Big Sur is a popular destination filled with natural wonders from wildflowers to sea otters floating in kelp beds. From mountains to sea there’s no better place to witness this natural beauty than from the Nepenthe Restaurant.
About the Nepenthe Restaurant
The Nepenthe Restaurant is a unique family business started back in 1949 by Lolly and Bill Fassett. This couple made a commitment to a relaxed atmosphere and exceptional service back then, and it’s a commitment still honored by their family today even though the business has grown over the years.
In 1964 Lolly added the Phoenix Shop, and in 1992 the Café Kevah opened. But even as they grew, the Fassetts never abandoned their original dream.
Today the Nepenthe Restaurant serves lunch daily from 11:30 – 4:30 and dinner from 5:00 – 10:00 every day but Thanksgiving and Christmas. All three of Lolly and Bill’s children and grandchildren operate the facility following in the traditions and family hospitality the Fassetts committed to decades ago.
What to Expect
The Nepenthe Restaurant itself was built with local redwood and adobe and is situated cliff-side overlooking a stunning strip of Big Sur at a point where the Santa Lucia Mountains jut from the azure waters of the Pacific.
It’s a beautiful view which was filmed as the backdrop for scenes in Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s 1963 film The Sandpiper.
As for the food served at the Nepenthe, every dish is prepared on site in their kitchens. Many of the original recipes served are made from old family traditions which are willingly shared so you can make them at home.
The Ambrosia Burger is a favorite. This steak sandwich is served on a french roll and paired with ambrosia sauce. For those avoiding red meat, Lolly’s Roast Chicken is an ideal choice. And if you have room, follow either choice up with a slice of three berry pie.
Lighter fare includes a citrusy California beet salad made with butter lettuce topped with Point Reyes blue cheese and candied walnuts.
The Stories of Nepenthe
Many stories are shared around the fireplace on the front deck of the Nepenthe. These stories of Nepenthe go way back and include legends from the pioneer days of Big Sur with tales that include an oral history of the arrival of hippies in the 60s. The stories build from there to include Nepenthe’s extended family of today.
Visiting the Nepenthe really is a one-of-a-kind experience. If you’re visiting Big Sur, it’s one stop you won’t want to miss. It’s beautiful, historic, friendly, and delicious.
Photo credits: longtimers