Orange County…home to perfect weather, beautiful beaches, an overabundance of plastic surgery, and a lack of good wine bars. This is why I was so excited to find The Cellar in San Clemente. I have been going there for several months now and each time I find something unique or delicious to indulge in.
The Cellar has a wonderful cheese shop as soon as you walk in. They have a broad selection of cheeses from all over the world (including cheese from Cowgirl Creamery…my favorite) along with honey, charcuterie, and jams. Heaven if you are a cheese lover and hard to find anywhere else if you are in South OC. There is also a small selection of wines for sale at competitive prices.
The wine bar itself is rustic and sophisticated yet laid back. I usually stop over in the evenings when there is often live music but today I came in for a relaxing, Sunday lunch. The Cellar has a nice selection of wines by the glass (54 options today), with many coming from California. They also offer wine flights and a large craft beer list. It is hard to find a place nearby with this diverse of a selection.
Today I ordered their cheese, honey, and almond sandwich. The sandwich was served on a fresh, toasted baguette with D’affinois cheese from France, Marcona almonds, and raw, organic honey. The waiter suggested a glass of Deep Sea 2008 Viognier and it paired nicely with the sandwich. (review to follow) It was a wonderful lunch enjoyed on their patio in downtown San Clemente.
I feel like I get a small piece of Napa when I come to The Cellar. Unpretentious (none of that wine snobbery nonsense), fresh, comforting foods (you should try their lobster mac and cheese), and an abundance of CA wines…if you are anywhere close to San Clemente you should stop in. I assure you that you will thank me later.