Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Review: Artisan in Paso Robles

For my husband Conrad's birthday this year we decided Paso Robles would be the place to celebrate. They have GREAT wines and are not quite as commercial or well known as other wine countries...yet.

When I was looking for places for dinner one restaurant kept appearing as a "must do" so I made a reservation (highly suggested) to Artisan and it was just that. According to the definition, an artisan imparts unique and individual qualities to artisanal products. That is the beauty of Artisan, every part of our dinner was made with quality products that were given just a unique twist and were executed flawlessly!

I chose their Monday Night Supper, they offer a three course meal for $34 and you have the option to add paired wines of the featured winery with it for an additional $15. I, of course opted.

My First Course was quite a lot;
Baby butter brioche with goat butter and mini quiche
Piccolo Fritto (italian for little fried one) rock shrimp, scallops, calamari, fennel, sage, and baby escarole
Wine Pairing:
Tablas Creek, Vermentino 2006
I could have just been happy with this course alone! The tang in the goat butter with the soft brioche, then the crunch and sweetness of the scallops all complimented by the lovely citrus in the Vermantino

Second Course
Roast organic chicken, lemon, rosemary, shallot jus
Bacon braised brussel sprouts, brown butter, thyme, field spinich
Pan fried crushed potatoes
Winter mushroom gratin, local sheeps milk cheese
Wine Pairing: Tablas Creek Counoise 06
Chicken is one of the simplest things to cook, but can be the most satisfying when done properly and this was....the seasoning and the meat just fell apart, I usually don't like mushrooms (except for truffles!) yet, I would eat the gratin anyday! Counoise is a new varietal to me but I really liked it, it's slight fruitiness was very enjoyable with this course.

Third Course:
Windrose Farm apple desserts, peanut butter cookie, vanilla bean sherbet
Wine Pairing: Tablas Creek, Grenache Blanc, Viognier,Roussane, Marsanne
"Vin de Paille 2006
Of course how can one go wrong with dessert including baked apples!? I am more a fruit dessert girl than chocolate so I loved this whole course. The Vin de Paille's caramel and honey flavors were spot on with dessert!

As one may assume, I can not speak highly enough about this restaurant! The atmosphere is elegant but not stuffy. The staff were extremly attentive and even wished Conrad a Happy Birthday as we were leaving. Any night would be great to come here for dinner but the value and quality you get for the Monday Night Supper is above and beyond...I'm off to dream of my next someday meal here....

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