Bohemian with a View: Lunch at Napenthe

8:04 AM


This is a long-delayed entry from the time I was still in Carmel, CA. We had lunch at Nepenthe, a family-owned restaurant in Big Sur that was founded more than 60 years ago. It was designed by by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, then purchased by Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth on a whim. As legend has it, they spent one night in the area and never returned. The property was sold to the family that currently owns Nepenthe.

The restaurant's main attraction are the panoramic views of the Pacific from indoor and outdoor seating. Strangers I met on a train insisted I dine here, as did my preceptor. And I was very glad to have had that opportunity.




It was in the balmy eighties when we dined. The stone steps at the restaurant's entrance serve as the waiting area. (It was quite a wait for our party of seven, but smaller groups were seated more quickly.) Local crows and Steller's jays are a frequent sight, making off with a package of crackers or a beak-full of French fries if you're not watching. Thankfully, there are no complaints about bird droppings.



Seats on the rear patio have the best views. I got their signature Ambrosia Burger, which was good because I was hungry, but nothing special.



One visits Napenthe not for the food, but for the scenery. The views are spectacular and truly a pleasure to witness. On foggy days it feels as if you're dining in the clouds.

Nepenthe Restaurant serves lunch every day from 11:30 - 4:30, and dinner from 5:00 - 10:00 every day except Thanksgiving & Christmas.

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