The Tale of The Cellar in San Clemente

"Save room for dessert." Those words haunted me, tormented me. That foreboding phrase mocked me for weeks. Let me tell you the story: I entered The Cellar* & saw immediately spotted a hefty collection of wine perched on a wine rack as well as a refrigerated case of various cheeses. My boyfriend, Fred, accompanied me, so we found a seat & took a look at the menu.

the cellar, san clemente

We came in for lunch, served 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., & eyed the menu for available vegetarian options. We took note of a couple items of interest. On the bottom of the page in a bold sans serif font read "Save room for dessert..." I didn't pay much attention to it at the time.

the cellar, san clemente

About

The Cellar is an American eatery & wine bar located in the coastal city of San Clemente, California. With adorable outdoor dining & an onsite cheese shop, the restaurant offers a friendly environment & unique view point for its guests.

the cellar, san clemente

Ambience

The Cellar was pretty packed with most tables occupied. The exposed wooden ceilings & concrete tables supplied an industrial interior design vibe. There was a constant buzz of people chattering but not so loud that you had to ask your friends to repeat themselves.

the cellar, san clemente, latte art

Food

I got a mocha to start off. It was perfectly chocolaty in a true cocoa powder way. It wasn't too sweet & I chose not to add any sugar. The mocha was delightful, although I found the enormous mug without a handle hard to drink out of. It felt like I was slurping my mocha out of a bowl.

the cellar, san clemente,cold brew iced coffee

Fred's cold brew iced coffee was slightly sweet, nice & creamy. It deceptively looked like a Coke with ice until you poured in the cream. A good old cold brew is the necessary pick-me-up for your morning or afternoon slump.

the cellar, san clemente

Holton, one of the chefs, personally brought out a cheese soufflé topped with chives & course salt for our tasting pleasure. Oh my gourd that thing was just a piece of heaven. The gooey cheese spread for a mile before it broke.

the cellar, san clemente, grilled cheese

We got the aged cheddar, gruyere, & sourdough grilled cheese with tomato soup. The cheese crusted on the edge of the bread, which I absolutely adore. The grilled cheese came highly recommended, but it wasn't a stand out for me. The roasted tomato soup was mildly sweet, somewhat reminiscent of marinara sauce.

the cellar, san clemente, gem wedge salad

Next up: the Gem Wedge salad with red onion, pickled egg, blue cheese, tomato, & green goddess dressing. What's green goddess dressing? I have no idea, but it was miraculous & enhanced the salad. The Gem Wedge was quite large, exploding with flavor. Fred said it was a lot better than he was expecting (he's not usually a salad fan).

the cellar, san clemente

As if that wasn't enough, we decided to go for the small cheese plate with three cheeses. It doesn't matter which size cheese plate you get, anything is a winner. They harmoniously paired cheese with a small complementary snack. My favorite was the d'affinois cheese with raw honey & almonds — a euphoric combination.

the cellar, san clemente, wine rack

Once we were on the brink of spontaneous combustion, a cook in white kept sneaking by & saying "get the dessert, get the dessert." Now I have the biggest sweet tooth — or sweet mouth, as it truthfully is — but we were so stuffed, the thought of one atom of dessert was too much to endure. I asked if I could take something to go but apparently it was served in a glass jar.

the cellar, san clemente

To this day I dream of their dessert, the fact I didn't try one. If only I had listened to the foreboding phrase of "save room for dessert" at the bottom of the menu. If only, if only. Maybe one day, maybe one day.

the cellar, san clemente

Verdict

The Cellar is a hip place to grab a bite to eat with friends or family in San Clemente. I recommend starting off the morning at the farmer's market then heading to The Cellar for an early lunch. Begin with a mocha, which is perfectly acceptable at noon. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Share the small cheese plate & Gem Wedge Salad. Then make sure you save room for dessert.

You may find The Cellar: 
156 Avenida Del Mar
San Clemente, CA 92672
(949) 492-3663
thecellarsite.com

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* Disclaimer: Everything was received complimentary from The Cellar. All opinions are 100% mine aka Carmen's. Learn more about my disclosure here. :]

48 comments

  1. Love this post and the gif! What did you use? Your mocha looks so good! I've been making them a lot lately. It's hard to find the perfect Mocha though. Probably somewhere in france! Thanks for the review I'll have to add this restaurant to my list.

    xoxo
    Chanel
    Je M'appelle Chanel

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  2. OMG drooling! I'm a total wino & cheese lover so this looks amazing!

    http://inwisti.com

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  3. Ooooh this looks so classy and amazing, dying over that cheese platter haha x
    britishmermaid.blogspot.co.uk

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  4. the place looks amazing! so nice to stay in


    Lyosha
    Inside and Outside Blog

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  5. This is exactly my kind of place! Great, hearty food and what looks like a great atmosphere! That food has made my stomach rumble - look at the cheese!!

    Musings & More

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  6. Definitely a place I would love to visit! Looks like you had an amazing time and the food looks amazing!

    www.wunderbliss.com

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  7. Great photos and the food looks yummy! :)

    xx Jamie| With Love, Jamie

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  8. Omg this place looks so good! I'll definitely have to stop by and check it out. Such a great post, Carmen!

    Xo,
    Kyla
    www.styleurday.com

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  9. The Food looks so yummy ! great post xx

    http://alfreedz.blogspot.com/

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  10. This place looks amazing, you really have to go back and try the dessert, I'm really curious now haha. xx

    113-things-to-say.blogspot.com

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  11. What a lovely place, definitely my kind of decor and the food looks amazing too. Your photos are amazing here x

    Beauty with charm

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  12. Yum that cheese soufflé looks amazing! The Cellar sounds like an incredible restaurant with wonderful ambiance!

    http://thecourtneydiaries.com

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  13. gosh, I realy like your writing! Thank you for sharing this lovely review. Looks like a place I would like to hang out/drink/chill/ dine in.

    http://modaodaradosti.blogspot.com/

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  14. This place looks awesome. I am looking really nice chic restaurants at the moment, with character.

    http://ohduckydarling.com

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  15. The food seems delicious and the place looks very nice!

    xo
    www.carinavardie.com

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  16. Lovely pictures! :)

    xx
    Kat

    www.teastoriesblog.com

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  17. What a nice place! Food looks so yummy, I'm sure you had a great time there :)

    Ela BellaWorld

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  18. Great review! I've heard good things about this restaurant before, but omg your pics have me convinced I need to go now!

    Lindsey
    The Fashion Barbie

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  19. I just googled "GIF maker." It's super easy. :]

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  20. Me too. Cheese platter was divine. :]

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  21. Precisely - good food with great company. :]

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  22. I truly had a lovely experience & would come again to try the dessert. :]

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  23. I knowwww. You're telling me. I definitely need to try the dessert, but maybe I've just hyped it up so much in my head. :]

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  24. Thank you so much. That's such a wonderful compliment. :]

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  25. The Cellar certainly has character! :]

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  26. Have you? It's hard to find since the signage outside isn't very prominent if you're driving, but it's with a visit! :]

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  27. This place looks delicious and right up my alley! Wish I lived closer :)
    xo, Traci
    waltzmetoheaven.com

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  28. A cheese soufflé sounds beyond amazing!! Looks great!

    XO

    Bridget || www.bridgetrosebeauty.com

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  29. Maybe you can visit on your next trip to Southern California. :]

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  30. Love The Cellar! I lived in San Clemente a few years ago and loved that place! Glad you enjoyed it! :)

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Thanks for reading & writing. :] // ▲

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