Beaches and Basil, Carmel

Posted by: on Nov 27, 2012 | 3 Comments


We had no particular plan for our drive down Highway 1, with the exception of seeing the ocean. After making it to Big Sur and wandering around the village of Carmel, we decided to stay for an early dinner. Carmel is remarkably pet friendly, meaning there are dogs everywhere.  Knowing this, we brought out little dog, Phoebe, along for the ride. I read a few comments that joked Carmel is a town that is perhaps more pet-friendly than child-friendly. After wandering around the shops, there may be some truth to this rumor.

Basil, Carmel

We were lucky to snag table at Basil before the rush of 6 o’clock reservations arrived. Basil is notably family and dog friendly (outdoors, of course). In fact, the welcoming staff brought Phoebe some dog biscuits as soon as we sat down. The outside tables are lined down a cozy alley under super warm heat lamps. They even offered blankets for those that were still cold. J and I loved the local menu with vegan options. He had a few helpings of their signature basil spread on fresh bread while we waited for our salads.

Grilled Monterey Squid

I had the grilled Monterey squid appetizer. It was perfectly cooked and served atop eggplant caponata with raisins and pine nuts. Squid and eggplant are a fantastic combination in my book. The sweetness of the golden raisins and balsamic drizzle were a nice complement to the grilled smokiness and slight char. It was a happily huge portion for an appetizer.

Vegan Parpadelle

J had the vegan parpadelle with cranberry beans, tomato and fresh garlic. Their menu noted the chef would make vegan/vegetarian substitutions when possible. The waiter double checked and quickly confirmed this could be made vegan. It is always nice to go to a restaurant that can cheerfully accommodate both food sensitivities and dogs.


We loved Basil, and will definitely be back when we are in the area for another dose of beach views. Our meal came to around $30 (salads, appetizer, dinner, no alcohol). Reservations are probably best for dining after 6pm.

Basil is located on San Carlos Between Ocean & 7th,. Carmel By The Sea, 93921

Disclaimer: I was not paid or compensated in any way for this post. All opinions are my own.




  1. erin @ yummy supper
    December 4, 2012

    Jillian, it has been ages since I took at road trip to Carmel. What a fun idea! I’m such a bad mama I’ve never even taken my kids to the Aquarium;)
    Your grilled squid looks good. I love the stuff and order it every time I see it on a menu.

  2. Eileen
    December 6, 2012

    As an East Coast girl I associate Carmel with Clint Eastwood – :) It looks absolutely beautiful there, and Basil sounds like the perfect place to relax and enjoy a great meal. How nice that Phoebe got her own little appetizer of biscuits.

  3. jillian
    December 10, 2012

    E- We went to the aquarium on a previous trip, and it worth the drive. I love the beaches though…

    Eileen- That was my dad’s association too! It’s such a cute town.

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