Monterey Peninsula News
New menu at Monterey hot spot focuses on foraging13 Feb 2013 2:44 PM
In the last few years, a demand for locally and responsibly sourced food has swept across California, and a new tasting menu at one of Monterey's top restaurants has embraced the trend. Sierra Mar, a nationally regarded fine dinging venue in picturesque Big Sur, has introduced a new tasting menu that incorporates carefully foraged seafood and seasonal California produce.
John Cox, the restaurant's award-winning chef, spent a long time concocting the special tasting menu, and he believes that it showcases the region's abundance of fresh, unique ingredients. Dubbed the "Taste of Big Sur," the eight-course menu draws on the culinary traditions of Native Americans and early California settlers, according to Edible Monterey.
"Sierra Mar has always been known for excellent food and an unparalleled view," Cox told the source. "But by creating a unique menu that is not only inspired by the natural surroundings but also can only exist in Big Sur, and presenting it in as awe-inspiring a setting as our dining room, there is no reason Sierra Mar shouldn't be able to compete with the world's top restaurants."
As Cox makes clear, the restaurant's setting is one of its defining features. Set at the edge of a Pacific cliff, the dining room is considered one of the most elegant and dramatic in the region. Luckily, Cox's new menu is equal to the restaurant's setting. Utilizing local wild halibut, fennel pollen and organic abalone, Cox - who is an avid and experienced forager - creates a dining experience that can't be found anywhere else.
Although the menu's specifics are new, they are in keeping with the restaurant's reputation for adventurous and uncommon dishes. Over the years, diners have come to expect the unexpected at Sierra Mar, where exotic combinations of local seafood and heirloom vegetables are the norm, and traditional dishes are rarely offered.
In addition to the one-of-a-kind menu, Sierra Mar boasts an impressive wine collection stewarded by expert wine director Dominique DaCruz. With more than 13,000 bottles and 2,600 selections, the wine list helps make Sierra Mar one of the most popular and acclaimed restaurants in the region and represents yet another benefit of owning Monterey real estate.