Thursday, August 18, 2016

Cortile, Paso Robles

IMG 9454
August 15, 2016—
WHAT A LONG drive it was, Marina del Rey to Paso Robles, the first hour and a half through the inevitable Los Angeles freeway traffic. And why Paso Robles? Because it’s one of the traditional halfway points on the Los Angeles-San Francisco drive, and because Ember, where we ate last night, is closed on Monday.

Brian, the chef at Ember, had suggested this pleasant Italian restaurant. The room is très chic, with a moderne color scheme and lighting, and a curiously dished ceiling that allowed me to attend to a conversation forty feet away at the diagobally opposite corner of the room.

The menu seemed heavy on heaviness: black truffles, foie gras — wait, is this really an Italian restaurant? Maybe a Paris-italien theme? In any case, we ordered exactly the same, the contessa and I: pappardelle (they looked like maltagliati to me) al ragù di cinghiale, pasta with a tomato-cream sauce with a generous scatter of “wild boar.”

The pasta was silky, fresh, made that day I’m sure, and perfectly cooked. The sauce was creamy and nicely flavored. With the pasta, the evening’s vegetables: cauliflower and broccoli, cooked al dente, not long-cooked in the currently fashionable Italian manner. A pleasant supper after a long day which had left us too tired for dessert.

Barbera, Pianeta, 2013
Il Cortile Ristorante, 608 12th Street, Paso Robles, California; 805-226-0300

RESTAURANTS VISITED, with information and rating:  2016   2015

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