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Big Sur this weekend-- where to go?

so it's the SO's birthday, and we're staying @ Fernwood. We've eaten at Nepenthe, and Ventana (Cielo?), but aren't opposed to going back to either. Last trip up was a few years ago, is there anything new or hidden that is a must try? also--little bars/taverns worth stopping at?
thanks from an LA hound...

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    1. re: Beach Chick

      thanks Beach Chick, the sample menu on the website looks killer! do you know how much the 4 course runs?

      1. re: jdwdeville

        I was just there in September for my birthday.
        We had lunch outside on the patio on a gorgeous day..we had wine, cheese course, entrees..plus a freebie dessert and it was around $100 bucks..including tip.
        We totally fell in love with this place..

    2. I live near Boston where we just got 10 inches of snow, but drove down the coast near Big Sur about 2 weeks ago. You're lucky, lucky, lucky!

      1. http://www.deetjens.com/restaurant.htm

        This is a funky place that gets good reviews. They serve only breakfast and dinner. We usually drive down from Carmel for lunch, so haven't had a chance to try it. Check out the site, looks very interesting.

        1. I know you will not follow my advice, but I'd cancell my reservations and eat my three dinners at the Big Sur Bakery & Restaurant. If you really want fine food, skip Nepenthe. Go there if you want an excellent view, but the food has never been good and is expensive. It's not bad, it's just not good. Ventana also has excellent views and even more pricey food. But once again, the food is not memorable.

          For exceptional go to "The Big Sur Bakery and Restaurant." The chief must go to sleep thinking about food. Everything is good, all the time. We are talking fine Califorian-Mediterranean using fresh local ingredients when possible. Dinners in the $25 range, vege friendly. By far the best food in Big Sur including Post Ranch. Plus a great homey athmosphere. No view. Try to make reservation as you may be turned away as it is on the smaller side and popular with the locals. Nice wine list too. (831) 667-0520. Just South of the Big Sur Post Office. West side of Highway One, look for a tiny two pump gas station with dirt driveway and next to a nursery.

          1 Reply
          1. re: LanceM

            I agree - def. go to Big Sur Bakery. We ate dinners at Deetjen's, Post Ranch and Esalen when we were there (we stayed two nights at Deetjen's and one at Esalen.) and all were good but I wished we'd made time for a dinner at the Bakery after visiting for lunch and pastries. This NY Times piece came out right after we got back:

            http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/10/mag...

          2. If you want a very special place it's the restaurant at the Post Ranch Inn. spectaular.