as told to Pam Bonsper
3670 The Barnyard, Carmel
On our walk before lunch, a really gorgeous Standard Poodle wagged what was left of her tail and told me I was the best-groomed Golden she'd ever seen. I get those comments all the time from other dogs. That's because I'm special and I deserve them. I also deserve the best dog-friendly restaurants with the best meals. I'm glad my mom took me to Lugano Swiss Bistro for lunch because I got the best looking (and tasting) dog meal ever. The dog menu was beautiful and there I was on it, pictured with three other outrageously handsome canines. A list of four entrees made it hard to choose: Sasha's Favorite House Special was my pick: mouth-watering chunks of chicken breast and sliced carrots (not over-cooked) with just a bit of chopped chives. I'm not lying--my mom kept trying to eat my lunch. I often put my paw on her arm when I want her to do something, but I had to put my paw on her arm at Lugano's to make her not do something.
Don't eat my chicken!" I thought about growling. Lucky for me, she and her friend were quickly served their Gorgonzola Mushroom Cheese Fondue. As the smells of Swiss, German, and French cuisine transported me to Bavaria, I was left to enjoy my own meal in the beautiful Alpine-style patio. I tried not to gulp my dinner for fear a well-behaved Saint Bernard might appear.
I have to admit, I didn't chew each bite twenty times, and Lassie's Special had sounded so good "Please Mom, can I have more?" I pleaded. But to no avail. She and her friend were well into their dipping and I knew it would be better to stop knocking my empty bowl around and pay attention to the other dog guests. I noticed a well-mannered Pomeranian coveting her owner's Grilled Walnut Crusted Salmon and a Schnauzer waiting for crumbs of Puff Pastry filled with portobella, shiitake and oyster mushrooms to fall. I realized I wasn't alone--any dog would have trouble minding their manners at Lugano's.
Chef Lengacher has my seal of approval. He knows how to delight the palates of humans and canines alike, and I heard my mom tell her friend that he loves dogs and does great things for non-profits. So, you can probably understand why I just couldn't help myself... as we were leaving, I barked loudly, "I love you back!"
The poodle we had seen on the Hatton Canyon Trail was just entering the restaurant.
I think she thought it was meant for her!)