While Big 4 Restaurant has game a-plenty to cook and serve during the year, this is their special week to shine. Like the Mardi Gras of game meats ready to party with you. The dishes are dear (in price), but I had their saddle of black buck antelope and it was phenomenal. [See my previous dish review.] And there’s Rocky Mountain Wapiti (elk); Sika Deer (Broken Arrow Ranch); and even Llama Rib Eye (Robert’s Ranch, Nebraska).
You can even start off with a little piranha…how often do you get to eat that? (Before it eats you, random Amazon-wanderer?)
Carnivores of all persuasions, get to Big 4 this week, amid your journeys into SF Cocktail Week bar events.
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.
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
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