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 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,…

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 5.11

Found some new tacos this week. AGAVE GRILL in Nipomo. I’ve been searching for an above-average taqueria in Nipomo since La Placentia has somewhat dropped off in quality and La [completely blankin out here] over in old town shut down. I am sad to announce Agave Grill is NOT it. Added to the TACO LIST…

RESTY GOSSIP 3.31

OK, so it’s been a few weeks since I wrote a Resty Gossip and SO MUCH has happened. Some of this will be REALLY old news, but it still amazes me around here how some seemingly ancient restaurant news can be fresh to so many. First up: a selfish note, because quite a few have…

Resty Gossip 1.6.19

Apparently, it’s Restaurant Month–that most hated of events for chefs and staff alike. Why is it always in January? Is is because everyone is broke after Christmas and no one goes out? Is there up-sale potential? Maybe in beverage. SLO is January, Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez up the ante a bit–paring it down to…

Restaurant Gossip 10.7

Remember when the excellent FIG GOOD FOOD in Atascadero closed and there were so many rumors about what she was doing… going to Templeton… things like homeless shelters or non-profits and such? Well it all pretty much dropped off my radar–forgotten–until something popped up this week and reminded me. Apparently: FIG AT COURTNEY’S HOUSE exists…

locall resty gossip 11.8.17

Giuseppe’s Pismo will be opening after Thanksgiving. The bakery in the breezeway between Uptown Espresso and Buona Tavola? You know the only thing to actually hold down that spot longer than a year in the past decade? It has gotten too big and is moving out and in its place is going Restorative Cafe. Mattei’s…

How to Own a Stress-Free Restaurant

OK so here’s the deal.  I have been a avid observer of the resty business for decades.  I am in absolute AWE of the dedication required for cheflife, having seen all of its upsides and downsides, the super-super high notes and the absolute bottoms of this profession.  I’ve seen the hours and the total impossibility…