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Birthday Dinner in Paso Robles, Morro Bay, or Cambria

needletoofar Mar 26, 2009 07:51 AM

Hi All,
On our CA vacation, my fiance's birthday falls on a day that we'll be in Paso Robles. The next day we're heading up the coast (Rt 1), so we'll be staying the night either in Paso Robles, Morro Bay, or Cambria. Can anyone recommend an amazing restaurant for a birthday dinner in the area?

Ideally looking for an upscale restaurant, but quality of food is way more important than ambiance. Would rather stand eating knock your socks off fish tacos than go to a fancy restaurant with mediocre food. Thanks!

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  1. PolarBear RE: needletoofar Mar 26, 2009 08:49 AM

    Paso Robles: Artisan

    Cayucos: Hoppe's Garden Bistro

    Cambria: Sow's Ear or Black Cat Bistro

    Morro Bay: Windows on the Water

    Avila: Gardens of Avila

    2 Replies
    1. re: PolarBear
      hbpthomas RE: PolarBear Mar 29, 2009 10:14 PM

      I second Hoppe's in Cayucos, and also add Robin's in Cambria.

      1. re: hbpthomas
        needletoofar RE: hbpthomas Mar 30, 2009 12:30 PM

        Thanks Polar & thomas! Hoppe's menu looks amazing. I'm off to check out the menus for your other rec's next.

    2. j
      jdotsmith RE: needletoofar Mar 31, 2009 12:45 PM

      Artisan for sure in Paso Robles. Cass House is also quite good in Cayucos. They do pre fixe menus but always seem to be spot on.

      If you're headed to Paso- look no further than Artisan!

      1. s
        sbgirl RE: needletoofar Apr 1, 2009 08:02 PM

        Artisan - hands down - end of story. I keep wishing they'd open in Santa Barbara. Everything is amazingly good.
        Although I have read that Hoppe's is great, haven't been.

        1. Shannon RE: needletoofar Apr 1, 2009 08:48 PM

          Add my voice to the choir - Artisan. Have fun!

          1. n
            needletoofar RE: needletoofar Apr 2, 2009 08:09 AM

            OK, fantastic. It's settled; will make sure to dine at Artisan! ...I think we'll eat at Artisan Thurs night (the night we're staying in PR), so we can try another restaurant for the Bday dinner on Friday.

            So I guess my follow up question is:
            Hoppes or
            Cass House or
            Windows on the Water or
            Sow's Ear or
            Black Cat?

            What's your vote for best food? Thanks!

            4 Replies
            1. re: needletoofar
              PolarBear RE: needletoofar Apr 2, 2009 08:33 AM

              I'd give Hoppe's the edge, great wine list as well.

              1. re: needletoofar
                dockhl RE: needletoofar Apr 2, 2009 09:48 AM

                Black Cat gets my vote..more intimate and interesting...........

                1. re: dockhl
                  PattyOh RE: dockhl Apr 2, 2009 07:37 PM

                  I'd also vote for either Black Cat Bistro or Hoppe's, you can't really go wrong with either. Maybe just look over the menus on-line ahead of time and see what appeals to you more.

                  I'm not crazy about Windows on the Water, not consistent and you're paying a lot for the view. I've eaten at Cass House once with the 4-course pre-fixe. I really wanted to like it based on the description of each course on the menu, but our party of 7 all agreed the dishes were a bit underwhelming.

                2. re: needletoofar
                  havetummy RE: needletoofar Apr 4, 2009 11:10 AM

                  Never been to the other places, but my husband I just got back from Morro Bay two weeks ago and had dinner at Hoppe's and it was fantastic. We splurged and did the Chef's Dinner which is exactly as it is listed on their website except for the main entree which was a filet mignon instead. Everything was delicious and the wine pairings worked well with each course.

                  Service was a little slow half way through as the place got fuller and busier, but that is just a very very minor complaint. We cannot wait to find another opportunity to drive back up and dine there again.

                3. n
                  needletoofar RE: needletoofar Apr 19, 2009 09:44 PM

                  Thanks so much to everyone!
                  Here is our plan so far. I wish we had more time to squeeze in more meals!

                  Lunch: Picnic fixin's from Di Raimondo's in Paso Robles
                  Dinner: Artisan

                  Lunch: ? Maybe Tenexpa in Paso Robles for tacos al pastor. Maybe picnic again.
                  Dinner: Hoppe's.
                  Dessert: ? Dinner's early so we can make it back to our hotel for the sunset. I'm thinking if we get eat-y again we can head to the Sow's Ear for dessert.

                  Breakfast: Linn's? French Corner Bakery?
                  Lunch: Big Sur Bakery
                  Dinner: Sierra Mar (Post Ranch)

                  Whatcha think? Thanks!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: needletoofar
                    cencalfoodie RE: needletoofar Apr 20, 2009 10:06 AM

                    Sounds like you've got a great line-up there. I agree w/ Polar Bear about Windows on the Water in Morro Bay - fab dinner choice for special occasion (or anytime)

                    1. re: needletoofar
                      hbpthomas RE: needletoofar Apr 24, 2009 07:17 PM

                      sounds like you've got a great itinerary planned - if you want a full breakfast choose Linn's, if you tend to eat on the lighter side (pastry & a coffee) then pick French Corner.

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