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…

5 Towns 5 Burgers

Every menu on the Central Coast has a burger on it.  It is something I have learned to accept in dining along the coast.  Burgers are popular, no doubt, and a welcome menu item and ubiquitous with American dining culture.  There are probably 300 burgers within 10 miles of where I stand and yes, I…

Resty Gossip 10.27

Got into SOMERSET GRILL at the new hotel in Pismo Beach last Sunday for a leisurely late lunch. The first thing you notice about the place is the kitchen, but on first impression it seems to be separated from the dining room by a long counter the wait-staff crowd around and I assumed was the…

RESTY GOSSIP OCT 20

Hotels hotels hotels. I will be SO GLAD when this rash of luxury hotels opening is over and we can get back to real restaurants. It seems they have dominated the conversation–and the skyline–all summer. How many $400/night hotels does the area need? Apparently, a few more. And with them all come *allegedly* flash-BAM restaurants,…

RESTY GOSSIP 10.12

Got into LIDO for the first time since Chef Pfaff (formerly of NOVO) took over. He’s been promising me big things, and Lido rarely disappoints. Ambiance, maybe just a tiny bit, but that is my ONLY possible complaint. the food is always just drop-dead gorgeous, the service has literally no equal in the area, and…

A Few of my Favorites 9.29

Going through my notes of the past week or so, there is nothing new to write about in terms of *gossip*.  You can literally go to LAST WEEK’S GOSSIP COLUMN and everything is still true. Hotels are plugging along, PIADINA in Hotel SLO open in 2  weeks, CARISSA fully open, Maegen Loring is the official…

200 miles of Tacos

I haven’t counted lately, but there are probably well over 150 taquerias listed on my TACO PAGE and that is a LOT of information for all but the die-hard taco-freaks. I get emails, texts, DM’s almost daily, “HELP I’M IN _________ WHERE’S THE BEST TACOS??” Everyone wants a short-list. I’ve never made a TOP-10 or…

RESTY GOSSIP 9.15

THE CARISSA at SLO Brew opened last night. It was designed to be a low-key ‘friends & family’ softie thing, because the last time SLO Brew had a grand opening, things got kinda outa hand. I didn’t go–I had a few industry friends in from out of town–so don’t know how big it got.  I…

RESTY GOSSIP 9.1

Oh shoot, I’ve been eating so much I haven’t had time to post about it in almost a month. SOOOO much gossip too. Took a big road-trip up through Sonoma and Mendocino, eating WAY TOO MUCH at both some new spots and some favorites. I might cobble together a separate post for that, because I…

Resty Gossip 8.3

I went to VENTANA GRILL. Yup, I’ve only had cocktails here. Hadn’t eaten there since Pelican Point and stairway to nowhere. Yes, THAT long ago. Overall, fairly decent food. A couple steps up from Custom House and Wooleys and Flagship, and a couple steps down from Oyster Loft and Mestiza (for those who live under…