Some chefs are just plain good cooks. That would describe Cal Stamenov, whose kitchen at this elegant lodge located deep in the Carmel Valley sends out dish after dish of perfectly cooked food. True to the spirit of lodge cuisine, Stamenov's menu focuses on hearty fare like game, mushrooms and truffles, along with vegetables and herbs from the restaurant’s own garden. Late fall/winter is a great time to visit as Cal is a truffle freak and the black diamonds regularly end up in dishes like lightly smoked and grilled duck served atop a truffle risotto. Set on the grounds of the Bernardus Winery, Mark Jensen manages one of the country's best wine lists, which includes a "staggeringly good selection" of red and white Burgundies.