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February 9, 2011 / Linda Hartong


Casanova is “hands down” our favorite restaurant in Carmel.

The ambiance is warm and inviting. Although fairly large, the owners have divided the spaces into distinct small areas with different “personalities”.  The photo above shows the front door and dining patio. This spot is especially pleasant on a warm summer evening. Overhead heaters ensure your comfort.

Inside the front door is a large school table laden with examples of their wonderful deserts.

Tear yourself away and choose to dine in one of the intimate front dining rooms

or ask for the interior patio – our personal favorite.  A huge tree grows from the center of the room and a table is built around it. There is a fountain to add a little “music” and the loose awning covers overhead allow an occasional bird to fly through and peck at our feet for crumbs.  It is often chilly in Carmel so we ask the waiters to turn on the overhead heaters to keep cozy.

Now lets talk food . The food is simple, perfectly cooked and seasoned and presented so beautifully that I almost hated to ruin its perfection by eating it.  Our waiters have always been attentive and well-informed. And if you like wine……!

The staff will even take you on a tour of the underground wine cellar if you ask.

I always have tea after our meal . It is served so beautifully that it is a production. The tea is Casanova’s own blend.  I am sorry I don’t have a photo to show of the presentation and will try to get one next time we go there.

If you are on a budget, as we are, I suggest lunch. It is delicious and affordable.  If price is not an object, go for dinner .


The restaurant has a very interesting history.

It was once a tiny house, the worse for wear, just past the Shell station  and was owned  by Aunt Fairy Bird, a small black woman who had lived there for over 50 years.Her house, situated as it was in downtown Carmel, was in truth, a shack, but it was coveted by nearby landowners. She lived there alone for many years.

When she died at nearly 90, her house and a lot were the object of spirited bidding in an estate sale. We learned that she had once been the cook for Charlie Chaplin, that her husband Tom had been a popular handyman in Carmel, and that she was a handy-lady for several Carmel Families.

For more about this charming spot visit

I am sorry that I still can not figure our how to get my links working.


Unless otherwise stated, all photographs are copyright (c) Linda Hartong. All rights reserved.

You may not use any image on this site without my written consent. If you are interested in using a photo from my website for any purpose, please send me a quick message and let me know which photo(s) you are interested in.



Leave a Comment
  1. Maryjane / Feb 9 2011 8:23 pm

    I have been following your photos of Carmel and have always been so happy when you have posted and commented on the homes and life in Carmel. I’ve always loved the photos of these cottages. Hence when one came available with this style, my husband and I purchased our own Storybook cottage in Cambria, CA. Cambria is located on the Central Coast not far from Hearst Castle. This home is a dream come true for me. The inspiration for the design came from the Storybook homes of Carmel.

    Congratulations you now have entered the world of blogging! I had a lovely visit and I look forward to many more.

    • Linda Hartong / Feb 9 2011 9:00 pm

      Thanks so much for your visit and comment. We visited Cambria for the first time last winter and loved it. It is quaint and also has so much fun dining and shopping.

  2. jeanette sclar / Feb 10 2011 3:44 am

    Such a great looking post! I can’t recall if we’ve eaten there or not, but it looks soooo charming!

  3. Lindsay / May 19 2020 8:08 pm

    Dear Linda, I’m an oil painter for the Jones and Terwilliger Galleries there in Carmel. I was wondering if I might be allowed to paint some of your above photos of Casanova, particularly the photos with the glassware. I’ve painted Casanova’s many times in the past from my own reference but your photos have newly inspired me and would translate beautifully into paint. With quarantine, I can’t go and get new reference of the restaurant these days. Hope you’re well!

  4. Lindsay / May 19 2020 8:24 pm

    You really have quite the eye! This really makes me long even more to be out in the world again with restaurants open.

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