We discovered a great Monterey restaurant named Tarpy’s Roadhouse while on a California wine tour. The wine tasting hostess at Joullian Vineyards highly recommended Tarpy’s as the best local favorite. We made reservations for that evening. We were not disappointed.
This Monterey restaurant has an interesting location and history. The area where the restaurant stands is known as Tarpey Flats. Back in 1873 a prominent local man named Matt Tarpy was lynched at Tarpey Flats for murdering a neighbor woman named Sarah Nicholson.
The many stories of this lynching have two sides. Some are based on the belief that Matt intentionally killed his neighbor while others believe it was an accident.
The historic stone house was built in the 1920s by Charles Ryan as a house for his family. A series of different restaurants have operated from this location, which became Tarpy’s Roadhouse in 1992. It is owned by Tony Tollner, Bill Cox, and Chef Michael Kimmel. The trio also own Montroi in Monterey and Rio Grill in Carmel.
There are a number of interesting rooms in which to dine at this Monterey restaurant. We ate in the original stone building, but our waitress gave us a tour and encouraged us to explore. One of the rooms has a fireplace made of shells. Larger banquet rooms are also available. The outdoor courtyard area would make a lovely dining area in warm months.
This restaurant has an extensive menu and large wine list as well. In fact, Tarpy’s has been awarded the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for its wine list.
We started out sharing artichoke rings served with a ranch dipping sauce at the encouragement of our waitress, Tammy. They were crispy on the outside like onion rings with soft, ripe artichoke hearts inside. We began to suspect that this was going to be a great restaurant. Tammy was attentive and knew what she was doing.
Steve ordered duck. It was served with a cabernet-raspberry glaze and fresh garden vegetables. The sauce was yummy. Everything was very fresh and tasty. I had prime filet of beef and prawns. They were served in a balsamic port wine reduction sauce with asparagus. The filet was tender, cooked perfect, and full of flavors. The prawns were large, crunchy, and flavorful. I had ordered a half size portion and it was plenty. We knew without a doubt that this was a great Monterey restaurant with world-class food.
How could we not order dessert when the food was so good? Steve chose an espresso bread pudding in bourbon crème anglaise. He enjoyed every spoonful. I was adventuresome and tried something new, their fried banana split. It was fried bananas covered with strawberries, chocolate, and vanilla ice cream. I’m sure it was the best banana split I have ever had.
If you have trouble deciding on a dessert, Tarpy’s has the answer. They offer large or small dessert sampler platters. The table next to ours ordered a large sampler platter and it certainly looked inviting.
We recommend this restaurant because the ambiance, service, and food were all excellent. Tarpy’s is a great restaurant and we can’t wait to return next time we are on a California wine tour in the Monterey wine country.
Monterey Winery Information
While in Monterey, be sure to enjoy sampling the wines at some of the fantastic wineries in the area. Find wonderful wineries throughout Monterey County. It’s the ideal place for combining a wine tasting tour with spectacular ocean scenry!
Contact Information for Tarpy’s Roadhouse, A Great Monterey Restaurant
Reservations and Information
Address: 2999 Monterey-Salinas Highway (Hwy. 68 at Canyon Del Rey Rd.), Monterey, CA
Telephone: (831) 647-1444
Directions from Highway 1: Merge onto the Monterey/Salinas Hwy. CA 68 going toward Salinas. Continue on 68 for 3.1 miles. Tarpy’s will be on the left side just before you reach Canyon Del Rey Rd.
If you have dined at this great Monterey restaurant, please take a moment to leave us a message below. We would love to hear about your dining experience at Tarpy’s Roadhouse.