March 21, 2011
Cindy Pawlcyn teams with Monterey Aquarium for good eats

Cindy Pawlcyn.jpgOh, that Cindy Pawlcyn - she's here, there and everywhere.

The chef, restaurateur, cookbook author and widely acknowledged Queen of Wine Country Cuisine has taken her expertise to the Monterey Bay Aquarium ( There, she developed menus for the casual self-service cafe and the adjoining full-service restaurant.

We dropped by last Friday on a wet and wind-swept day and checked out both dining areas. The cafe offers salads, soup, pizza, sandwiches and desserts ($1.85 to $14). The dishes carry Pawlcyn's unmistakable imprint. For instance, the tuna Nicoise sandwich is made with pole-caught albacore tuna with roasted red-pepper tapenade on artisanal bread.

In the more formal restaurant, we grabbed a table by a window and enjoyed a world-class view of white-capped Monterey Bay. The menu showed crab cakes, roasted artichoke, salads, sandwiches and spectacular-sounding entrees, including Thai-style mussels with coconut curry, grilled hangar steak with caramelized onions, grilled sea bass, oyster po' boy ($8 to $22).

Pawlcyn has three restaurants in the Napa Valley - Mustards Grill, Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen and Go Fish (

P.S.: This just in from the aquarium: "The aquarium's Seafood Watch program has connected seafood lovers to ocean-friendly choices for over a decade. Now its recommendations are available as an Android application. (Users) can download the free Seafood Watch app from the Android Market to get on-the-go access to sustainable seafood choices when dining or shopping. To find out more and download the Android app, visit"

Call The Bee's Allen Pierleoni at (916) 321-1128.

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