Quick trip to a blending party at Gelfand Vineyards tooks us back to Los Olivos Merchant Cafe again (we were out here in July and ate there 2x and previously in 08)
we enjoy sitting at the bar and getting insightful info from the bartenders. This time Ian was super knowledgeable in local wines, blends and syrahs. We started w the fresh squash blossoms filled w goat cheese and pine nuts in a pink peppercorn sauce. It was delicious.
The chilled cucumber soup was good too.
The winner of this detour (we were headed from Sta Barbara to Paso robles and decided to stop in for lunch) was without a doubt the spinach and ricotta homemade raviolis in a light delicate creamy sweet wine sauce topped w crispy fried onion strips. The sauce was the perfect consistency, w a slight wine flavor and a touch of sweetness. very tasty.
Dinner was in Paso at Artisan (we had been for lunch in July). We started with a California burrata, prosciutto and pea shoots with sweet local peaches. The peaches were a special touch on a usual prosciutto and melon dish. The baby herbed meatballs w gnocchi were good (not as good as in july for some reason). We then shared a special of grass fed, free range local veal over a truffled risotto in a wine reduction. Cooked perfectly and all the flavors worked well and stood on their own.
We had a side of jalapeno cornbread (came piping hot in little corn mold oven trays) w/ a lavender honey butter. The cornbread literally melted in your mouth. The butter could have used a bit more lavender and honey. the flavors were wonderful on the bites where we actually able to taste the flavors.
Desert was a fig torte with a goat cheese cream cake and lemon sorbet.
The blending party at Gelfand was a treat. We blended and came up w our own concoction of 2 types of wines (Menage a Blend and their SFR). Their Petite Syrah and Syrah are killers! Worth a try!!
Tonight we are off to Villa Creek for dinner in Paso. Will post on that later.
1401 Park St., Paso Robles, CA 93446
Los Olivos Cafe
2879 Grand Avenue, Los Olivos, CA 93441