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Carmel Magazine Digital Edition SU16

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Bathrooms were retrofitted to have low-flow faucets and toilets, along with washless urinals. Delivery trucks are asked not to idle outside the restaurant. Biodegradable pens and organic T-shirts are used in marketing materials. "The biggest learning curve was the chemicals," Baker says. "Something may be labeled green, but in [the GRA's] eyes it may not be. From dish machine sanitizer to hand soap and pot and pan detergent…We had to change all the soap dispensers in the bathrooms to natural citrus soap. You can probably eat it." Appliances like expensive dishwashers and refrigerators are not as low energy as possible, and Baker acknowledges, "We've got room for growth." Some menu items, like steaks, are challenging to provide in a sustainable or organic manner. "We struggle mightily with beef," Baker says. "We are a 200-seat restau- rant with a lot of people from out of town, and in addition to being as green as possible, we have a responsibility to our partners to make a prof- it and to serve what people want. They want a killer marbled prime steak that isn't going to be sent back because it's drier than old boots. In reali- ty, we have a lot of inconsistencies with the [green beef] suppliers. We need certain cuts and volume. They want to sell a quarter of an animal and that doesn't work when you need rib eye for a banquet." An early adopter of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch pro- gram, Montrio gets audited by them as well and has switched salmon sources recently to comply. Overall, Baker says he's learned a lot and saved a little money in some areas, such as energy usage. Other areas have increased expenses. "We can challenge other restaurants to do the same thing," Baker says. "Don't just say you're farm-to-fork and go snuggle with an oak tree. This is a third party verification of steps." Montrio Bistro is located at 414 Calle Principal in Monterey. For reserva- tions and information call, 831/648-8880 or visit www. 244 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S U M M E R / F A L L 2 0 1 6 Using nontoxic cleaning supplies was part of earning certification from GRA. Montrio is the second certified restaurant in Monterey County. S U S TA I N A B L E L I F E

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