My daughter was visiting from NYC and our father/daughter time is often spent on the drive from Santa Cruz to Big Sur… this time I decided to take her to Ventana for breakfast and I have to say that was one of my best decisions of the day.
We looked over the menu and expected prices to be in the untouchable zone, but found they are reasonable and you get very large portions. I picked the home run winner which was the eggs Benedict with Pork belly and a tomato hollandaise sauce. Eggs were perfectly poached which, as one who enjoys the small things, this chef knows exactly what he is doing. The service was wonderful by “Hector” who keep our coffee cups full with rich coffee.
After breakfast, Omar Perez the manager, asked me “how was it?” I had to just ramble on about the food, service and how happy I was. He thanked me and I asked to see the dinner menu for fun. He then began to share how they had a new chef and farm to table mentality. For $75, a 4 course pre-fix menu looks, as Guy F. says. “off the hook”…this is not a diner, drive-in or dive, but I know Guy would love this place as the creativity is a food network delight.
Here is a sample of some of my choices; first course, yellow fin tuna crudo with melon, wasabi, seaweed and watermelon radish, 2nd course, petite osso bucco with porchini, fava and pea mash, pickled ramp and cherry pepper, 3rd course, sirloin strip steak with grilled white asparagus, cipollini onion, smoked potato puree, garlic chives, blistered shishito peppers and for desert how about Baked Alaska cherry sauce, cherry ice cream and candied pistachio.
Omar shared that mainly guests of the hotel dine with them but not the general public. I asked to see a wine list, and he shared some of his thoughts on the local wines, and then kindly asked, “got a minute?” and off to Pinot and Cab tasting we went… Wow that was a nice treat.
The executive chef is Paul Corsentino and I must say I only shared with you a small sample of what he has created on his menus, we did not even discuss lunch… and that is another special story.
After you dine, check out the gallery next door with local artists paintings, jewelry, pottery and more. This is a relaxed and serene spot.
As you know I am focused on Santa Cruz real estate but just got a new listing coming soon in Dublin…which is even farther away from Big Sur… I hope to get lucky and get a listing there soon, and of course you know where I will taking the seller.
The manager’s name is Omar Perez, and the website is www.ventanainn.com If you call him, he will take VIP care of you, and you will smile as you drive home after one of the best meals around, bar none.