La Bicyclette is on a corner in the busy shopping area of Carmel. It is basically made up of 2 rooms, one having windows to the street on 2 sides, the pizza oven, a long bar and kitchen pass through and the other smaller room having a lot of hanging copper pots and glassware storage. It seemed much more lively in the bigger room. The small bare wood tables are placed fairly closely together and set with cloth napkins that are more like small towels. The rooms had a number of eclectic decorations. Music is in the background and the place is amazingly busy. It is a fun spot with good food, friendly service and casual atmosphere.
We tried 2 of their salads to start.
The Farmer’s Market Tomato Salad contained assorted heirloom tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, basil, red onion, balsamic and Carmel Valley olive oil. It was a stack of several types of tomatoes with a thick slice of buffalo mozzarella in between and topped with yellow cherry tomatoes. The dressing was a generous combination of balsamic and olive oil. I didn’t notice much flavor variation in the colors of the very fresh and tasty tomatoes. The dressing was a perfect accompaniment to this simple yet delicious plate.
The Stone Fruit Salad was composed of arugula, cherries, peaches, nectarines, Point Reyes blue cheese, marcona almonds, red onion and peach-tumeric vinaigrette. It was a good balance of arugula and stone fruit and lightly dressed. The fruits had different textures but were all nicely ripe and sweet. The small bits of almonds added a fun crunch and flavor. Some of the fruits had been cooked lightly on a grill to bring out additional flavor. It was another really good salad.
They have a wood fired pizza oven and we tried their Champignons pizza which was topped with portabella, oyster mushrooms, mozzarella, thyme, caramelized onion purée and truffle oil. Seasonings at the table included a Calabrian chili pepper oil (had a nice taste and added a touch of spice) as well as red pepper flakes and shaker cheese. The pizza had the slightest puff around the edge and the thin crust was nicely cooked. The lovely mix of mushrooms on top was tasty and a good balance with the cheese and onions. It was good.
The server suggested the chocolate mousse for dessert and that was a great suggestion. The Pot de Mousse was said to be for 2 and was indeed plenty. It was an old fashioned crock of chocolate mousse topped with chunks of white and dark chocolate and 2 chocolate straws. The chunks of chocolate added texture to the otherwise ultra smooth, dense, creamy bowl of goodness. It was totally rich and decadent and a fitting ending for a fine meal.