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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.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Salt Rock

Hard not to heart Schooners' patio pretty hard. Though our readers vote Chipotle Best Burrito in Monterey County, they get Best Drink With a View right.

The drinks include good wines by the glass, 23-ounce draft Kona "Longboard" Lager or Big Sur Amber ($7.25), and a Patio Boss (with Patron silver, citronge, S&S mix, Grand Marnier and fresh lime juice, $13). They also do a martini of the week ($10), a plum cosmo ($10) and seafaringly sporty Pyrat's hot buttered rum ($10).

And though they don't honor happy hour, they do a mean crispy tuna and asparagus roll with wasabi mustard and red curry sauce ($10) and a calamari worthy of the perch on the Pacific.

Now they are adding an inspired (read: no brainer) summer series that capitalizes on a terrace that merits the many weddings and private parties it hosts with…live local music for the people.

The concerts happen on the corner of that ocean patio pictured above—for free—every Friday through the end of summer. There are also shows indoors on Saturdays. Here are some tasting notes-style descriptions of the local favorites they are featuring, compiled by the Plaza team:

Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa’s Concerts on the Bay
Summer Concert Series

Schooners Lower Terrace
5:30pm-9pm Friday Nights

July 30: Eight Second Ride
Country Western Band, Eight Second Ride has opened for and performed with such superstars as George Strait, Garth Brooks, Merle Haggard, Johnny Rodriques, Riders in the Sky and John Denver, just to name a few.

Aug. 6: Wild Blue
Jimmy Buffet Style “Key West meets Southern California.” That's it in a nutshell. Wild Blue is the hot little trio that brings the message to every event—“The Tiki bar is open!”

Aug. 13: The Original Substitutes
Specializing in recreating magical musical moments from the 60's and 70's, The Subs have perfected a sound remarkably faithful to that of the original recording artists they pay tribute to. With great integrity and contagiously fun energy, The Original Substitutes play all your favorites from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Byrds, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, Creedence Clearwater, The Band, and so many more.

Aug. 20: The Money Band
Classic Rock n Roll, The Money Band has shared the stage with many major acts including Steve Winwood, Bekka Bramlett, The Dixie Chicks, Pam Tillis, Kenny Chesney, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Dave Mason, Link Wray, The Stray Cats, The Byrds, James Burton and many, many more. They have toured and performed all over the United States as well as internationally, with dates in Europe including England, The Netherlands, Italy, and France.

Aug. 27: The Money Band
(See notes above.)

Monterey Plaza Lobby Bar
5-8pm Saturday Nights

July 24: Melange
Paul Tarantino (tenor, soprano and alto saxophone, flute) studied music at the University of Miami. His credits include playing with Louie Bellson, Bob Hope, Joe Williams, The Temptations, Bill Watrous, The Smothers Brothers, Michael Bolton, and many others. Scott Brown, a solid keyboard player and vocalist, is also known as one of the finest musical arrangers on the Monterey Peninsula.

July 31: Local Knowledge
An award winning singer/songwriter, Geoffrey Rutledge has been playing professionally for over two decades. He's shared the stage at various venues with such prominent artists as Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, David Crosby & Graham Nash, and John Prine (to name just a few).

Aug. 7: Laurent Fourgo
Laurent Fourgo and his Ensemble have been charming music lovers all over the Bay Area with their sweet, jazzy sound. Even as a child growing up in Paris, France, vocalist and bandleader Laurent Fourgo exhibited a passion for music. He learned to sing almost every Elvis song, prior to actually learning to speak English and knowing the meaning of the words.

Aug. 14: Laurent Fourgo
(See notes above.)

Aug. 21: Melange
(See notes above.)

Aug. 28: Local Knowledge
(See notes above.)