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Let's eat.

From Big Sur's killer cliff-clinging eateries to Salinas' unparalleled produce, this blog aims to sniff out all things Monterey County can stomach, via picture and prose, curiosity and appetite, hand and mouth.

Friday, June 11, 2010

"Boats and Beats" Raises the Roof

Roof access has always been near the top of my list when it comes to new-residence reconnaissance: Not long after I move into an apartment complex or a house, I consider it compulsory to calculate how to end up on top.

The route would change—it's been an oak tree, a fire escape, a restricted stairway and a balcony ledge, among other avenues—but the reward was always the same: A special place to hang with better-than-below views.

Similar results apply at the new boutique hotel Inn at Del Monte (655-0515) on Del Monte Avenue near Window on the Bay and El Estero Lake in Monterey. Views run from the ridges of Jacks Peak and Huckleberry Hill to the shimmering Pacific lapping up beneath Wharf Two. Clear wind-breaking walls and comfortable seats make it great for entertaining. And a brand new summer series called "Boats and Beats" helps it hop every Wednesday from 5:30-8:30pm.

The so-called beer can races out of the Monterey Yacht Club furnish the beautiful sailboats; DJ Sparkinzi lays down the mellow house beats. I went by this week and found young, fun folks mingling in the sun as part of a Team in Training benefit city of Seaside public servant Toni Leilani Oasay was putting on as she preps for a triathlon.

A $20 donation included snacks prepped by inn owner Nick Yakup—like slices of sun-dried tomato pizza and fresh salsa and chips—and two glasses of wine (think Bargetto and Kick Ass Cabernet) poured by Mr. Everywhere Desmond Carreras (below).

Normally entry is free and drinks (beer, wine and champagne) are $5. A full bar downstairs also lubricates at market rates. And Yakup still provides free apps like lamb meatballs , olive tapenade, proscuitto-wrapped asparagus and seasonal veggies.

Yakub, Carreras and company are even scheming Sunday jazz brunches starting next Sunday (June 19) from 11-3:30pm with catering playmaker Marc Jones helping map the menu and fun drinks like champagne-cognacs.

And that's the roof truth.