Last week I dropped into Pico Restaurant as one of the few options open on Wednesday night after cutting short my visit to Norman. https://www.chowhound.com/post/norman... From the moment I walked in the door not long before closing time until I was the last customer to leave, the entire experience had a welcoming and professional polish to it.
The restaurant has a wine bar in the front. With my meal I tried the Lumen standard wine flight, $15 - 2016 Sierra Madre Pinot Gris, 2015 Los Alamos Grenache, 2015 Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir. My favorite with the food was the young Pinot Noir, very fruity and fragrant.
My server (who turned out to be the manager) advised that the groupings on the menu are in order of serving size with smallest plates in the "Uno" section, a bit larger in "Dos", and entree size in "Tres". That sounded like three selections from the first two would be plenty for dinner and provide variety. I started with Duck confit risotto, $15 - A casual but eye-appealing presentation with a creamy sauce base underneath the kabocha squash laced orange-tinted rice. Thick shreds of Hudson Valley duck confit studded the rice. On top, some wilted bitter greens, crunchy duck skin cracklings, and toasted pumpkin seeds. Though more autumnal than the current spring into summer season, I loved everything about this dish and can understand why it's still on the menu at this time of year.
Next up, Mushroom salad, $17 - Lardons of house-cured bacon and an avalanche of warm, seared mushrooms of every stripe plus Manchego cheese weighed down this plate of arugula greens. Also more fall-like and hearty, I enjoyed this, but only for a few bites before feeling overwhelmed. Not a dainty dish in portion size or personality, I commented to my server that it was misleading to classify this as a mid-size plate. He graciously offered to cancel my third dish, Pork cannelloni, thank goodness.
While I probably could have ordered better, I was satisfied with the craft in my small sampling of the menu and would return. What impressed me even more was the friendly and attentive service. I'd chosen my table for the comfy-looking overstuffed chair. But when the seat turned out to be too low for me, I asked to be moved. Instead, the manager brought over another cushion for the seat. I felt something like the princess and the pea, but it worked for me. As the last customer in the house, I did not feel any pressure to wrap up my last tasting of the wines. The staff proceeded with their closing activities and kept a closer eye on me, but did not bring the bill or clear plates until I requested. I very much appreciated this.
458 Bell St
Los Alamos, CA
Tuesday-Sunday from 5PM
Sunday Burger Night (limited menu)