Arterra chefs link their entree flavors to the seasons!

By Kelley Carlson

At Arterra, which means “art of the earth,” Executive Chef Tony Miller turns to his roots for inspiration in creating dishes. Growing up in the Midwest and on the East Coast, Miller noted that he experienced each of the four seasons distinctly, and wanted that to be reflected in his food. ”You can taste the seasons changing,” he said.

Lobster Mac ‘n’ Cheese, with mascarpone, parmesan, white truffle, orzo and chives. Photos by Kelley Carlson

One of his favorite items for the summer at Arterra — the menu will change Oct. 1 — is the Sweet Tea Brined Chicken and Waffles, a mixture of Benton’s bacon waffle, sweet corn and maple crema.

Miller has a couple of entree recommendations for patrons enjoying “refined” service in the warmly hued dining room, with its cushioned seats and its gauzy curtains. One is the Fennel Pollen Seared Halibut, with potato puree, pickled cherry, braised fennel and lemon; the other is the Lobster Mac ‘n’ Cheese, incorporating mascarpone, parmesan, white truffle, orzo and chives, which is offered year-round.

Children may choose items such as pizza, chicken and burgers from their special menu; Arterra also offers them a treasure box from which to select small toys —“kind of like at the dentist’s office,” Miller said.

In the opulent indoor lounge, guests can relax in large, stuffed chairs with pillows or sit on metallic-colored seats around the bar, watching sporting events on one of eight TVs, while sampling more casual fare. There’s Crispy Peking Duck Tacos, a Trio of BLT Sliders and the 3 a.m. Cup of Noodles — “what the chef eats in the middle of the night,” Miller said . These contain crispy pork, spicy bacon broth, soba noodles and poached egg.

When the weather is pleasant, guests can venture outside and set up at the outdoor lounge, adjacent to the pool. Kick back in the large cabana with its oversized seats or enjoy some one-on-one time at a table for two, while basking in the glow of a fire pit at night.

Lemongrass Scented Blue Hill Bay Mussels, served with grilled country bread.

Patrons will hear Top 40 tunes for morning motivation, with slightly lower-key music as day turns into evening. During happy hour, Arterra is at its most vibrant, busiest state — there’s live music to DJ-spun to reggae and rock, depending on the day of the week.

Guests who desire a more intimate experience are advised to arrive at the start of happy hour (when it’s less crowded) or after 8:30 p.m. There are also private dining rooms for special events: There’s the newly redecorated, elegant Vintage Room, suitable for wine dinners and chef’s tables.

The comfortable Living Room, with its red velvet curtains and autumnal palette of colors, provides books on topics such as golf courses and Lucille Ball, as well as two TVs. Finally, there is the Great Room, featuring a fireplace and accommodations for a full-service feast or a reception-style affair.

Arterra at Marriott Del Mar
Address: 11966 El Camino Real, Carmel Valley
The Vibe: Elegant, Casual
Signature Dishes: Lobster ‘Mac ‘n’ Cheese,’ Coffee and Doughnuts
Open Since: 2001

Breakfast 6:30-10:30 a.m. Monday-Friday; 7-11:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday

Lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday

Dinner 5:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday

Bar 11:30 a.m. to midnight daily

Sushi Bar 5:30-11 p.m. Monday-Saturday
Phone: (858) 369-6032
Reservations: Recommended
Patio Seating: Yes
Take Out: Yes
Happy Hour: 4-7 p.m. Monday-Friday

Morning sunlight streams into the main dining room.

On The Menu Recipe

Each week you’ll find a recipe from the featured restaurant online at Just click Get The Recipe at the bottom of the story. This week: Arterra’s Handmade Fettucini with dried cranberries, applewood bacon, butternut squash and goat cheese alfredo sauce.

Get The Recipe

Get The Recipe

Related posts:

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  3. On the Menu: Roppongi’s Polynesian Crab Stack with Peanuts and Cilantro, Drizzled with Ginger-Lime Dressing
  4. Fond of food, fun, friends and … fish? Have we got a fabulous find for you!
  5. On the Menu: The in-crowd keeps Cucina Urbana hoppin’

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Posted by Staff on Sep 1, 2011. Filed under Food, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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