Again today it is Ed (from Yuma) blogging, not Kirk or Cathy. More about his vacation in Paso Robles.
Every evening in Paso we had to decide on dinner. Steve and Helen and Tina and I had rooms in an old-fashioned 1950s style motel only a couple of blocks from the beautiful little park downtown. Where once I had had difficulties finding a good meal in Paso, now there were numerous restaurants serving all kinds of wine friendly cuisine, at a range of different price points, all within easy walking distance of the motel. So every evening we would stroll around, read menus, and discuss the possibilities at great length. We started the process fairly early so no serious danger of anybody actually starving.
On Tuesday evening, we wanted to get a look at the menu at Bistro Laurent, which had been closed Monday. The restaurant sits kitty corner from the northwest point of the park and is located in an old brick building:
We looked at the menus. There were various dishes à la carte, appetizers, salads, entrées, etc. There were also prix fixe dinner options: four courses or five courses; with wines or not. The hostess then explained that we could just allow the chef to decide our dinner selections based on what he wanted to prepare. That sounded way too easy – French bistro Omakase. We sat in the enclosed patio area, and all decided on the chef's four choices with wine.
It was okay, certainly, but to my mouth, not especially amusing.
Wow! In the center of the plate stood a mound of chopped mesclun lettuce topped with and surrounded by large chunks of moist warm fresh poached lobster. Numerous chunks – excellent quality. And the whole salad was brought together by the mild creamy white sauce. Three orange slices and green and red flecks for color.
Two large pieces of venison, roasted medium rare, sat on top of a thick disk of fried mashed potatoes. Not only did I enjoy the accompanying blueberry sauce; I also savored the sprig of fresh marjoram, taking little bites of the herb occasionally as I chewed the deeply flavored deer meat:
The chef's choice of desserts was accompanied by small glasses of Sauternes, a sweet golden wine made from late harvested white wine grapes affected by pourriture noble, which gives the wine a honeyed richness:
The pastry was light and flaky. Figs, vanilla, caramel mingled light sweet flavors. Umm-yoso.
Even though each dinner (with wine) was $69, all four of us thought we received good value. No one left hungry – in fact, we were all stuffed. The wines had been well-chosen and enhanced the foods . The pours were generous for a prix fixe dinner. The service throughout the meal was outstanding without being annoying or intrusive - very friendly, helpful, and professional. The meal was a culinary highlight of our visit to Paso Robles.
Doing this post reminded me that I had first eaten at the restaurant back in the summer of 2002. It is interesting that a few things have changed for the better over the years, but the chef has stayed true to his basic vision. And his vision looks pretty good to me!
Bistro Laurent, 1202 Pine Street, Paso Robles CA, (805) 226-8191, 11:30 – 2:00 and 5:30 – 10:00 Tues – Sat. Website