Carmel, CA (PRWEB) June 17, 2012
The stars are aligned for Bernardus Lodge's signature restaurant - Marinus - to jump start a gravitational pull toward Carmel, Calif., and the kitchens of Chef Cal Stamenov. May 26 marked the debut of the award-winning restaurant fresh off a massive retool of both the interior design and culinary direction. Using the natural surroundings and artisans for inspiration, the newly minted restaurant has transformed its Old World charm into a vibrant, stylish and decidedly relaxed setting more suited to Stamenov's style of cuisine.
Set on 26 acres of lush vineyards and swaying English lavender, Bernardus Lodge is a luxury hotel that is a study in gracious wine country estate living. The new interior design curated by Charlie Akwa of New York's The Silver Peacock takes an outside-in approach, playing off the view through a wine glass: slender olive trees, sumptuous lavender, sweeping grapevines - all set against a classic Carmel sky. The look evokes an elegant yet relaxed feel.
Set against a warm backdrop, natural fabrics from Italy and Austria adorn the hand-crafted chairs, windows and dining tables in shades of sage and lavender, offset with burgundy and olive overtones. Table lighting has been reconfigured to spotlight Stamenov's cuisine paired with the warm glow of the chandeliers. In the kitchen, the coveted four-seat Chef's Table and nearby 12-seat Magnum Room will also debut a fresh interior design.
Few chefs can claim the toolbox Stamenov draws from: six organic acres stocked with produce and exotic spices; 250 varieties of fruit-bearing trees, bushes and vines; a local cache of foragers and fishermen; and veritable "A" list of top-shelf mentors - Alain Ducasse, Pierre Gagnaire, Masa Koboiashi, Jean-Louis Palladin and Michel Richard. Blending classical techniques with an eye to sustainability, Stamenov's new menu reflects the essence of this enviable larder, rendered to a slow and methodical reduction.
Today's fixation on foraging is old news at Marinus. The vegetable-forward "Farm & Foraged" a la carte menu delivers a delicate wild watercress and avocado salad with shaved branch celery, Meyer lemon confit and Australian finger lime for gluten-free diets, as well as entrees, including black chanterelle risotto, and caramelized onion and Swiss chard tortellini with green garlic, blond morels and grilled spring onions. The "Spring" menu puts a new spin on farm-to-fork with a 100-pace walk to one of three expanded organic gardens. From Buddaha's hand citron to bronze fennel and frais du bois - not to mention Stamenov's own stash of chickens - the menu spotlights this summer's top rock stars, including Monterey Bay wild king salmon with English peas and celery root purée, and North Atlantic halibut with garden spring onions, local morels, Hog Farms asparagus, mangalitsa jamon and beurre rouge. Marinus' "Traditional" menu takes a fresh riff on Stamenov's signature dishes, including Maryland blue soft shell crab with spicy remoulade and California rib eye of lamb seared on the oak grille with Moroccan spices and apricot couscous.
A five course prix-fixe menu is also available upon request for $125. Marinus' 35,000-bottle cellar (a Wine Spectator Grand Award recipient since 2001) offers a broad selection of wines to complement the repast.
A newly curated dessert menu designed by Pastry Chef Ben Spungin rides the ridge of sweet and savory. Spungin's desserts deliver both on flavor and wow factor. The summer line-up includes honeysuckle flower, an ethereal marriage of almond financier, blueberry, crème fraiche and honeysuckle ice cream; star anise parfait combining black truffle macaroon, vanilla, angel food cake and goat yogurt mousse; and a chocolate terrarium with chocolate mousse, hazelnut cake, chocolate streusel and strawberry sorbet. The dessert menu also showcases a rare selection of small-farm crafted cheeses.
Marinus seating is available from 6 to 9 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. Complimentary valet parking is available.
For reservations call 831.658.3595 or visit http://www.opentable.com. More information is available via http://www.bernardus.com or catch Chef Stamenov in the garden, ocean or firing up the stoves at http://www.bernarduskitchen.com.
About Bernardus Lodge
Set on 26 pristine Carmel Valley acres awash with vineyards and lavender, Bernardus Lodge is a boutique hotel that boasts 57 luxurious guestrooms, award-winning dining, the signature Spa at Bernardus Lodge, two swimming pools, an alfresco bocce court and 4,000 square-feet of meeting space. Created by Bernardus Pon, owner of Bernardus Winery and Vineyard, the resort hotel offers a bespoke escape steeped in European graciousness. A member of Leading Hotels of the World and partner with American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts Program, Bernardus Lodge received the Conde Nast Traveler Johansens 2012 Awards for Excellence for "Most Excellent Lodge," the 2012 AAA Four Diamond Hotel rating and the 2012 Forbes Four-Star award for the lodge, The Spa at Bernardus Lodge and Marinus Restaurant.