Local, seasonal ingredients—including vegetables and herbs from chef Cal Stamenov’s own garden—are the fulcrum of the cuisine at Marinus Restaurant in the Bernadus Spa & Lodge in Carmel, California. That translates into clean but complex flavors in dishes such as beluga lentils, garden red kale, walnuts, black truffle, goat cheese, olive relish; and Sonoma Duck 36, fresh corn polenta, chanterelle mushroom, Bing cherry juice, in a restaurant that has become a firm favorite with local wine enthusiasts.
Those enthusiasts are drawn by a cellar that also has a local (but not parochial) feel. Marinus has one of the best Californian selections around, including several offerings from the owners’ Bernadus Winery; clearly divided by region, these domestic choices are the heartbeat of the list. But the 1,500-bin range extends very far beyond the Golden State, from a fine sampling of top Burgundy, to the best of South America, Australia, Austria and Champagne.