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Aug 13, 2006 10:06 PM

Fine Dining Fresno Area

I'm working with a non-profit putting together a prize package, and I'm wondering if you would mind giving me some of your opinions on fine dining establishments in and around Fresno. I've got a list of about 7 already, but there could be some new ones out there I'm not aware of yet. I was out at the Fig Festival yesterday at the Farmer's Market on Shaw and Blackstone and sampled some amazing food. Just want to get a grip on what other people are thinking. So far my list consists of... Erna's Elderberry House in Oakhurst, Vintage Press in Visalia, Campagna's, Trelio's in Clovis (new owner as of June and it was great), Chef's Table, Slates, Awhanee, Ripe Tomato.... that's about it. Like I said, there are some new ones that stood out at the Festival. Has anyone been to Lantana's (Friant and Fort Washington), Upstairs Downtown or Bentley's?

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  1. Upstairs/Downtown is now lunch only, no dinners.

    You might add Limelight on Shaw Ave. to your list. Parma at Marks and Herndon is pretty special for Italian fare.

    Not familiar with Bentley's.

    1. I'm not impressed by Campagna's, but I suppose you should include them on the list since people seem enthralled by them. I've been there at least four times for dinner, and found the food to be inconsistent and overpriced.

      I would second the suggestion of Parma. Their homemade pastas are out of this world, and the ambiance and service elevate it from a strip mall restaurant.

      Also, perhaps consider Manhattan on Bullard. They are very popular, and their tangerine martini is sublime. The food can also be inconsistent, IMHO, but the desserts, drinks, and appetizers are not.

      1. I would add a couple of others.

        In Visalia also add Tommy's. I was impressed and would put it on a par with Vintage Press.

        And The Vintage at the Chukchansi casino. We've done 3 meals there with very good food and service.

        1. Bentley's is not open yet. My understanding is it will be a market - similar to Whole Foods, not a restaurant. I don't know if they make dishes though, like you can buy at Whole Foods.

          My husband claims the food at Lantana's was not all that good but I have not tried it. Cracked Pepper Bistro is new and has gotten good reviews. (I believe they were at Fig Fest - I just kept trying the next sample and can't remember everyone who was there.)

          1. I was at Lantana's last Saturday. The food was average and the service too slow; the ambience was really nice with a piano playing throughtout the dinner.

            Parma is the best in Italian food; everything there is made from scratch with authentic Italian ingredients. Besides it, the service is absolutely outstanding begining with the owner: Helena.

            Bentley's is an upgrade version of the old Christensen World Food on Fig Garden (closed several years ago); it has rumors that the place will have a delicatessen area to die for.

            Another consieration would be Max's on Bullard. It has good food and good service.