The Restaurant at Ventana
The Restaurant at Ventana

The Restaurant at Ventana

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.ventanainn.com/dining.aspx
  • Phone: 8316674242x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Breakfast: Daily from 7:00am-10:30am
    Lunch: Daily from 11:30am-4:30pm;
    Dinner: Nightly from 6:00pm-9:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Organic, Californian
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from The Restaurant at Ventana
The Restaurant at Ventana serves award winning cuisine in an awe-inspiring setting. The restaurant’s warm, rustic interior opens onto its legendary terrace where panoramic views of the ocean and rugged Big Sur coastline stretch for more than 50 miles. The cuisine makes use of the abundance of California’s Central Coast with local, simple, sustainable ingredients, including items from Ventana’s own organic garden.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
The Restaurant at Ventana reviews from OpenTable diners
102 reviews since June 23, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food3.8
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelModerate
79% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
scenic view (82)great for outdoor dining (81)romantic (64)special occasion (52)fit for foodies (43)great for lunch (32)notable wine list (18)great for brunch (15)good for groups (9)neighborhood gem (7)hot spot (6)vibrant bar scene (3)late-night find (2)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • Very good lunch, could be excellent
    cherribomb
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    We had a nice lunch at Ventana, but we're still finding the food varies quite a bit, in an unexpected way. We had dinner here in April and our experience was the same. The bouillabaisse we had was phenomenal - delicious, complex broth, high-quality seafood that was perfectly cooked, including real Mediterranean mussels (rather than the skimpy small ones) and a nicely executed, authentic rouille & garlic toast. The steak tartare on the other hand was over-seasoned with salt, scallions, and soy sauce - just too much for a nice appetizer that only needs some mustard, egg, salt, pepper. Wine selection was really good and my husband raved about his manhattan, which was extremely well-balanced.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • BigbugVIP
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    The fod was amazing the flavors the chief put together I never tasted before the squid pasta, the scallops and the chicken were over the top
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    We have eaten here several times and each time the food is spectacular. We ate outside for the first time. The restaurant set up tons of heathers and a roaring outdoor fireplace. Excellent ll the way around.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Big Sur Ventana
    Bman1VIP
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    This was our 7th stay and the Ventana and we truly think it's a paradise here on earth. The Ventana Restaurant is known as the best in Big Sur. The Ambiance and Service were outstanding. The new menu could use a little work. The soup and beet salad were amazing starters. I think the new chef is reworking the entrees and still trying to find something that works. The desserts were very good; we tried four of them!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mediocre
    DisappointedVIP
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    What a come down from the way this restaurant used to be. The quality of food preparation used to be equally matched to the beauty of the surroundings. The surroundings are still exceptional, but our dinner selections were indifferently prepared and delivered with equal indifference. Save your appetite for dinner in Carmel instead.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Big Sur
    SStar
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    The atmosphere and view were outstanding. The food was excellent. We chose to walk to the restaurant. The paths were well lit. We saw deer along the way. It was a beautiful experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Lunch in October
    Mary
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    We just had our third lunch at Ventanna Inn in 26 years ( we live in Seattle) we arrived early and reception was friendly we were seated within 30 min at a nice private patio table overlooking rhe beautiful pacific. Thats wear things went south wait staff very slow had to ask for service after 10 min at table drinks and food came out one at a time Food service staff need seriuos help and direction best of luck.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Decent View But Not Much Else
    CAfoodie
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    My wife and I went to The Restaurant with high but not extraordinary expectations for a fine dining experience. Unfortunately, we were disappointed on most accounts. The food was not bad but there are definitely better choices for the price range. We were also disappointed with service when another table that arrived much later than we did received their meals before we did. We ended up being there for over an hour when we expected a quick lunch. Maybe it was because it was a hot day but nothing really seemed to go well other than a good view and even that was marred by umbrellas not quite providing enough shade and the distance from the water being far enough to lack the cool breeze you would expect from the Pacific Ocean.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • complete chaos
    DogloverVIP
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    I hesitated booking this place after reading the reviews; but decided to go ahead. What a bad experiance, we have become locals; but brought out of town guests, and were totally embarassed! The kitchen is too small to serve the # of customers they try to push through. One hour and fifteen minutes between order and service for a lunch! Half of the meals were cold, with a open kitchen you can see your food sitting there getting cold. The kitchen is the most disorganized I have ever seen: screaming, plates dropping, everything you can imagine. The table service was no better; mutiple people coming by; but not responsible for anything. Hot day ask for water ice anything; you were acknowledged; but nothing happened. Blow the place up, start over
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great lunch
    Lovedit
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    This restaurant was recommended to me by a colleague who took the same trip the previous year. It was definitely worth the drive to Big Sur from Carmel and I would definitely recommend this spot. Spectacular view from their outdoor dining area and the food was very good. Service was a bit slow and not as attentive as I would have expected, but it was still a very good dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not a great night for the anyone
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    We have been here many times. We ate outside -which was lovely. Our server although kind - lacked the usual attentiveness. A second drink was not ordered because he came back too late in the meal. Our food was mediocre. Although the halibut was good - the tuna tartar was 'fishy' and stringy. We had a fabulous meal at the Ventana in August. This meal was a real disappointment.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding
    lizlovestoeat
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    The service was efficient and helpful without being intrusive. The food was delicious and creative.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Romantic
    JeanneVIP
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    Very romantic setting and where my husband and I were married 28 years ago. The food was average and not as good as it was years ago. Prices are moderate and we were not impressed with the wine list. We did receive a complimentary dessert for our anniversary however it was not as good as Sweet Elena's chocolate decadence years ago. That was a disappointment.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • great scenery but food okay
    BigSur2014
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    Stayed at this Inn for several days and had breakfast, lunch and dinner. Found breakfast and lunch good, but dinner was fair and service was poor. The dinner menu is a 4 course dinner ($75) but you can order al carte. Alaskan halibut was overcooked and bread was dry. Vegetables were overcooked. Soap was good. The wine selection is good and a full bar is available. The place was near empty even for dinner at peak times. You can may a reservation but why bother because you can always get a seat. A guest while walking out reports the same experience, and poor service. She advised to eat across the street.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, romantic, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • spa like
    luckydog
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    This restuarant is like going to a good spa and having a great massage. It is beautiful, peaceful, earthy yet elegant and fills your soul as well as your stomach.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice view but......
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    Greatly disappointed the night we were there on our 40th wedding annersary. Chief came highly recommended but I'm sure was not in residence that night (at least I hope not) ingredients were fresh but preparation was completely uninspired. Service was so bad it was comical, our waiter continually brought the wrong plates to the wrong people and the checks to the wrong table. In his defense the restaurant appeared to be wildly understaffed.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • use to be .....
    ant08VIP
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    very sad, use to be good a year ago, now the food have no soul or flavor everything tasted vinegar and oily cheese and chilis. we got the tasting menu and it is well priced but not with that kind of food, a joke!!!! service very amateurish but not bad. will not go back....
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wow!!!
    FromagerVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    What an amazing find!!! Gorgeous setting, incredible menu, so romantic! If I hadn't already proposed, I would have done it there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • a great place to try
    JeffTVIP
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    Though we ended up eating outside, the inside of the place looks inviting and looked cool and rustic. The outside patio area was expansive and had some nice lounging areas to sit as well as the table over near the edge. We only had their appetizers and the Ribs and duck wraps were awesome. Service was very good and friendly. Though we had clouds and couldn't see very well, the blue jays and open feel was very relaxing and lovely. Great place to take someone and very reasonable for what you are getting.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Upscale dining in Big Sur
    Steve50
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Ventana restaurant is part of the upscale Ventana resort-- perhaps the best dining option in Big Sur. Menu is simple-- 4 course fixed price was the option we selected. Food was excellent, along with attentive staff. We went there a second night to continue with different menu selections. Great, romantic outdoor setting with lots of fireplaces/ heat lamps to keep you warm on cooler nights in Big Sur when the fog rolls in.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good food, long meal
    Veggie
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    I work in NYC, and while I love nice food, I enjoy 1-1.5 hour meals. The food and view were great, but our meal was over 2.5 hours long, my only real complaint about dinner. The service was great, we had one pre fix dinner $80, and the other diner ordered a la carte. It was a special occasional and our server wrote happy anniversary on our plate which was nice.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Off the menu
    orango
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    The dinner menu was [pricey and selective. You also could not sit on the balcony with the best view for dinner. We ended up eating from the bar menu which was tasty and less expensive. You also got to sit with the better view.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Lovely setting
    LuvgoodfoodVIP
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Although clouds shrouded the ocean during our lunch at Ventana we still found the setting beautiful . Our server was very efficient and likeable and the lunch was quite good . I had a portobello mushroom sandwich and my husband had the fried chicken sandwich . These were large sandwiches so half of mine came home with me .
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Back on Top
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    We had a lovely and tasty dinner at The Restaurant at Ventana. The food was beautifully presented and the taste was incredible. Those who tended to the table were courteous, professional and attentive. We will go back again and again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Unresponsive Server
    nycfoodieVIP
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    Of course everyone goes for the view, and we will go again, but we had a pathetic waiter. The hostess was wonderful and engaging and the server was compete opposite. The server gave no response to requests. And he did not even say thank you when bill was paid. Maybe he is deaf/mute?
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Setting can't be beat, food and service could be more sophisticated to match the prices.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Poor food quality
    Olivia
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    Very disappointed in the food. Not tasty, luke-warm entree. Service below par for such a pricey restaurant. The views and location were beautiful, but the dining experience was disappointing. Will not return to this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing Food
    KARANDTARVIP
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    This restaurant is impressive. I love the open kitchen and the menu was fresh and innovative. We had the chef's tasting menu, which was an excellent value for the quality and quantity of food received. My friend had the heirloom tomato salad, osso bucco, pork tenderloin, and baked Alaska, while my choices were the mixed greens with Humboldt Fog blue cheese, tempura (the deep fried thinly sliced lemon was goooooood), the swordfish with lemon couscous, and butterscotch cream brulee. Everything was extremely flavorful and beautifully presented. Service was great too!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Awesome
    Brasilnacalifornia2014
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Very nice place, wooden walls, you can see mountains and the sea from the high First time I find organic tasteful food in America. Waiter was very kind and spoke in Spanish to explain our choices!❤️👏👏👏
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely dinner
    PDXTravlrVIP
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    Beautiful setting, impeccable service and the food was quite good. They mentioned on the menu that all dishes could be ordered a la carte, rather than the 4-course prix-fixe, but didn't list the prices of any individual dishes on said menu -- my only quibble. We could have easily skipped dessert - it was the only course that was unremarkable. The tuna crudo dish was outstanding, so was the pork tenderloin. A very nice evening overall.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Enjoyed my anniversary dinner
    Damo
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    My wife and I celebrated our 20th anniversary at Ventana. Everything was very good. A little pricey, but the restaurant is beautiful.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good not great
    JamesWVIP
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    Somehow we were disappointed with both the food and interior ambiance. Nice view and outdoor terrace but inside somewhat dated and pedestrian, especially for such a high price resort. Fish entree was fine, fresh but not creative or outstanding. Sirloin was sub par. Would not go back as there are far better dining opportunities in the area at similar price.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Scenic Views
    justadiner
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    We stopped for lunch while visiting Big Sur. The views were beautiful and the wait staff excellent. The homemade chips were great and the sandwiches quite tasty. Portion size was quite nice.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The scenic view is awesome
    Michael
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    The outdoor dinning is great. The scenic view is awesome. The service was great. The king salmon cake was great. The soup was a bit sour, the catch of the day, sword fish, was too dry and the price is a bit too high, the BBQ rib is ok. Next time we will try hamburger instead.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Horrible Service!!!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    After a sublime stay at the Inn we had our parting lunch there and it was awful. Food was fine but service was actually worse than poor. Won't bore you with the litany of complaints but, for a normally uncomplaining couple this was bad!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A little gem!
    Boricuas85
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    This place is amazing. The service, food and ambiance is worth the extra cost.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great view, terrible service
    googlegeek
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    It took too long to take our order, and too long to bring water and provide refills, even after asking. Food took forever to be brought out (how can it take over an hour to make a burger?). Although we requested ketchup with our order, we had to ask four times before any was brought to the table. After clearing our dishes, it took forever to get the waiter's attention.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    rediculously blissfull, unforgettable memory and fabulous food
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food
    fern
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Although there was a private event on the outdoor patio, the honored our window request.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Possibly a scenic view
    LovingtheJourney
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    We drove to Big Sur to enjoy lunch and the scenic view. We made a reservation but upon arrival found out that the patio was closed for a special private party that evening. We could not dine on patio or even step foot out on it to see the view. I ordered the burger and thought it was just ok however the fries were crispy. My husband ordered the fish special which was swordfish and enjoyed. Our waiter was very nice!
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.