It’s not often that getting to a restaurant seems a little anticlimactic, but the drive to the Big Sur Bakery is so dramatic that it’s a hard choice to stop the car. The vistas of wild green California forests extending to the cliffs overlooking the azure Pacific Ocean, seen from a winding, narrow road, feed the senses in a way that only an exceptional meal could compete with. On a recent trip, we reveled in the scenery revealed by each twist in the road.

The food at the Big Sur Bakery, however, manages to be as spectacular as the drive. The former gas station and country store became destination dining after a husband-and-wife team of chefs fell in love with the untamed beauty of the area. In ten years, they expanded the building, the menu and their vision of a cuisine that relied heavily on the area’s resources.

Bernice Torregrossa:

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