Here we go again…eating and drinking! This time it all went down at Artisan in Paso Robles. We got hooked on Artisan a few years back and needed our fix at least once a week. We still need that fix, but try to pace ourselves so that we’re sure each time is special!
One of the things about Artisan that we love is the creativity of their menu; they use local, sustainable ingredients and the dishes are incredibly eclectic and tasty. The menu changes with the seasons and always reflects what’s fresh and in season. We’ve had things like Abalone with fresh citrus and avocado or House-made Pate with local-cured olives. It’s pretty amazing to sit and taste the meats and produce of our area, knowing that our community is involved in supporting the delicious and plentiful resources.
Take all this and pair it with local wines and artisan beers and the experience is one that won’t easily be forgotten. We hung out at the bar (as we usually do) and shared a few appetizers, chatted up the staff, and enjoyed a warm summer evening.
We started with the Shrimp. Now this wasn’t just any shrimp…this was local shrimp with padron peppers, lemon zest, sesame seeds, and bottarga (fish roe). It was really flavorful, the bright citrus flavors, sweet shrimp and slightly spicy peppers made the whole thing go together!
Next, we moved on to the “Quail Fry”, which consisted of a few delectable pieces of super-tender and juicy quail meat, along with some some fresh and bright cucumber coleslaw. The rich quail was perfectly balanced with the tangy slaw and spicy aioli.
Now, on to the old standby…the steady date…the dependable friend; the meatballs! These aren’t just any meatballs! They’re rich and delicious, in a gentle gravy with some ricotta gnocchi, piave, snap peas, and guanciale (unsmoked bacon). It’s really hard to beat meat balls with cheese and bacon, right!
Our glasses are up, throwing a huge “Cheers” to Artisan for pulling off such a great menu! The ingredients are perfectly paired to create dishes that challenge your taste buds and leave you craving more!