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“Not even worth the view!”

The Restaurant at Ventana
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Ranked #5 of 22 Restaurants in Big Sur
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $35 - $75
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Lunch, Delivery, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Description: The Restaurant at Ventana is situated 1200 feet above the rugged Big Sur coast with views of the Pacific Ocean. The culinary team is lead by Executive Chef Paul Corsentino, who uses only the freshest, organic ingredients to create simple cuisine with vibrant flavors. His menus are driven by his commitment to supporting the local farming community. Chef Corsentino's experience is brought to life in each daily menu he creates. Chef and his team are known for daring and diverse foods with inventive recipes both comforting and decadent, offering something for every palate. A locally inspired, sommelier selected wine list offers many options for food and wine pairings. Seasonal cocktails and California craft beers are available to enjoy in the cozy lounge area or outdoors next to the grand fireplace.
Carmel, California
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Not even worth the view!”
Reviewed March 14, 2013

Nine of us lunched on Mar. 13 2012 all of us are locals. Worst dining experience esp considering it was "world class Ventana". It took for ever to get drinks even just water and we just had come from a 3 hour hike. It was 45 minutes before our order was even taken, and another extremely long wait for our food. Side of Sweet potatoe fries did not come with ketchup or dip another 15 minutes to get that. Now fries are cold!
3 orders of their version of a salade nicoise came incomplete WITHOUT the noted fingerling potatoes and the fish was so dry and literally charred black on the outside. Way over roasted. One person did order another piece of fish but of course was done with salad by the time it came. When we asked about the potatoes the waiter questioned if we saw it on the menu description (YES!) and gave no further explanation except I will tell the cook. Also the salade had at least 12 huge olives way to many for a salad of that size. When ordering one person requested salad without olives but was told it could not be done as the salads were pre assembled in the morning. How not fresh is that?! and they still took 45 minutes??
The thai chicken lettuce wraps were OK but it was boring chicken tenders over cooked and a strip of mystery meat, maybe fish, definitly NOT chicken. You assembled your own wraps, a thai version of fajitas. We were celebrating a birthday, they brought out 2 pieces of cheesecake and 2 pieces of a chocolate cake to share. We did not request those. We were comped our ice teas (whoopee doo) and the cake (which we did not request). Most restaurants comp a piece of b-day desert anyways. Should have comped the salades!! I used to love that place, I have been going there since it opened but I will never go back and I am spreading the word in our small Carmel community. There was no apology for the long waits, the missing and poor food quality, 9 dissapointed local women.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank herthad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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514 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Average gourmet restaurant”
Reviewed March 14, 2013

To begin, the atmosphere is extremely warm and inviting. Unfortunately, that's the highlight. The food was really just average which was surprising given the high quality fo the hotel.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank madoctex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fort lee , new jersey
Level 6 Contributor
598 reviews
410 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 211 helpful votes
“Go for a view!”
Reviewed March 14, 2013

Up on a hill overlooking the Pacific we had lunch. Very nice but we did not stay here so can not tell you about the accommodations.

Visited October 2012
Thank lfbmonkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“John the Bartender”
Reviewed March 7, 2013

We only dropped by The gorgeous Ventana Inn & Spa for a drink, on our way back from a hike up the road. But we had a wonderful conversation with John the Bartender, who mixed a mean Margarita and (when we said we were writers) shared a poem with us too. Kerouac, Miller, Steinbeck and all the other writers who have written about this part of the coast would approve of John.

    • Value
    • Service
Thank marnijackson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Finally beats out Sierra Mar @ Post Ranch Inn”
Reviewed March 3, 2013

We've stayed and dined at Ventana over the past decade, and have always thought the restaurant was pretty good -- but we preferred to go across the street for something more special. While the view at PRI's restaurant simply can't be beat, it turns out that the dining can!
We spent a weekend at Ventana this month and enjoyed a fantastic foodie-worth dinner that rivals any of the best place sin San Francisco. This was a pleasant surprise for us, expecting a "good" but not "great" experience. The new chef and Joie de Vivre management has significantly improved the restaurant, which I'd now consider a destination in itself, as well as the hotel. Also, fantastic fresh lunch menu offered on the outdoor patio with sweeping views of the ocean. Good job Ventana management!!

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank dheads
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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