Carmel Magazine

Carmel Magazine, Summer/Fall 2018

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steakhouse, and certainly not a typical, buttoned- down restaurant familiar to visitors to Carmel- by-the-Sea. Fisher broke the restaurant mold and hand-formed his own experience—a hip, bold, indulgent food palace. Menu prices reflect that indulgence, and 7D attracts its share of gold-card-carrying, sleek-Jag- driving diners pulling up to the valet station. But 7D also draws frugal locals, curious hospitality folks and tourists on a budget. All are interested in culinar y excess, a shining social media moment, a memory of ordering a smoked- bourbon cocktail and hand-cut steak tartare with truffle aioli—and pushing it all off the culi- nary cliff by adding the $38 lobster tail. The type of restaurant Seventh & Dolores became started with the building itself. "The space really dictated a lot of what we are as a restaurant experience," says Ahn. "It's one of few modern buildings in Carmel, with floor-to-ceiling glass, natural light and high ceil- ings. It's a unique space." Originally constructed as a bank in the 1970s, the building on the southeast corner of Seventh Avenue and Dolores Street has always stood out like the proverbial sore thumb in "charming" Carmel. The modernist architecture became a controversial topic, but over the years it has become a beloved downtown landmark. Jeff Peterson transformed the building into a multi-use event venue in 2013. In 2017, Ahn fol- lowed up his purchase of Chateau Julien in Car- mel Valley — which he transformed into Folktale Winery — by planting his flag in the village's cov- eted one-square-mile of prime real estate. "We couldn't have pulled off the more inti- mate, warmer environment," Ahn says. "[The building] dictated that we echo its architecture." The space is cavernous, boasting walls of glass, gleaming marble bars (one for cocktails, one for oyster shucking and slurping) and an exhibition kitchen. It's loud, of course, but according to Ahn, that dining room din only adds to the experience. "If Carmel is to continue to be relevant, we 250 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 8 Photos: Ada Fisher The premise of 7D is "no guilt" dining in a sophisticated environment, hence the indulgent creations such as (clockwise from top left) hand-cut steak tartare capers, ahi tuna tartare and oysters on the half shell.

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