Carmel Plaza, 3 NW Ocean Ave., Carmel
By Pam Bonsper
I had lunch in Paris and shopped in Carmel, all in the same day. And I didn't have to sit in a crate and fly on a plane. I just went to one of the best dog-friendly restaurants in Carmel where dogs are given first-class treatment and first-class fare.
Not to mention, a celebrity is often seen here. Her name is Danni (nickname for Danielle), and yes, I am in love!
I suppose you want to know more about this place, and as reluctant as I am to share, my gentle and generous nature forces me to bark it out. It's the Bistro Beaujolais in the Carmel Plaza, one of three spectacular restaurants owned by Firok Shield, all loved by locals and visitors alike.
Bistro Beaujolais is the pulse of Carmel, nestled down where the olive tree grows, where the woof fountain flows, and where the smells of international cuisine tease the nose.
Oh, where do I start with my five-star salute? With the water dishes filled with fresh ice water placed throughout the very spacious garden courtyard? With the delightful doggie menu? With the heaters? The fire pit? The doggie treats? The food itself?
Let's just say that my side of crunchy bacon, followed by the Angus beef had me almost forgetting to keep my eyes peeled for Danni. But just as my guardian was tasting the delicious fried calamari and caper berries, I saw her! She was wiggling her whole body straight toward our table. I nearly fainted. She was even prettier than the wine bottle label portrayed. All the dogs (and there were many) were on high alert. Danni's guardian, Jennifer, the general manager, greeted us. While my guardian and her friend raved about the crepes, crab cake eggs Benedict, and Croque Madam, Danni and I flirted under the table, and in our excitement nearly knocked the wine glasses over.
Needless to say, I asked for an autograph and Danni obligingly placed her snow-white paw in the fountain and then gently touched my side.
Oh, sweet delight! I was in Paris and I was in love. “Please bring me back,” I whimpered. But my guardian and her friend were already texting away to their friends. I knew we would be coming back, again and again. Not only to the brunch, which is served until 4:00 p.m., but to evenings under the stars where the tastes and smells of traditional pasta and seafood dishes would be accompanied by just plain old friendliness and a family tradition of warmth and great food.
And don't worry if you're not wearing your best dog collar or if you're coming straight from the beach. It's a genuinely dog-friendly place. Bistro Beaujolais doesn't just put up with us canines; they actually want us to be part of the pulse.
And mine is beating fast right now. After all, I went to Bistro Beaujolais and I met Danni. Who says dogs don't slobber over celebrities?