Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Former Italian favorite

IMG 6209
Paso Robles, California, March 29, 2016—
I LIKED THIS PLACE so much, thirty years ago or so, down the road in San Luis Obispo. Now, in this second location, already over a dozen years old, I'm not so sure. The wine list is remarkable, but the menu and execution seem a little off kilter.

We began with an antipasto of affettati misti: finnochiona, soppressata, salumi, two cheeses, olives. But the servings were niggardly: for the three of us, three little slices of each thing, along with a grissin wrapped with prosciutto. None of the salume seemed at all exceptional; only a salsa verde, rich with parsley and capers and good oil and a little garlic, seemed to suggest something particularly rewarding.

Our "insalata al cuore di Cesar" was not Caesarish, only "Caesar": tight hearts of romaine, uncut, under a soft vinaigrette (again, good olive oil) with small cubes of Roma tomato (!), small cubes of bread, and shavings of Parmesan cheese. No anchovy that I could detect; no raw egg.

I ordered the fettucine al sugo di carne miste, and the sauce was rather nice, the meat — chicken, duck, veal, and beef — chopped and retaining its texture, the flavor nicely balanced. The pasta itself was a little overcooked, but the course was substantial and left a good finish.

Arneis, "Blange," Ceretto, 2013: very nice indeed;
Barbera d'Asti, Michele Chiarlo, vintage? (both by the glass)
•Buona Tavola, 943 Spring Street, Paso Robles; 805-237-0600

RESTAURANTS VISITED, with information and rating: 2016
(2015 restaurants)

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