Pappardelle with Venison Ragu

Awesome Venison Ragu Pappardelle, Big Sur Bakery
Awesome Venison Ragu Pappardelle, Big Sur Bakery

The Dish: Pappardelle with Venison Ragu

I certainly enjoy hearty meaty pastas. And I usually enjoy the requisite napping that follows. As meaty pastas go, the pappardelle with venison ragu at Big Sur Bakery is outstanding. Rich and flavorful, the sauce puts a tingling in the mouth straight away. The venison is slow-cooked, tender, and thrillingly tasty. The pappardelle, long and flat, spotted with olive and basil oil, make a great wrap for the delicate deer meat. This was one of the best meaty pastas of 2008. Congrats, Big Sur Bakery & Restaurant!

The Spot: Big Sur Bakery & Restaurant, Big Sur, CA

Big Sur Bakery & Restaurant is my favorite place to eat in Big Sur, hands down. It transforms from a funky little bakery in the morning that serves up incredible pastries to a lovely and heart-warming little spot for a romantic dinner in the evenings. Every pastry, every dinner I had there was excellent.  Two of the three folks behind this little gem are are an emigre couple from Los Angeles, pastry chef/co-owner Michelle Rizzolo and her husband, chef Philip Wojtowicz.

What’s great about Big Sur Bakery & Restaurant is its straightforward, unpretentious excellence and down-home, rustic simplicity: picnic tables on the patio and heavy little wooden tables and chairs inside.

The service is friendly and sweet and, if any place can demonstrate the inexpressibly tender magic of one of the most magical spots on Earth, Big Sur Bakery & Restaurant certainly does. It’s the gastronomic soul of Big Sur, and Rizzolo & Wojtowicz capture Big Sur’s zeitgeist in every bite.  It doesn’t just get to your stomach; it stays in your heart.

Big Sur Bakery & Restaurant, Big Sur CA
Big Sur Bakery & Restaurant, Big Sur CA

The Grade: Awesome (5 out of 5)
The Damage: $23
The Skinny: Big Sur Bakery & Restaurant
47540 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA
Phone: (831) 667-0520

Big SUR Bakery on Urbanspoon



  1. Hi Meat Meister, I’m Kristi and I’m a journalist with Accelerate Magazine. I love your outdoor photo of the Big Sur Bakery and since I’m writing an article about this restaurant (which apparently you and I both are passionate about), I wonder if you would give me the rights to publish a high-res version of your photo in the magazine? Of course, a credit given to you and your website. If you’re interested just shoot me an email and we can discuss. Thanks, and happy eating!


  2. I am looking into holding a course on harvesting venison from the field to the table. This class would be focused on those who may have never thought of hunting as a way to obtain healthy, free range, organic, low fat, low cost meat. The class would cover everything from the biology of deer, hunting opportunities, safety, range time, and deer processing, to making a fine culinary venison dish. There would also be plenty of hands on “Labs” to apply the knowledge. This would take place in either the Philadelphia or Allentown areas and would consist of one night for a number of weeks or a weekend class. I am currently building the curriculum and materials keeping the idea of “low cost- high value” in mind.

    If you or anyone you know would have an interest in this kind of course please let me know.

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