Image Credit: Artisanof Paso
This near perfect restaurant is nestled in the heart of downtown Paso Robles. It’s home to local flavors: fruits, vegetables, and meats from nearby farms and the region’s own wine.
Originally, this post was meant for the Day 2 overview of my recent California Road trip, but the meal was so special it deserves a post of its own.
We made reservations for 6:45 p.m. that night (Planning ahead is imperative as this restaurant fills up fast). Upon arrival, we were promptly seated at a comfy table near a large glass window. The restaurant is lined with windows on two sides, making the atmosphere light and airy.
The appetizer menu looked so tempting, but we finally settled on two delicious sounding dishes: meatballs with homemade gnocchi and guanciale, and the ale and goat cheese fondue served with sausage. These turned out to be so delightful, and we feared for a second that the rest of our meal wouldn’t be able to top the appetizers.
Next up were our entrees, and honestly, our meal just got even better.
We ordered the short ribs, a regular menu item, with a generous helping of mashed potatoes, garlic chips, and mushrooms. I just can’t seem to resist a short rib dish on a menu EVER.
We also chose the night’s special dish, which was halibut served with mushrooms drenched in butter, garbanzo beans, fresh spring peas, and savory basil sauce. This dish was all about Springtime.
Our stomachs full and happy, we didn’t end up ordering dessert. (which makes me a little sad now that I think about it. I’ll always wonder …)
In the end, I couldn’t be more pleased with this dining experience. Each plate was more tasty than the last, the service was great, and the atmosphere was not fussy or pretentious for a fine dining restaurant. While it was certainly more pricey than other more casual places, the meal really was a good value for the overall experience and taste of the food.
In addition, Artisan is accessible for many types of diners, including families with children. We saw one family with a tiny baby.
Artisan is one of those restaurants where you’re tempted by so many things, but just don’t have room in your stomach for it all. If I had more time in my travel schedule, I would have most certainly paid another visit to this restaurant.
What makes a restaurant a good value in your opinion? Share your ideas in the comments section!