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Paso Robles Fall Harvest/Buona Tavola Review

kim c | Oct 18, 200405:33 PM

Wow, what a wonderful time we had this weekend exploring the Paso Robles wine country. The first winery we visited was the Cumeria Vineyards winery. We sampled some Syrah from the barrel-tasting station and some excellent, warm pumpkin soup that was flavorful and delicious.

Next we went to the Tobin James winery where they were giving out samples of BBQ'd meat. Lots of pork and chicken that was very good to go along with the wine tasting. We really enjoyed the Tobin James "Cash Flow" which is a very nice, versatile red table wine.

Then off to the Bianchi Winery. The tasting room was just completely remodeled and is absolutely gorgeous. Definitely the prettiest tasting room in the area. We ordered the BBQ pizza which you could choose from a variety of ingredients which were made-to-order. We had this out on the deck overlooking the koi ponds and waterfall with a glass of their wonderful Merlot that we purchased. We also were able to find a copy of the French Laundry cookbook I purchased for a Christmas present.

Next stop was the EOS vineyard where picked up some wine awaiting us from the wine club we're in there. We sampled some very nice olive oils they had for sampling.

We then headed over to the Martin & Weyrich winery where I wanted to pick up some of their great Nebbiolo. Complimentary with a bottle of wine were the wonderful jalepeno Italian sausage sandwiches which were out of this world! We had two they were so yummy.

Next stop was the San Marcos Creek vineyard. This is a gorgeous winery and still in the process of being built. We tasted their white Merlot which was very good and the Syrah was the best we tasted on the trip so we purchased a bottle for our collection. Here there was a small buffet set out with very yummy treats with suggestions on which to try with each wine sampling. The bacon and cheese stuffed tomaotes were very good, the cranberried meatballs and the homemade fudge to go with the late harvest Moscato was very good.

Off to the Wild Coyote, what a kick this place was. It is a pueblo-type winery, like something out of New Mexico. Very nice inside with a fire going. It's know as the "House of Red." We sampled two very good Zins and Merlots and a nice Syrah. We chose a bottle of the Merlot to take home. Here they had some really good red cabbage cole slaw with pine nuts that was nice to nibble on while sampling the wines here. I'm going to order a bottle or two of their Zin for DH for a Christmas present too. Got DD a cool t-shirt she loved. Very unique experience here.

Well, after all of this is there still room for dinner at 5:30 at Buona Tavola? You bet! We headed over to downtown Paso Robles for our 5:30 reservation.

Buona Tavola means "Good Table" and the SLO locatoin is Zagat and Wine Spectator recognized. I know I was going to like this place, I just had a really good feeling about it and I was right!!

We were seated at a nice table near the back of the restaurant. The place is small, but very elegant, yet casual and fun. We started with the Antipasta of Insalata del Dante which is a salad of baby fresh spinach,diced organci tomatoes, roasted pine nuts and red onions in a gargonzola dressing. We shared this and it was very good.

We decided to do a split plate thing since we were a little full from all the great foods at the wineries. There was no extra charge for this and the server was very accomodating.

Our Primi Piatti course was the Tortelloni de Zucca alla Salvia e Mascapone which is a homemade tortelloni stuffed with pumpkin, and ricotta cheese in a sage and mascapone cheese sauce topped wtih roasted walnuts. The split portion was quite generous and this dish was excellent. I would order it as an entree next time.

Our Secondi Piatti (main course) was the Satlimbocca alla Capo Vico which is a veal scallopine with prosciutto, melted imported fontina cheese served on a bed of spinach with a rosemary veal reduction sauce. Very unique flavors, and excellent. We shared a glass of the Wild Horse Merlot since we didn't have a chance to visit this winery.

Still room for dessert? Well of course! For our Dolci (dessert) we shared a slice of the chocolate-chocolate flourless cake, drizzled with raspberry sauce and mascapone cheese. This was rich and decadent. A very nice finish to a perfect day and excellent meal.

I will return to Buona Tavola again and again. Antonio Varia has done a wonderful job with this place. Bon appetit! ***kim***

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