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Marinus or Aubergine or Sierra Mar [Big Sur and Carmel Valley]

I will be in Monterey/Carmel area for a trip with my husband. We are foodies looking for a great food experience that won't disappoint. Any recommendations between these three?

Thanks.

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Marinus
415 Carmel Valley Rd, Carmel Valley, CA 93924

Sierra Mar Restaurant
Highway 1, Big Sur, CA

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  1. I didn't see three, but between the two, I'd pick Sierra Mar if you make the drive during daylight.
    In full disclosure, I haven't eaten at either, but have been to both and have friends who I know would pick Sierra Mar from actual experiences.

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    Sierra Mar Restaurant
    Highway 1, Big Sur, CA

    1. I had a very nice dinner at Marinus, though it was at least five or six years ago, with vegetables being the highlight. I'd love to try Sierra Mar sometime, but I would never consider dining there in the evening and then making the 45 minute or so drive back up to Carmel after wining and dining (and I wouldn't want to go to somewhere like Sierra Mar and not have some wine, either). Even Marinus is more of a drive than I'd want to do after dinner, unless you decide to stay in Carmel Valley.

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      Marinus
      415 Carmel Valley Rd, Carmel Valley, CA 93924

      Sierra Mar Restaurant
      Highway 1, Big Sur, CA

      1. I have loved them both. Though I have been to Marinus more often and more recently. I agree about the driving issue(s). Unless you stay at either hotel...which isn't cheap! A driver is an alternative.

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        Marinus
        415 Carmel Valley Rd, Carmel Valley, CA 93924

        1. Sorry....been to Aubergine once about a year and a half ago. The food was stellar. The service at the beginning was very, very, very slow. Slow to take a drink order, deliver menus, etc... After a brief and genial discussion the staff picked things up and the evening was wonderful. The matching wines with the tasting menu were good and very interesting but I'm not sure i wouldn't have preferred to do it on my own. I just don't know that it was a good economic decision. If the driving distance is an issue with the other two places then I think you'll be happy with Aubergine.

          1. Marinus.
            Sierra Mar is nice but that drive can get to you. Not a relaxing way to end the evening. We tend to go to Sierra Mar for lunch. The views are amazing.

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            Marinus
            415 Carmel Valley Rd, Carmel Valley, CA 93924

            Sierra Mar Restaurant
            Highway 1, Big Sur, CA

            1. Anyone been to the Chatagua Store? Is the drive all that bad?

              4 Replies
              1. re: toodie jane

                I did a quick google search and came up empty: where or what is the Chatagua Store?

                1. re: susancinsf

                  D'oh! not "chatagua"

                  Cachagua is up off Carmel Vlly Rd about 25 miles. open only Sun mornings and Mon evenings. Run by the owner of A Moveable Feast Catering of CV. Suppsed to be outstanding local food, reasonable wine, but somewhat cantankerous Irish chef. Not your usual dining room.

                  1. re: toodie jane

                    haven't heard of it by it's real name either, but sounds interesting! thanks.

                2. re: toodie jane

                  that's Cachagua.