High & low: Carmel for every budget

Splurge or save on a weekend in California’s prettiest village

A meal at Aubergine
Photo by Alex Farnum

High: Where to eat

Breakfast: The Sunday Jazz Brunch at the Mission Ranch ($30; 26270 Dolores; 800/538-8221) gets you a genuinely good buffet, ocean views, and superlative music.

Lunch: Try Cantinetta Luca (Dolores near Seventh; 831/625-6500) for pastas and pizza from the wood-burning oven. Lunch for two: about $60 with wine.

Dinner: Critics adore the intimate—just 12 tables—Aubergine (shown; Monte Verde at Seventh; 831/624-8578). Entrées look Frank Gehry–designed, and there’s a 4,500-bottle wine cellar. Dinner for two: $138, plus $110 for wine pairing.


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