So, Blue Heron is a new spot in Baywood Park and we were recently asked to join a couple of friends (Stacie and Lisa) that were going to check it out on an industry night. The restaurant has been doing these “invite only/ soft opening” nights here and there to get feedback from industry folks as well as to work out any kinks they come across in the kitchen and front of house.
I enjoyed the ambiance inside quite a bit. You’ll see from the photos in the slideshow below that they have an open kitchen, a small but cool looking bar, and a decent sized dining room which proved to be intimate and cozy. You have to expect for a room that size to get mildly loud when you have a full house but it wasn’t too bad.
The tables had copper tops which stood out and the décor overall was warm and easy on the eyes. Going back to the open kitchen, I always love that. It’s cool to be able to see some of the action and hear the sounds of the kitchen when it gets busy.
Here’s what we shared:
Oysters on the Half Shell (6) – Raw, Meyer Lemon, Mignonette. $13.00
Wilted Spinach – Crispy Pork Belly, Fermented Fruit, Apple Cider Vinaigrette, Fried Leeks. $12.00
Caesar – Blue Heron Farm Greens, White Anchovies, Shaved Parmesan, Grilled Sourdough. $10.00
Smoked – Market Fish, Avocado Mousse, Pickled Red Onions, Crispy Garlic, Toasted Sourdough. $9.00
Baked Oysters – Pork Belly, Spinach, Herbed Breadcrumbs. $13.00
Roasted Chicken – Creamy Polenta, Braised Greens, Lemon Pan Jus. $19.00
Pan Seared Scallops – Lemon Beurre Blanc, Crispy Leeks, Melted Leeks, Preserved Lemon. $28.00
Braised Short Ribs – Whipped Yukon Gold Potatoes, Glazed Carrots, Demi-Glace. $26.00
Local Cheese – Seasonal Jam, Honey Comb, Candied Nuts, Berries. $13.00
Berry Cobbler – Vanilla Ice Cream. $7.00
Out of these ten dishes there were five that stood out to me. The oysters on the half shell (I’m just a sucker for oysters), the wilted spinach, baked oysters (really good), roasted chicken, and braised short ribs. The roasted chicken really seemed to be the crowd favorite at our table. I can still taste these dishes as I sit here and write about it.
The wine flowed all evening. Lannon Rust (let’s just say that he’s “The Wine Guy”) did a great job hearing our thoughts on what we wanted and finding the right wines for different dishes. I did not get photos of each wine but in the photos below you’ll see a Rose of Cinsault from Eugenia Wines and a 2012 Garnacha from Sierra Cantabria.
I don’t want to keep rambling on about this so I’ll end by saying that I sincerely like the vision at Blue Heron. The restaurant business can be tough, as most of us know. We’ll see how location plays into things for them but once you’re in the restaurant, they have a good foundation to springboard from. It’s always about the menu and quality of the food, ambiance, and most importantly at times…customer service. Get new customers in the door and get previous customers to become repeats. Best of luck to the team and I look forward to coming back to visit.
They have a couple of amazing outdoor areas as well. There’s an outdoor dining area you can see a photo of below and a great fire pit spot which we actually sat at for a little while after dinner. Very relaxing and it was a great way to end the evening.
Thanks to Annie for the idea of getting a room at the Inn at Morro Bay so we didn’t have to drive home to Paso Robles.
A big thank you to Lannon Rust for the wine recommendations, it was nice to finally meet in person.
The owner is a gentleman named Bill Lee.
Thank you to Chef Thomas Drahos and his crew as well. Amazing job.
Local artist Allisun Dutra was involved in the restaurant décor.
See their website here, including their current full menu.