Top 5 Wine Service Peeves

Dear Restaurants: Can you please stop seating me without a wine-list.  This is wine-country.  THIS IS RIGHT SMACK DAB IN THE MIDDLE OF ONE OF THE FASTEST GROWING AND HIGHEST-ACCLAIMED WINE AREAS IN THE WORLD.  From where I’m sitting in your restaurant, I could hit 10 wineries with a 5-wood.  Hundreds of thousands of dollars…

Wine Secrets Revealed

“Where do you shop for wine?”  Easily the most-asked question I get–sometimes several times per day.  “Where do you find these wines I have never seen before in my life?!?”  The beauty part is: most of them right here under your nose.  At local shops.  Owned by real people–not national corporations.  When I turn the…

Puffer’s of Pismo

They keep coming:  Another tiny chef-driven eatery serving inspired creations in an intimate setting.  PUFFER’S OF PISMO is the brainchild of the inimitable Charlie Puffer and his conversion of a former–and completely forgettable–winebar into a speakeasy-sort of indoor-outdoor night-spot is complete.  I have been watching and waiting for him to get completely dialed-in with regular…

Five Bargain Wine Country Getaways

The internet is rife with amazing wine-country resort destinations which will pamper and polish you but what about something a little less plush?  Maybe you’re not planning on hanging out in the spa all day but instead have wine and food destinations and non-stop spa amenities or being propped-up poolside are not on the schedule….

BOTTLE NIGHT Winelist Specials

Many restaurants proud of their wine-lists have a weekly special allowing exploration of the cellar for a deep discount.  I have made a list of restaurants on the Central Coast who have made these Wine Discount Specials apparent to me.  These specials are often not advertised heavily,  and sometimes are discontinued during special dates, heavy…

Monterey-Carmel-Pacific Grove additions

THE CENTRAL COAST RESTAURANTS LIST Weekend in Monterey, and while I have several long-standing favorite dining spots, it is always good to try new things.  First stop: CORKSCREW CAFE in Carmel Valley.  Nice atmosphere, well-rounded menu and winelist.  Lots of local Carmel Valley wines, which is nice because–other than a few bottlings of Talbott and…

Scratch Kitchen, Lompoc

Finally made it into Scratch Kitchen in Lompoc.  Impressed with everything.  So exciting to have a quality dining venue in a town we all spend a certain amount of time in but the food choices always come down to Phở or Tacos (Yes, there are VERY NICE examples of each in ‘The Poc’).  The remodel…

Foremost Wine Company

It’s a RESTAURANT!  It’s A WINE-SHOP!  It’s a LOUNGE!  Wait.  What is it?!  It is only San Luis Obispo’s newest dining concept and I say concept only because ‘experience’ was taken–several times–and just really doesn’t do the whole package justice.  Now that Foremost Wine Company is fully open, it is prime time to get yourself…