The Restaurant at Ventana
48123 California One
Big Sur, CA 93920Neighborhood:
CalifornianPrice: $31 to $50
The Restaurant at Ventana
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.ventanainn.com/dining.aspx
- Phone: (831) 667-4242
- 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
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.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
- Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
The Restaurant at Ventana - Best Restaurants in Big Sur ›
The Restaurant at Ventana reviews from OpenTable diners
83 reviews since July 28, 2014
- Ambiance4.5Noise LevelModerate
great for outdoor dining (65)scenic view (62)romantic (52)special occasion (43)fit for foodies (39)great for lunch (25)notable wine list (15)great for brunch (10)good for groups (4)neighborhood gem (4)hot spot (4)vibrant bar scene (3)late-night find (1)Show More
- Romantic Big SurFishCatDined on 11/20/2014The Ventana Inn & Spa restaurant is set in a most idyllic setting in Big Sur, high up on the east side of Route 1. This panoramic, indoor-outdoor restaurant serves complex and interesting food preparations. Some times, in the case of seafood, simpler can be better than complex, though everything was delicious. The restaurant service was very attentive, and we enjoyed our seats facing some beautiful local artists' paintings of seascapes. Don't miss the art gallery!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Amazing service, wonderful food.SailthePlanetDined on 11/19/2014An excellent restaurant with equally excellent staff. Formal, yet relaxed, the staff were accomidating to our requests and made our experience one we will remember for years (it was our aniversary) While the price makes it something we would save for special occasions, I would highly recomend this restaurant to anyone. The quality of the food was superb.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great venue, so-so food at lunch.doglifeDined on 11/17/2014We were surprised that the prices for this venue seemed moderate. The hamburger was $15 or so and lunch was quite affordable. At the same time, we thought the food was moderate quality as well. The duck in my duck salad was pretty tough and over-cooked. The service seemed a bit Stepford. I had the fantasy that the chef lined up the wait-staff each morning and lectured them, finger wagging, that is was important to ALWAYS smile - even while walking back to the kitchen after clearing the tables. Or perhaps the restaurant just provided free Botox-smiles to their wait-staff. As for the view - it is spectacular. At the same time I prefer the view from Nepenthe. Nepenthe has the same spectacular view down the coast but you actually get a view that is both framed better by the trees and not cut off at the bottom by a hedge. I was a little disappointed, but that is perhaps because my expectations for Ventana were so high. As Peanuts said, "there is no burden is life greater than high expectations."Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIPDined on 11/14/2014Very disappointing pasta bucatini. Last time we were here is was great. This time the only taste was of the overpowering chili. Plus the broccolini was in long strands, not chopped into bite-sized pieces.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 11/13/2014Everything was outstanding - food, service and ambiance. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a special occasion dinner.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Incredibly Accommodating with Dietary RestrictionsglutenfreefoodieDined on 11/13/2014My wife has numerous dietary restrictions (no gluten, soy, dairy & corn). She emailed the chef prior to our stay with Ventana. He responded by email that they would accommodate her needs. When we order, we were told that they had composed a whole menu just for her. The sous chef checked on us numerous times during the meal and the head chef introduced himself to us at breakfast the next day to make sure that the meal was satisfactory. We told him the meal was incredible and could not have been happier. We were incredibly impressed with the care and service that was given to us. the restaurant went over & above and we greatly appreciated it.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- JuliaDined on 11/9/2014Service a bit sloppy; I was lucky - the sauce from olives and almonds dish just missed my pants when the dish was served. Food... I've been to this place 20 years ago. For a sake of sweet memories we've decided to visit again. So food is expensive and average. For the price of this lunch I could get a dinner at Roy's.Special Features:
- SanJoseDined on 11/7/2014A fantastic restaurant. Great view of the Pacific Ocean from their location high on a bluff. Both food and service were outstanding.Special Features:
- Best meal of tripJunieDined on 10/29/2014We did the 4 course tasting menu, and it was the best meal of our entire trip! Wonderful choices with equal skill for veggies and meat. Great wine list.Special Features:
- Ventana could be betterArthurJacobVIPDined on 10/27/2014Too institutionally hotel esque with prices that match the view Don't go out of your way to dine here But the pickings are slim in Big Sur Try Deetjans instead....
- Gorgeous views. Great atmosphere.FlipflopDined on 10/24/2014The setting perched high above PCH lends itself to magnificent from the expansive patio dining area. Couches and large place make you feel right at home. Inside the natural wood tones create a warm ambience. The menu has a wide, but focused selection of traditional American fare that it fitting to the area. The arougala summer salad was generously piled high with a lovely vinagrete. The beef tenderloin was prepared to perfection. Tender and rich in flavor it went perfect with our full bodied Cabernet from Justin. Our server Juan was like a stealthy ninja, there exactly when we needed him, but not intrusive. Highly recommend for a special occasion. Be sure to enjoy the patio at sunset.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Window on The SurDogginDined on 10/24/2014It's Big Sur with a panoramic view. How could anything about it be bad? We enjoyed a delicious lunch--their Cuban sandwich is lovely. Micro brew beer was pricey @ $9 per glass, but very tasty. Service was friendly and attentive, but the view and ambiance are to die for. It's worth a trip just to sit on Ventana's patio and stare at the sea and the majestic surroundings. Factor in the treat of innovative, beautifully prepared food and drink and voila, it is heaven!Special Features:
- Very good lunch, could be excellentcherribombDined on 10/19/2014We 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:
- BigbugVIPDined on 10/15/2014The fod was amazing the flavors the chief put together I never tasted before the squid pasta, the scallops and the chicken were over the topSpecial Features:
- Excellent foodOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 10/10/2014We 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:
- Big Sur VentanaBman1VIPDined on 10/8/2014This 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- MediocreDisappointedVIPDined on 10/6/2014What 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.
- Big SurSStarDined on 10/6/2014The 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:
- Lunch in OctoberMaryDined on 10/4/2014We 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Decent View But Not Much ElseCAfoodieDined on 10/4/2014My 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:
- complete chaosDogloverVIPDined on 10/4/2014I 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
- Great lunchLoveditDined on 10/4/2014This 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:
- Not a great night for the anyonemeals2rememberVIPDined on 9/20/2014We 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:
- OutstandinglizlovestoeatDined on 9/17/2014The service was efficient and helpful without being intrusive. The food was delicious and creative.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- RomanticJeanneVIPDined on 9/17/2014Very 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 scenery but food okayBigSur2014Dined on 9/11/2014Stayed 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:
- spa likeluckydogDined on 9/11/2014This 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Nice view but......OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 9/2/2014Greatly 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:
- use to be .....ant08VIPDined on 8/31/2014very 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....
- Wow!!!FromagerVIPDined on 8/30/2014What an amazing find!!! Gorgeous setting, incredible menu, so romantic! If I hadn't already proposed, I would have done it there.Special Features:
- a great place to tryJeffTVIPDined on 8/19/2014Though 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:
- Upscale dining in Big SurSteve50Dined on 8/14/2014Ventana 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:
- Good food, long mealVeggieDined on 8/12/2014I 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:
- Off the menuorangoDined on 8/1/2014The 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:
- Lovely settingLuvgoodfoodVIPDined on 8/1/2014Although 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:
- Back on Topmeals2rememberVIPDined on 7/31/2014We 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:
- The following 360 reviews are from the The Restaurant at Ventana reviews archive.
- Unresponsive ServernycfoodieVIPDined on 7/27/2014Of 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2005Dined on 7/26/2014Setting can't be beat, food and service could be more sophisticated to match the prices.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Poor food qualityOliviaDined on 7/22/2014Very 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:
- Amazing FoodKARANDTARVIPDined on 7/20/2014This 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: