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#108 Nepenthe (Big Sur, California)

Since 1949, Nepenthe has been a destination for artists, poets, millionaires, Hollywood stars, and denizens. It’s a stunningly beautiful setting; the film “The Sandpiper” was filmed here in the early 1960s). In its early days, patrons ordered the Nepenthe C&C (Courvoisier Cognac and Chartreuse); a poem on early menus described the cocktail as "as rich as a string of pearls, a box at the opera, or a sable foot stool..." Nowadays, the signature cocktail at the bar is the South Coast margarita (tequila, Cointreau, and fresh lime juice). The California bar itself is as attractive as the surroundings. It was designed by Rowan Maiden, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, who teamed with Lolly and Bill Fassett to design an open-air pavilion from native redwood and adobe brick. The bar and restaurant offer a view of the Pacific Ocean and 40 miles of the Santa Lucia Mountains as they recede down the south coast of Big Sur. The outdoor terrace was modeled after an Italian piazza, with a large fireplace, cement bleachers, and long benches. Save room for the World Famous Ambrosia Burger, a memorable ground steak sandwich. (Kristina S./Yelp)


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