Tides?
Olvera: It is very vibrant. Young professionals tend to gather at the communal tables, and families can get comfortable in the lounge seating areas. They all enjoy our appetizer menu, live music and the stunning views of the Pacific.
JDV: Have there been any recent changes or menu updates at Cafe Beach upstairs?
Olvera: The menu was put in place last year and it’s been well-received. We have added a large seafood selection, with snapper, sand dabs, seabass and halibut, and are preparing some surprises for the end of the year!
JDV: Do you have any favorite drinks or dishes on the menu? What items offer a true taste of Monterey?
Chef: The tuna tostadas are my favorite, made made with fresh sustainable raw ahi tuna. The jicama tacos are made with fresh vegetables from local farms within 30-miles of Monterey.
Sebastian’s is open daily from 2-11pm. With seafood, meat, and vegetarian options, there’s something for everyone.