Robert's, Paso Robles
re: toodie jane
: ) How very perceptive........
the space is lovely, cream with b/w photos, low crown moldings with charcoal above. Two small rooms and the bar, outside seating, great acoustics (very important and my biggest complaint about Artisan!) Comfortable chairs.
It was quite busy @ 6:30 on Friday night. We arrived without reservations, hoping to have apps and wine with a friend who was going to meet us there. We were seated quickly (and graciously, even thought we were two of three, and just wanting apps!). White linens and a space that is not large, but not crowded. Nice.
Our friend didn't show until after 7.....long story if miscommunication....but the staff never pressured us. We ordered a cheese/fruit/nut platter to tide us over.
"Artisan Cheese Plate Selections of Cheese, Sliced Charcuterie, Fruit and Nuts $10"
Odd. , two end clumps of cheese cubes and a center area of 4 slices. 4-5 walnuts. 2 dried apricots. A scattering of dried (?) cranberries......our server told us the cheeses were mozzarella (not fresh), machengo, and (?) Carlsberg Swiss. Upon tasting, we figured it was really JARLSBERG....OK, but all in all, pretty Trader Joe's.No Charcuterie. Some crackers. Not exactly "artisan".....
We ordered dinner (since our friend had eaten). Aruglula salad
"Arugula Salad Goat Cheese, Toasted Hazelnuts and Champagne Vinaigrette $7 "
(basic, vinaigrette, hazelnuts???
I had the Wedge salad.
"Caramelized Onions, Blue Cheese Crumbles,Crisp Bacon & Chipotle Buttermilk Dressing $7 "
tasty enough .
For dinner we split the Macadamia Nut Crusted Halibut
"Sautéed Snow Peas, Green Onion Rice and Papaya-Coconut Butter $20 "
The halibut was well cooked, not dry. The had separated the entree for us onto two plates. The rice was very crunchy (not my favorite) and bland bland bland.......where were the green onions? or salt? Halibut about the same....bland, not much in the way of crust, let alone macadamia. I was looking for the salt and pepper (I don't usually alter a chef's dish) to no avail.
Dessert was a Grand Marnier Creme Brulee.....fine, nice crust, good flavor and creaminess.
There is a $10 corkage fee, not bad.
My impression is this.....we will go back. They have only been open a month and I think they are testing the waters. Service was fine and we liked the atmosphere.
However, if we go back in a few months and all the trappings are there but none of the flavor, we'll go to one of the many restaurants in the area that we like better. Too many to support one that doesn't taste good!
OK, now that I have gotten that off my chest.....the reason I made no comments initially is that I would hate to bash a new restaurant without more than one opinion. I didn't hate it, and many things about it we really liked. I would love to hear what others think.....
I think your comments are very well-considered, sound like a fair representation of what you experienced, and wouldn't stop anyone from trying it. We should all be familiar with taking the not-so-good with the more pleasureable, and giving a new restaurant a chance to find its path.
Thanks for your take on this new venture.