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“RIO GRILL… WE’VE RETURNED MANY TIMES…”
Review of Rio Grill

Rio Grill
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Ranked #14 of 153 Restaurants in Carmel
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$ 10 - US$ 35
Cuisines: American, Southwestern
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar Scene
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Breakfast, Lunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Rio Road
Transit: Public Transit is just a few yards from the restaurant.
Description: Rio Grill, located in the Crossroads in Carmel, has been the place to meet friends, enjoy tasty, flavorful food and relax with a refreshing cocktail or glass of wine for over 28 Years. Chef Yontz' creative American dishes are some of the most flavorful, colorful and vibrant on the Monterey Peninsula and celebrate flavor in every mouthwatering bite! In addition to the main dining room, Rio Grill has a comfortable lounge and full bar serving refreshing libations including the restaurant's famous "Rio Rita." The bar is lined with colorful caricatures of local faces and celebrities. Rio Grill's award-winning wine list features more than 160 labels featuring a ton of local wineries and an extensive selection available by the glass. For more information on Rio Grill, please visit our website at riogrillcom. The restaurant opens for lunch every day at 11:30 and serves straight through until 9:30 PM. Rio also serves a great brunch on Sundays from 11:30 - 3:00PM. Happy Hour Monday-Friday 4:00pm-6:30 and Sunday 4:00-6:30.
Reviewed 17 August 2017

We would be in the minority of diners, if we were to give the Rio Grill a bad review – it wouldn’t deserve it and that won’t be an issue here there’s no need to worry. We have been to the Rio Grill many times in the past few years. And, we always return for quality service, an wide-ranging menu, great wine and an overall great dining night out. It’s not high-end but who needs that - it wasn’t what we wanted. There is a certain expectation that makes us return – we know what we are going to get and look forward to it. Rio Grill is just a casual place to grab a bite, have some wine and a few laughs (no, it’s not the comedy store).… We have been all over the menu – quesadillas, burgers, different types of salad, chicken dishes. Everything on their dining menu is top rate – they never disappoint. Their ‘happy-hour’ has some tasty dishes as well – Crispy Calamari orange-sesame dipping sauce, Fire-Roasted Castroville Artichokes with Sun-dried Tomato Aioli, and their daily specials, which rotate and are always changing. On the “Tommy B Restaurant Rating Scale” from “A” to “F” the Rio Grill in Carmel gets a consistent “A”.

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Thank mightytraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rio O, Manager at Rio Grill, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2017

We're happy to hear you always have a good time with us, from food to service! We appreciate your patronage and thank you for sharing your experience, we look forward to your next visit!

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Reviews (575)
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30 - 34 of 575 reviews

Reviewed 9 August 2017 via mobile

I've been a pretty consistent regular here since before Julia Child put it on the map. I had been here the day before and had their classic Chinese Chicken Salad...as good as ever BUT simply not as 'generous' as it had been. The bread was fresh---just not warm, as had been the norm. Went with friends the next night. Despite reservations there was a 20-25 minute wait. Finally seated but under a speaker that made it almost impossible to converse. ( History and common sense should prompt a manager to lower the canned music so that it's background....if not, it forces everyone's voices up and so it goes, ever ratcheting the sound louder!) New chef specializing in S.Western, I'm told so I had a 'braised pork shank'...braised shouldn't come out tough and dry. It should NOT have been served. Edible? Sure---but....it needed to to have been made 'unavaiable'. Enough said?
The other mains were fine but it was overall a less than expected night at the Rio. Why 4 Stars? Because it's almost always a 5! This time it was a 2-3....I'm going back .

Thank CaPalm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rio O, Manager at Rio Grill, responded to this reviewResponded 16 August 2017

We appreciate reviews such as yours since it lets us know what you really enjoyed, and where we can improve. We are glad you have been dining with us for years and we value your constructive feedback. As you know, this experience is not the norm at Rio and we apologize for that. We hope to see you again for an all around wonderful experience, thank you for the review.

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Reviewed 9 August 2017

At Rio, you always enjoy beautiful flavors, fine-quality foods prepared with virtuoso skill and devotion to great food. Vegetables always have intense and delicious flavors which derive from their quality and freshness and the delightful sauces created by this talented kitchen. I never miss a visit to Rio when I'm in Carmel. The restaurant can be very loud, but it's just the sound of very happy diners!

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Thank Writerchef
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rio O, Manager at Rio Grill, responded to this reviewResponded 16 August 2017

Thank you for the nice review! We're so happy you always visit us when you're in the area and have delicious food! We appreciate your patronage and look forward to welcoming you back again!

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Reviewed 7 August 2017

On our first visit to the Carmel area, we were exploring Big Sur and visited with a local from Carmel. When she found out that we were staying in Carmel, she highly recommended that we try Rio Grill and said, "You won't be disappointed!" So we went there to celebrate the last night of our trip. Overall, it was a wonderful experience. We sampled one of their half-price bottles of wine. Although waitress brought a different bottle than what we had ordered, it was still very good. Our entrees (pork shank, smoked chicken, and steak with hatch chile sauce) were all delicious. Dessert (sour dough bread pudding) was divine. All worth the price tag. The only disappointment was the entree - a Castroville Artichoke. It was small and dry - no "meat" until you reached the very heart. Accompanying sauce was very nice, but overall it was a disappointment for the price. That said, we would recommend and will definitely go back next time we are in Carmel.

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Thank GilmoreGal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rio O, Manager at Rio Grill, responded to this reviewResponded 7 August 2017

We're glad you had a wonderful experience with us, from delicious entrees to divine desserts! We are sorry to hear that the artichoke was disappointing, this is one of our most popular items and we apologize it wasn't better on your visit. We appreciate you recommending us to others and hope to see you next time you're in the area, thank you for the review.

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Reviewed 4 August 2017

Is it a nice restaurant, Yes. Is the staff friendly, Very. Is the food worth the prices, Not so much. Unless the food is outstanding, I usually can't justify spending this much for an evening out. My wife and daughters enjoyed what they ate and of course it was presented nicely, but still. All i could find to my liking was the potato skins and they weren't that good. If I go again I will choose to at lunchtime instead of dinner. That way I can find more to my liking and of course the prices are less.

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1  Thank riccoCarmel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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