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  • The Restaurant at Ventana

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The Restaurant at Ventana
The Restaurant at Ventana

The Restaurant at Ventana Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.ventanainn.com/dining.aspx
  • Email: tjones@jdvhotels.com
  • 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: Californian, Organic
  • 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.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerScenic View
Diner Reviews
  • "The meal on the whole was enjoyable and choices from the chef's menu were available as fixed price for pick one from four categories (starter, appetizer, main and dessert) or ala carte. Three of us picked the Monk fish which I found slightly salty for my taste and one person picked the short ribs which she thoroughly enjoyed. All in all the ingredients appeared to be fresh, well prepared and pleasing in presentation. As compared to its across the road competitor, Post Ranch Inn, the meal would be value added. The Post Ranch Inn meal was double the price for a comparable meal but has a fabulous scenic view of the Big Sur and the setting sun and as a result was also more crowded. The Ventana has a limited coast view from their patio. "
    Dined on 4/17/2014
  • "We have been coming to the Monterey area together since 1989/1990 timeframe. A local friend recommended Ventana's and it is now our favorite dining spot when we visit. The food, ambiance, view, drinks are all superb but what sets Ventana's above so many places is their wonderful customer service! We were in town for a wedding but also celebrating our anniversary and the staff at Ventana's treated us with warm wishes and rare consideration. Put Ventana's on your bucket list - you will not be disappointed!!"
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "Poorly trained receptionist (Courtney) almost ruined the evening::: promised us the last nice window table available when we checked in with her at the front desk and then while we're waiting to be seated, she gives it to another couple who complained about their assigned table! (and we're customers who have been coming here for over 30+ years) BUT: server Richard and manager Matthew to the rescue after seeing this go down themselves, and they graciously apologized and offered up some food amenities along with great service the remainder of our evening. Courtney needs to go to customer service school or get out of the hospitality industry. New chef on board, and we look forward to our next visit to see his developing vision for the menu."
    Dined on 4/7/2014
  • "Food was good but not the groundbreaking cuisine I was expecting."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "With good intentions, Ventana tried to hit the mark but most dishes (of the 4 course option) missed the mark. The cold zucchini soup was a low point (poorly seasoned and executed). While the pretense is that this restaurant fits the mold of the hotel with it's luxurious look and feel, the restaurant fails in this vain. The seating is poorly conceived and tables awkward in shape and size. I had higher expectations for not only the food quality but decor. I think with improvements the restaurant could be a star."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "My husband and I were celebrating our Anniversary. We started by watching a little March Madness by the fire then we had dinner. I have Celiac 's and they were very helpful. Portions are very generous!! So I couldn't eat everything."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "You step into another world when you come here. The food is consistently good and this last time we were there, a new chef was in the house -- but it is the view that just engulfs you. A sense of peace, tranquility....we almost always sit outside and come for lunch, but one time we arrived in the rain and sat inside and it was like being in a treehouse. Yes, Ventana is a bit pricey -- but we never walk away feeling cheated. Compliments to the restaurant too for having an outstanding selection of half bottles of wine!"
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "We had a great dinner! The service was perfect and the food was great. Portions could have been larger but that's what comes w this type of dining. I have no complaints.They even offered us gluten free bread when we declined the regular bread. The was the perfect beginning to a great birthday weekend at the Ventana inn. Which was also spectacular! We had a wonderful evening."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "My girlfriend and I came here on a Saturday night at 7p. We were sat right away, and our waiter greeted us quickly. He was a bit cheesy, but no complaints about his service. We did the 4 course menu and a bottle of wine. I started with the beets, she had the asparagus. Both were good. Second course I had shrimp... bleh, she had scallops... REALLY GOOD. I had duck for my main course, which was not very good. She had the fish, and it was good, but over seasoned. The dessert was the best part. I had warm bread pudding and she had panna cota. Both were top notch. My advice... order a la carte. 70 a person for mediocre food isnt worth it."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "The Restaurant at Ventana Inn is a fantastic place to go for a view, it really is amazing! We were there for lunch. Service was fair, our food actually came before our drinks, which annoyed me slightly. Food was good, but not 'Wow", which is what I was expecting for the place and price. Cheeseburger was good, not great; my wife ordered the smoked brisket sandwich which was great. The fries and sweet potato fries we ordered we a little overcooked and slightly cold. The cocktails were good and the list is nice. This is a place you go for the view, it cant be overstated. I'd go back, but maybe just for a drink."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "We have come here several times over the years for our anniversary. The food is interesting and carefully prepared. An excellent place!"
    Dined on 2/23/2014
  • "We haven't been to Ventana for years, and decided to stop by for lunch. Of course, the view hasn't changed. And the atmosphere is still terrific. However, the service was absolutely horrible. Water glasses never refilled. Table not cleared before the next course was served. Had to ask multiple times for silverware. And so on."
    Dined on 2/16/2014
  • "After 30+ years returned for lunch. The weather was warm enough to sit outside with the panoramic view. The only reason it didn't get 5 stars was the service. The servers were clearly over-burdened and there should have been more (shame on management). They did the best they could and it was pretty slow. At least decent weather and the view made it easier."
    Dined on 2/20/2014
  • "Ventana was not our style. The food was good, but it wasn't worth what we paid for. This place was expensive, especially when you consider how small the servings were. They are all about the image. We are all about eating food in a nice atmosphere for a decent price. Go to Big Sur Bakery for a bottle of wine and two pizzas with salads. You'll spend half as much and be twice as satisfied."
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "This is the weak link for the Inn. The menu offers a 3 course meal, if you elect to order a la carte then the entree is $35.00 for a very limited serving with no side. The bill is high and you get so little. Not at all worth it. So many better dining opportunities with beautiful views."
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "Our server was stressed out which made the experience very tense. Delicious food tho"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "The food was excellent & a great value for the price. Good selection for half bottles of wine as well as full bottles. The duck was outstanding, but running out of steak was a surprise!"
    Dined on 2/9/2014
  • "Beautiful spot with elegant food, don't miss the Parsnip & Pear soup, the chef has promised to send us the recipe- all was delicious !"
    Dined on 2/6/2014
  • "Every time I visit the Carmel/Big Sur area I go to Ventana. I have never had anything but a fantastic experience and this latest visit was no exception. The Potato and Leek Soup was bowl-licking good (although I refrained from doing that) and the California Salad was like a treasure hunt - discoveries abounded! Chicken, avocado, golden beets, almonds, grapes were just some of the amazing fresh ingredients in this salad. My husband had what he always has - Burger and fries and always pronounces it the best lunch ever! We sat outside in the sun, (in January) and enjoyed a Bloody Mary before our meal arrived and relaxed while viewing the gorgeous long view of the beautiful Pacific. I just love Ventana."
    Dined on 1/26/2014
  • "Perfect portion sizes. Got the four course Prix Fixe meal and all portions were perfectly sized. Didn't leave overly stuffed. Food was excellent and service and ambiance were phenomenal."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "The service staff is not trained well enough for this type of establishment. The food is fine for a hotel or wedding banquet."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "I took my friend here as a surprise for her birthday and we couldn't of had a better day with the weather and the view. I thought that the lunch menu would have had a little more to offer as the type of variety. Salads, chicken/beef burger, turkey wrap, fish tacos. This restaurant offers an incredible view and ambiance and I thought that the menu would have had a little more sophistication to offer to coincide. Don't get me wrong, the food was good. I was just expecting the lunch offerings to be different."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "A beautiful spot for dinner. Four course dinner is $70, and the foods that we had were delicious. The ambience is gorgeous, with wooden decor and soft lighting. During the day there would be a great view of the ocean from here."
    Dined on 1/14/2014
  • "We ate here for lunch and although the view is beautiful and the wine was good, the food wasn't that exciting."
    Dined on 8/26/2013
  • "My sister and I were driving in the Big Sur area during an unseasonably mild and clear day in early January. We decided to treat ourselves to lunch at the Ventana Inn restaurant, since the weather was so nice. We ordered a hamburger and smoked turkey salad (with blue cheese, bacon, eggs), pairing the respective dishes with a glass of cabernet sauvignon and viognier. The entrees were perfectly prepared and the wines paired nicely with our meal. The service was impeccable, as were the views. I can't comment on the desserts, since my sister and I are pre-diabetic, but am sure it would have been outstanding. Overall, it was a memorable and enjoyable dining experience!"
    Dined on 1/2/2014
  • "Wonderful sunset. Best to go between lunch and dinner rush."
    Dined on 1/1/2014
  • "Disappointed in food quality. It was good but not great. We have restaurants in Santa Cruz that are far better (Soif) . Did not even get a window with a view. Sat by the fire on a hot day. Paid far too much for an ok dinner. Samon was done well but potato pancake was soggy. NOt enough greens. Sort of like eating low quality hash browns. Crab salad was slimy and lettuce wilted. Desserts were good. Probably won' go back though. There are better choices in the Big Sur area."
    Dined on 12/25/2013
  • "Relaxed and elegant at the same time. Excellent 4-course prix fixe menu with many locally sourced items, but with the option of choosing fewer courses as desired for a reduced price. Reasonably-priced wine list featuring many of the local favorites. Beautiful outdoor patio with amazing panoramic views of Big Sur."
    Dined on 12/22/2013
  • "This was one of the best dinners I have had out in a long while. All of the food was exquisite. The ambiance was perfect on a fall Friday night. I was so impressed that the restaruant willingly accomodated special requests to make entrees appetizer size and vice versa and to cook up pasta with steak for our 7 year old boys. A delightful time!"
    Dined on 11/8/2013
  • "we dined here for thanksgiving dinner. they had a special prix fix $65 menu. we were generally disappointed. i selected a mixed squash appetizer, which would have been excellent but for the fact that it had recently emerged from a refrigerator and was cold; it would have been much better at room temperature or slightly warm. members of our party who had the crab salad were very disappointed in the lack of flavor. the pumpkin soup, for the record, was excellent! the main courses were better; the filet and salmon (prepared to order, of course) were very good. the chocolate dessert was very good, but the bread pudding was, again, not warm through. for this price, i expected everything to be excellent. the light was very dim."
    Dined on 11/28/2013
  • "The food was outstanding - the view spectacular and the service couldn't have been more helpful or friendly without being intrusive. I couldn't decide what I enjoyed looking at more, the view or my food - but I decided to eat my food instead of look at it - it was divine! We will continue to come back!"
    Dined on 11/30/2013
  • "We dined here 3 times during our Big Sur stay at the Ventana Inn, twice for breakfast and once for dinner. Food and service are superb. Continental breakfast buffet is replete with fresh berry options, toast, quiche, bagels, and granola. Dinner was tasty. The duck was delicious as was the halibut, and a cauliflower appetizer three ways--ceviche, couscous, and chilled soup showed the kitchen likes to get creative. It was an unusual dish and it worked wonderfully. The root bisque soup and the scallop were also delicious. Lots of options here and the service is absolutely fabulous--attentive and friendly-- at both breakfast and dinner!"
    Dined on 11/25/2013
  • "The Hike in Big Sur entree salad was beautiful and witty, evoking a path with interesting plants and landscape. It was delicious as were the scallop and swordfish. Cheese plate not so good."
    Dined on 11/16/2013
  • "It is well worth the drive along Hwy 1 to get to this magnificent location and sit on the beautiful terrace and enjoy a truly outstanding meal served by an excellent and knowledgeable staff. My wife and I and as often with friends never miss visiting this restaurant when we are in the area and have never been disappointed."
    Dined on 11/10/2013
  • "great service, extensive (and expensive) wine list, food good but overall I felt it was gratuitously expensive - especially for the Big Sur area which is generally so laid back."
    Dined on 11/9/2013
  • "The hostess was a little rigid but once we got past that service was excellent. Of our three nights in Big Sur with excellent dining everywhere, this was my favorite dinner of the trip. And for breakfast or lunch you simply cannot beat the view of the outdoor dining area. Spectacular!"
    Dined on 11/9/2013
  • "Who doesn't love being in Big Sur? It was a gorgeous night and we sat outside under the heaters with the festive lights and lovely trees surrounding us. Very romantic indeed. The service was friendly and helpful in every way. It was the food that disappointed. There was nothing special at all about it. In fact, it was kind of bad. FIrst, he salmon tartare. Meh. No real flavor. Next was the lamb ravioli. The ravioli, itself was ok. Just ok. But, the schmear of whatever it was sitting on was not good at all. It have a whole, undercooked beans in it and they were cold and crunchy. Last was the double porkchop. Overcooked and very low on flavor. I was kind of sad at the end. They had some good ideas, but just weren't able to execute on them."
    Dined on 10/26/2013
  • "We had a fabulous meal at the Restaurant at Ventana. If you are hungry, the $70 4-course dinner is not a bad deal. We were a party of 5 and some of us ordered the 4 course meal and some ordered a la carte. There were no a la carte prices on the menu - although everything on the menu is available a la carte. When we got the check, all the a la carte items seemed reasonably priced except for the gnocchi. We understood the concept that all the entrees were the same price - but still...vegetarian gnocchi should be less expensive than duck breast! That being said, the pre-dinner cocktails were excellent; the food was delicious; the service was good and the restaurant is very pretty. We enjoyed the soothing ambiance."
    Dined on 10/19/2013
  • "Excellent dining experience in a secluded setting on a quiet patio overlooking the ocean and coastal hills."
    Dined on 10/18/2013
  • "Living in Belgium, we always make a point of visiting Ventana when we are on the East Coast. Food is always prepared with "love", the helpings are not overdone. The view is outstanding.The 4 course menu sounds too copious but it is so palatable it is just right. Seasons and creative cooking best describe this wonderful place. We appreciate a relative low noise level and very helpfull and descrete serving. A must if you are between LA and SF, and if you are not, it is certainly worth the detour."
    Dined on 10/17/2013