Carmel Refresh: Terry’s at Cypress Inn

The tony hotel eatery "a fresh new interior design" but the same classy cocktails.

Cypress Inn

WHERE IS OLD HOLLYWOOD? It's a question that might inspire some lively back-and-forths over a friendly dinner at a nice restaurant. Does it still exist in Tinseltown itself, or within flickering black-and-white films, or in the fashions of vintage-loving designers, or somewhere up the coast, around Carmel? The answer is yes to all four questions, but finding it outside of '40s films, or an old-world Hollywood restaurant like Musso & Frank, can be trickier. Unless, of course, you have the Cypress Inn of Carmel-by-the-Sea in your retro, gray-metal Rolodex, and you know that a certain eatery off the lobby pays homage to the movie industry of yore through a host of classy cocktails. We speak of Terry's Restaurant & Lounge, the longtime tony eatery housed just off the lobby of Doris Day's 1929 Mediterranean fantasy of an inn. While the hotel has kept its soft lines and hacienda-style approach, Terry's recently underwent a renovation, lending the property's "signature restaurant" a gussying-up in the interior design department.

AND THE SPRING MENU DEPARTMENT, TOO: Look for local starters like grilled artichokes with Dungeness crab timbale and Monterey Bay calamari, as well as curry lamb meatballs and ahi tuna poke. Monterey sand dabs are on the Mediterranean flair menu, and braised short ribs as well. As for the Hollywood touches? Look among the cocktails for sips like a Stinger, made in tribute to movie legend Cary Grant and the 1957 flick "Kiss Them for Me." Pisco Punch and other potent libations from decades back fill out the beverage side of things at Terry's, which also serves an Old-Fashioned as an ode to James Cagney.

AS FOR THE GUSSY-UP? Look for a "silver-leaf paper treatment on the barrel ceiling, which lights up to create a jewel box effect" in the room. Ah, Tinseltowny doings at work. "(O)yster and alabaster" hues lend creamy touches to the black, white, and beige tones.

AS FOR THE PUPS? They are still more than welcome to stay at the inn itself, which is, of course, one of the best-known bring-your-pooch hotels in California, if not the planet. Animal-championing hotelier Doris Day would not have it any other way.

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