Restaurant Gossip 10.21

Hotel Serra on Garden Street is going to happen faster than you expect, and BRASSERIE SLO has announced the chef: James Anderson formerly of Casanova, La Bicyclette, and Affina on the Peninsula.

Saw some action inside the old Pluto’s location across from Black Sheep on Chorro the other day.

What’s your favorite of the 4 Robin/Shanny spots? Could you choose? Boy, I don’t know. I don’t get into NOVO as often as I should, although those spots in the front window are the best view in the county. I hit up LUNA RED on a fairly regular basis and it typically is a pleasant experience. MINT + CRAFT is shaping up to be an outstanding dining destination downtown–I’ve eaten there twice now and had coffee a few times with no complaints. But ROBIN’S. I think at gun-point I would pick Robins’s. It would be hard, but location, ambience, aesthetic, menu, winelist, service, attitude and over-all experience, I think I’d have to go with Robin’s in Cambria. Slipping in to that place is literally like an oasis. Such a breath of fresh air. Everything is shut out around you. It’s warm and calm. Service is pointed and unhurried. While there is some overlap in both menu and wine-list with Luna and Novo, individual characteristics are obvious. Love this place.

Off to Paso: If the full-color window-plastering is to be believed, BLAST BREW at the corner of 13th & Park in Paso Robles shore looks fun! NOT

I don’t think THE STATION SLO sells wine anymore. Went by and all the shelves were empty. There were doilies and… um… stuff. Maybe they just moved it somewhere out of the sun. I’m not saying they don’t serve it by the glass or something, but it definitely doesn’t look like a wine-shop anymore.

Oddly related, did you know MOON OVER AVILA is on chef #3? That news is a couple months old, but starting to form an opinion. I like this one quite a bit better than #2, but #1 was where I left my heart, of course.

Popped into LA BODEGA in Pismo Beach the other night. I had heard they had hired a new chef, but didn’t expect much change from this already-fairly-excellent new spot. Boy was I wrong. The menu is almost unrecognizable. And most of the dishes appear to have gotten more complicated. I had this crazy roulade of pork and cheese stuffed in chicken and wrapped in bacon. Holy WOW.

Couple of notes on *quite possibly* my new favorite resty in Paso Robles: First of all, the official Grand Opening of JEFFREY’S WINE COUNTRY BBQ is this coming weekend, the 26th? It has been fully operational for several months, but as has become the norm these days, the Grand Opening is delayed considerably. There’s a lot of reasons for this, and it makes for much vicarious conversation amongst serious foodies and critics, but hey: that’s how it’s done now. Get used to it. And un-install YELP! on your phone. Item number 2: The cute little shops across his courtyard did not work out satisfactorily for the PASO ROBLES GENERAL STORE people and Jeffrey’s is taking them over for expanded seating and even conceptualizing an area dedicated to enhanced by-the-bottle selections and seating. This is good food, by a top-notch local restauranteur. And, as I have said before: don’t let the name fool you. Yes, there’s BBQ, but this isn’t frickin McKlintock’s or Firestone here. This is BBQ integrated into real dishes. Get the banh mi or the cubano or the cobb.

A bunch of new wine, beer & spirits places opening along the fringes of TIN CITY in Paso Robles. Out in front alongside the spaces CORDANT and SEVEN OXEN have occupied for a while are now Christian Tieje’s ANARCHY and ANGLIM. Coming soon are CALWISE DISTILLERY and KILOKILO BREWING. Off in the opposite direction, TWO MOONS CELLARS recently opened. Down in the heart of Tin City, CONCUR just opened. They are a tiny Rhone-focused label making all of 300 cases a year. I tasted through the whole line-up recently and it fits in nicely with what we have come to expect with Paso wine. Don’t worry: I’m not going to intertwine my wine blog with this page. Just noting a few new places.

Speaking of Tin City, SIX TEST KITCHEN is projecting “mid-November”. The size doubles to 12 seats, but you will not need to guarantee 4 or even 6 spots now. There will be a wine-list and a full-time somm on the floor, although you will still be able to bring your own wine. Corkage is $50.

Took a cruise down Entrada in Atascadero’s Colony District and wow! how this street has blossomed. LA DONNA’S opened recently, PHO 4 U is open and there seems to be some confusion online with a similarily-named place in Colorado, so no website for now. Of course, don’t forget DARK NECTAR COFFEE ROASTERS and DEAD OAK BREWING. Down at the end is SCISSOR CLOTHING–who is the aforementioned NELLE/CORDANT WINERY owner’s wife. This will the the first and last time a clothing store is mentioned in the blog, I promise. Remember, STREETSIDE ALE HOUSE is rockin & rollin and don’t forget the restaurant on the ground floor of The Carlton Hotel, NAUTICAL COWBOY. Across the street is WHISKEY & JUNE and SCOTTY’S and on the next street is ATASCADERO CAFE and BYBLOS MEDITERRANEAN. And there’s another brewery, TENT CITY BREWING across ECR. This little section of Atascadero is HOPPIN. Who woulda thunk it?

I was on the radio again this week on KRUSH 92.5’s Liquid Lunch with The Cork Dorks, Adam & Jeremy. If you have an hour to kill, plug your ear-buds in here: Oh, and LOTS of information about the new Six Test.

Apparently, the grand opening of TAPESTRY (the re-tooling of On Bar in the old Villa Creek location) did not happen. I think that spot is probably looking for new owners.

STEYNBERG GALLERY had been on the market for several years, closed late last year and reopened as 4 CATS GALLERY but it was announced this morning–the final nail–Peter & family are re-locating to Hilo-side Hawaii. I spent many pleasant hours there both drinking coffee and perusing art–always under the warm and generous eye of Peter. I will miss them.

Popped into OLDE PORT INN the other night. It had been a while since I had dined at this *favorite place to take visitors from out of town*. They had cioppino on the menu and I couldn’t resist. Very simple. Nothing sweet, nothing spicy, just simple tomato broth and a nice selection of fish and seafood. Went back a few days later for cocktails and above-average appetizers at the bar. The only reason I’m noting this is it’s one of those so-close-but-overlooked restaurants I forced myself to revisit with very positive results. No, I didn’t sit at the glass-bottomed tables! I sat at the bar so I can watch them cook.

Eat your vegetables.

For all the resty gossip for the past months go→ HOME

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Stormy T says:

    I heard what’s going in to the old Pluto’s from the chef himself.


    1. SOIF says:



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