THERE ARE RESTAURANTS... that break out the distressed wood and weathered tiles and hammered copper sheets, all in the hopes of lending a semi-new structure the patina of time. It often works, too, and you're charmed by the result. But even the most divinely distressed space can't quite match the eatery that occupies a centuries-old building that has seen some stories, some characters, and, just perhaps, a phantom or two. Enter Restaurant 1833, a Monterey favorite that has been around for a few years, though the same cannot be said of its handsome setting, the historic Stokes Adobe. There's no "few" about it: The Stokes Adobe can be traced back to 1833, hence the year in the eatery's history-homaging name. And when you've got nearly two centuries under your belt, and a long-ago tenant who was a true rapscallion of a dubious nature (he posed as a doctor), you've got some seriously potent tales brimming at the edges of your building. Thank goodness the weathered, leather-and-metal menus also brim with bespoke, top-shelf cocktails, the better to sip as you keep an eye out for any possible spirits at play around the nook-filled, low-lit, room-wending eatery.
THOSE COCKTAILS INCLUDE... the rummy, kirsch-cool Dark Forest and One Last Vegas Memory, which rocks the Four Roses Bourbon, among other zesty flavors. The libations come under the old-timey heading of "House Remedies," by the by, furthering the 1833-ness of the setting. The cuisine side of the eat-it-want-it equation boasts Buffalo Style Sweetbreads, English Pea Soup, and the tony 1833 Burger, a fancy patty that's topped with quality cukes and quality tomato confit and comes with sauerkraut-dusted steak fries on the side. Think New American with some "Bay seasoning" -- not the traditional Old Bay Seasoning, of course, but rather that special Monterey-style localness that includes good produce and fine meats. Is it that slightly salty morning fog that make Monterey-made eats especially scrumptious? We'll vote on the side of yes.
BUT WILL YOU SEE A GHOST? That depends. Autumn is the ideal time to sit outside Restaurant 1833 and sip a Torrid Affair (hello, Sombra Mezcal + more) on the expansive patio, a patio enhanced by fire pits and turned-down bulbs and the towering oak, palm, and redwood trees that dot the property. What have those stately shrubs seen throughout the ages? A spirit or two? They've definitely noticed couples and friends below, sharing a bottle of wine and a few ghost stories outside one of Monterey's most storybook-worthy settings.