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“The big one” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Marinus At Bernardus Lodge

Marinus At Bernardus Lodge
415 W Carmel Valley Rd, Carmel Valley, CA 93924-9417
831-659-3131
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $35 - $50
Cuisines: French, Californian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romance, Local cuisine, Outdoor seating, Special occasions, Scenic view, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Laureles Grade
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“The big one”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2014

Marinus at Bernardus Lodge in the Carmel Valley is the gourmet restaurant on the Monterey Peninsula. Located beautifully to remind of Provence this is a great escape on a foggy day.
"Yes," it is expensive and at dinner the service can be over the top but how many birthdays or anniversaries do you have?" The food is excellent, fresh and largely local, the wine list is extensive and includes the house vineyards. This is not a place for children who likely will bored although there is service outdoors which is particularly nice for lunch. Reservations are essential.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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111 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    74
    17
    14
    3
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Oakland, California
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Expensive but wonderful - nice place for a special occasion”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2014

Let's just start by saying that this place is pricey even as Northern California as restaurants go. Two salads, two entrees (one vegetarian), one dessert, a half bottle of one of their least expensive wines, and a small bottle of sparkling water was $186, including tax and tip.

Because we were on a budget, we definitely under-bought what was on offer. If you wanted to do this restaurant right, then you're looking at $250-$400 (for two people) if you include reasonably good wines.

All that said, this was one of the best meals of my entire life. We shared the beet and little lettuces salads. Both were excellent - with fresh ingredients and perfectly seasoned with just the right amount of vinegar in each. The mushroom risotto was also deftly done - it wasn't soupy or overly rich, but it felt hearty and substantial. I didn't have the lamb, but my husband said it was perfectly done and flavorful. The dessert, a pannacotta with sesame-covered cherries and small sheets of vertical chocolate, was admittedly a little weird, but it was good. Everything was simply plated (except the elaborate dessert), but attractive.

The service was top-notch. The sommelier was attentive to our budget and gave us helpful information without railroading us into something we wouldn't like or couldn't afford. Our waiter was fun and friendly but also professional. They made a real effort to make us feel special and attended to.

For one thing, we mentioned it was our anniversary and got a really snug and sweet table next to the fireplace.

It's the stuff restaurant dreams are made of, and worth the splurge if it is in your budget for a special occasion. This is also the kind of restaurant you can take your foodie visiting friend to and know you'll have a great experience.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“If You Are a Foodie, You Gotta Go!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

We didn't stay at Bernardus Lodge, but wanted to try Marinus for dinner. The service level and food knocked our socks off! Now my wife wants to stay at Bernardus Lodge for the entire experience. Warning, the lodge and dinner are not inexpensive. The lodge does have a small grill room where inexpensive fare for lunch can be had. But if you are celebrating a special event I highly recommend you consider Marinus for dinner. Sit back and let the staff pamper you and your guest(s). We were so impressed we've decided we don't need a special event to warrant our return

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillsborough, California
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Best Experience - Book the Kitchen Chef Table!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2014

Sit and watch the kitchen at work for a once in a lifetime experience! We booked ahead for the small table in the "Alcove of the Stars" (will explain below) directly in the Kitchen and had a fabulous meal and experience. Chef Cal is fantastic and put together a special birthday celebration meal for us. We had a tasty 8 courses that seemed to top each prior course. Chef Cal walked us through the courses. Paul the sommelier was great and did a fantastic pairing with each course and even tailored a few special tastes after we talked about some of the wine varieties. I personally loved the Reisling for a change and a good pairing. Thanks also for the special Sauternes! We were treated to a special Carmel Spot Prawn which was in season and local catch. The Red Beet and Green Apple soup course was a favorite. The Sonoma Duck and Wagyu Beef portions were prepared to perfection. Holly served us all night and did a fantastic job reading our minds at every move. It was great fun sitting close to the prep tables and chatting with the Sous Chef and watch how they prepare and present each dish for the restaurant. We felt like part of their family and they really made us feel special and welcome. We ended with a Cremeux with spiced Hot Chocolate. This was one of the best Hot Chocolates I have tasted. I hear it is a favorite and on the regular menu also so it is a must try. The pastry chef was great as well. Lastly, make sure to ask about the history of the Chef Table. You will notice all the graffiti and signatures on the wall behind you. Many greats have sat there and enjoyed a meal with Chef Cal. I loved seeing the Julia Childs, Clint Eastwood and Leonardo DiCaprio graffiti among many others. Just a one of a kind experience with a top chef and top kitchen!

  • Visited April 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Excellent food and atmosphere”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2014

The food was fantastic and every little attention to detail was taken care of. Great staff without being to intrusive. We loved the local wine selection and use of local food and produce. We highly recommend this dining experience even if you are not staying at the resort.

Visited June 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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