Since The Barrel Room opened in Carmel Valley a few months back, it has already become a welcome addition to the neighborhood! Located at Merge Carmel Valley off Carmel Mountain Road, this spot offers good food, good wine, and good whiskey. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with General Manager Brett Preston to talk about the vision for The Barrel Room Wine Bar and Bistro and, of course, to sample some of the delicious menu items they’re cooking up.

As Brett mentioned in the video, The Barrel Room was conceived as a community spot where locals can go to enjoy dinner with the family, a romantic date night, or even an office happy hour. Owned by 3LB Restaurant Group, The Barrel Room is another fantastic entry from the people who brought you Urge Gastropub, Mason Ale Works (their tasting room and kitchen is also in the Merge plaza), and Brothers Provisions. This casual, yet classy eatery has an inviting ambiance, rustic modern décor, and friendly, knowledgeable staff like Brett.

The menu is best described as a fusion of American and European style Bistros and Restaurants. You’ll find classics like soup, salad, and steaks, but perfected with unique ingredients and accompaniments. Their most popular menu item is their meat and cheese board. You have the opportunity to create your own board by choosing from premium options like Port Salut Smoked Gouda, Chorizo, and Hot Coppa. But no matter what items you pick, you can’t go wrong – Brett and I enjoyed one of these famous boards during filming and it was absolutely delicious! I also sampled the Pistachio Crusted Seabass and Brett’s favorite menu item, the Jambalaya. Both were outstanding! I can already see myself coming back to The Barrel Room in the near future to enjoy a date night with my wife.

My favorite cocktail is an Old Fashioned, so trust me when I say they know their whiskey here! The Barrel Room offers diners an extensive list of specialty cocktails, but if you’re more of a wine drinker, they’ve definitely got you covered. You can order wine by the glass or bottle at a variety of price points. Not sure what to get? Order a wine flight instead! They also have beer on their menu from neighboring Mason Ale Works, AleSmith, and others.

The Barrel Room is open for dinner every day, with lunch served Monday through Saturday. On Sunday you can enjoy a special brunch menu with tasty items like the Crab Cake Benedict, Chicken Chilaquiles, and their special Barrel Room donuts. They also offer daily happy hour specials from 3-5pm.

Have you checked out The Barrel Room yet? What did you think? Leave me a comment below. And with so many new spots opening Off the 56, let me know what I should visit next!

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