Nepenthe – (in the original Hellenic/Greek language: Νηπενθές ), is a medicine for sorrow, literally, an anti-depressant – a “drug of forgetfulness” mentioned in ancient Greek literature and Greek mythology, depicted as originating in Egypt. – Wiki
In the context of this post, Nepenthe is a reference to a restaurant by that name, in Big Sur, California. Nepenthe is a great lunchtime destination on the scenic drive south from Monterey. This drive covers some of the most beautiful coastline to be found, the Central Coast of California. Along the way you will cross the Bixby Bridge. The Bixby Creek Bridge is a reinforced concrete arch bridge on Highway One, in-between Monterey and Big Sur. It is one of the most photographed features on the West Coast and has often been used in automobile commercials. The drive south along Highway One gives the best view. Snag a passenger side seat if you can. That is unless you have a fear of heights, because it is a steep dive off the righthand side of the road, into the Pacific Ocean, far, far below.
Orson Welles and his wife at the time, Rita Hayworth, bought a Big Sur cabin on impulse during a trip down the Californian coast in 1944. They never spent a single night there, the property is now the location of the restaurant, Nepenthe. Legend has it that this was as close as Wells dare come to the Hearst Castle while writing Citizen Kane. While this is not true, it makes for a nice story. In another Hollywood connection, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton starred in the 1965 film The Sandpiper, featuring many location shots of Big Sur. The movie featured a dance party scene on a soundstage built to resemble Nepenthe.
The signature dish at Nepenthe, at least in our family is their Ambrosia Burger. Ambrosia, of course, is the food of the gods. Who knew though, that it came with fries? If weather permits, eat outside. Nepenthes’ patio faces south and offers a lovely view of the coast, as seen in today’s header.
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Since I don’t own a helicopter, I used the PicApp picture above, to show the Bixby Bridge. The picture is from Stage 4 of the 2008 Amgen Tour of California bicycle race. Lance Armstrong, Levi Lepenheimer and Team Astana led the peloton across the bridge.