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!
Oh, it has been TOO long since we’ve been to artisan! Must fix soon, we can NOT miss this!
Hoot 'n Annie says
Hi Erin! Yes…we highly recommend that you get your Artisan fix soon! Be sure to try the shrimp, they were amazing! Let us know what you pair with your fix! Wine makes everything better…
There needs to be more places like this and I would probably eat out once every week or two weeks. I do not care to eat at some of these chain restaurants and you probably have a few you dislike too. We have a brewery in town that serves food and we needed our fix and went there on Friday. We have a few other local places that we have visited in the past, but the service and state of the places has really gone downhill. We have openly complained to no avail, so choose not to go back for now. The places offer great food, but the staff is an open question mark, one place the carpet alone makes you want to run, and just overall cleanliness is lacking – feet stick to the floor of the place not a good sign! Some of these places have added TVs too – WTH! – just a major turn off for me when you are not in a sports bar type setting. So when I travel I really try to hunt these places like Artisan out for a really nice treat out and a special time with my hubby too.
Hoot 'n Annie says
Hey Renee! I think it’s hard to find great places to get a good meal…and it’s not just about the food, it’s about the whole package! Food, atmosphere, service, etc. We’re so lucky to be in the middle of Paso Robles where there’s this food revolution going on…there’s new restaurants popping up all over the place and they have to be good or they just won’t last. Seems there’s too much competition in too small of a place. A little healthy competition never hurt anybody, right? Cheers!!!