Special Central Coast Meals
Going to the Central Coast for the wife's birthday and I'm looking for somewhere nice to take her for lunch and dinner. Staying in Morro Bay, but driving an hour or so isn't out of the question. Was thinking of Chef Rick's (haven't heard much of him lately), Windows on the Water, or Hoppe's. Any other suggestions? Any type of food is welcome, and price isn't important. Thanks!
Matthew's in Paso Robles - either at the Paso airport ( unique spot - voted best private pilot airport restaurant) or downtown.
Ben, don't know if you are up for a wine experience, but if you are, I would suggest lunch at Justin Winery. I believe they only serve lunch on the weekends, but they have a lovely al fresco area. Best to call ahead to be sure. The tasting room is very appealing, just a special place I think. You will need to bring your wallet though.
Windows on the Water has always been a reliable choice for me. Shawn's on Main in MB has a dedicated following (I've only been once and it was good but haven't been recently). In SLO, The Park Restaurant is very good. It serves "California" cuisine with an emphasis on local provisions. Hoppe's in Cayucos also has a dedicated following although I've never been as thrilled with it as others. In Paso Robles I like Bistro Laurent for a more traditional French inspired vibe and Artisan for something a little more modern.
One of my new favorites in this area is sitting at the bar of McLintocks in Pismo Beach and ordering their "appetizers" (huge): Skillet potatoes, and steak strips - enough for a wonderful meal for two without the hassle and wait for garganutan-sized dinners with far heftier prices.
The patio of Buona Tavola in SLO is quite sweet, with plenty of room between tables, little fountains, flowers...and their food is good Northern Italian fare.
A nice place for a cuppa and dessert is Linnaea's cafe patio. Later in the evening there is music, sometimes awful, but in the late afternoon and early evening it is a nice place to relax.