Good eats in Paso Robles
For a UNIQUE and FUN dining experience try the 10th Street Cafe!! A charming little farmhouse converted to a restaurant, actually about 8 miles north of Paso on the 101. They are only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday (sometimes) and reservations are a must. There is a single seating at 7:00 on Friday and Saturday, and the meal is Chef's Choice. When we went last week he opened another table on the patio with heaters because they were already full when we called for a reservation. The patio was very nice with the balmy weather, heaters and the full moon. Dallas, the gregarious chef, serves a traditional Basque style dinner, mingling with the guests in between courses wearing his red beret! When we first arrived, he was outside setting up the heaters, and giving us wine suggestions. Throughout the meal, he mingles with all of the guests. Someone pouring wine in a tasting room told us he never forgets a guest - and will remember what wine you had and will have it when you go back again. We sat with 9 other people and the food was served family style. A prominent winery had a rowdy bunch inside and a rowdy birthday party was taking place in another room inside. The traditional Basque bread and a seasoned butter are set out to begin, then Tapas, spanish appetizers are served ... We had a tasty, slightly spiced potato, before you are done with the first, another comes out, a cabbage, apple, fennel mixture, then an albacore cake drizzled with a tarragon sauce (delish!), and stuffed mushrooms. Migas (a delicious bread crumb dish) is served traditionally with a sangria, so when that dish was brought out, Dallas brought out a sack of sangria which everyone at the table passed around to squirt a stream into their mouths and not our clothing!! Then a tomato basil bisque soup, a beautiful salad. Followed by the first main dish, his award winning Paella; followed by a second main dish (forget the name) but is a layer of creamed spinach, followed by a layer of shredded beef, followed by a layer of mashed potatoes all wrapped up in a phyllo crust. Then our dessert, sherbert floating in a glass of champagne. Our tummies were full to bursting, and nearly three after starting, we didn't want to leave. Look online for his website for specifics (San Miguel, I think). The menu changes, but is always chef's choice. Even if you don't care for a dish, you will find many others that you like, and you will be stuffed and very satisfied at the end of the meal. Enjoy!!
A few that are worth a visit:
Villa Creek right off the square is very good. They also have the best wine lists in the area, lots of hard to find central coast offerings.
Bistro Laurent, across the street from Villa Creek, has very good French staples.
Buona Tavola is middle of the road Italian. Nice, not great but more than adequate.
McPhee's Grill in Templeton is quite good.
Villa Creek is a favorite. Their food has improved a lot over the years and the owner, Cris Cherry, is a top notch food/wine guy who really knows his stuff!