In careless or uncaring hands, 1833 could become a tourist trap. The Monterey restaurant, whose name refers to the building's age, has a history that could turn it into a dining circus. Yet it has avoided these pitfalls, thanks to a meticulous remodel and the stylish American menu created by Levi Mezick.
Chef Levi Mezick's impressive career includes positions as sous chef at Daniel and Café Boulud with celebrity chef Daniel Boulud, and Thomas Keller’s Per Se.
"The framed negative photo hanging above the staircase is of former mayor James Stokes, who is rumoured to haunt the house."
Named for the year the building was erected, 1833 lives inside Stokes Adobe, one of Monterey's oldest and reportedly most haunted residences. The restaurant even dedicated a room to the building's famous ghost and made its bar menu apothecary-inspired--a nod to the fraudulent physician who once used the place as his mad workshop.
Inside, diners find details of California history at every turn: in the dining rooms, the wine cellar and while sipping whiskey by the fire.
"When a diner walks into 1833, they might not notice that the chandeliers are period-specific or that all of the books on the bookshelf are from the 1800s," explained owner David Alan Bernahl to The Huffington Post. "But as soon as you walk in the door, you can feel it."
But back to the fiery absinthe... Basically, they’ll roll the designated cart to your table, walk you through the 15-plus stash and ask if you’re a traditionalist or an adventurist. Go the adventurist route and get yours Russian-style.
They’ll light it on fire and pour the blazing absinthe into a glass of orange juice, like a flaming waterfall. Then they’ll cup the empty snifter over a napkin and lift it enough for you to inhale the vapors before drinking the absinthe OJ down. Then, and only then, will you exhale.