We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“The best meal I've ever had! And the best bread pudding ever!”
Review of Cracked Pepper Bistro - MOVED

Cracked Pepper Bistro
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special Occasion Dining, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Full Bar, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Fresno, CA
Level Contributor
34 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“The best meal I've ever had! And the best bread pudding ever!”
Reviewed 1 May 2012

My wife and I spent our 10th anniversary going to Ruth's Chris one night and Cracked Pepper the next. While Ruth's Chris was extremely delicious, the overall meal was better at Cracked Pepper, and about $50 cheaper.

We started by sharing the cheese plate, which was great; then the appetizer special which was seared scallops with a microgreen and crab salad - it looked like we licked the plate clean after we finished with it. For the entree and I had the pork loin, pancetta mashed potatoes, apple liquor gravy/sauce, and haricot vert. It was wonderful, but my wife's braised shortribs with a california chile jus, and mushroom polenta was a flavor explosion of awesomeness. Before dessert we tried their custom roast coffee, which was great. The bread pudding alone is reason enough to go. It's made with dinner rolls, croissants, and cheese danishes! Then surrounded by brandy caramel sauce and topped with homemade whipped cream.

The service was attentive and personable. We love the ambiance too.

A meal like the one described above will cost you, but if you love food, then it's more than worth it. We can't wait to go again.

Visited May 2011
Thank superjosh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

160 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ventura, California
Level Contributor
183 reviews
93 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
“Great Find”
Reviewed 17 March 2012

Very enjoyable. A young, enthusiastic staff, especially Andrea, our waitress. The place is small, just a bit cramped but still has an intimate feel. Despite being full, it was also quiet ! when was the last time you were in a nice, calm quiet restaurant ?

The food was excellent. We shared a Caesar Salad which was very nice (and large) sporting a slice of baked parmesan cheese. The warm bread and pepper cream aioli were outstanding. I had a short rib -- nice light sauce just a bit dry on the inside, vegetables perfectly mated. My wife had the scallops -- large, perfectly cooked and sitting on a bed of crab infused pasta. No room for dessert. A credible wine list, though heavy on Santa Barbara and mid-state (Paso Robles) wines.

I doubt there is a better restaurant in Fresno. And don't let "it's Fresno" fool you. Call for reservations. We'll be back.

  • Visited March 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank VenturaTraveler13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fresno, CA
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Out of the ordinary dining in Fresno”
Reviewed 8 March 2012

I'm not a particular fan of eggplant, but CPB makes a number of great dishes incorporating eggplant. Their breiad pudding is also the best I've ever had.

Thank rorymaren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
Level Contributor
142 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
“Good bread pudding but overpriced for the rest”
Reviewed 4 March 2012

Had a nice but not spectacular meal. Had a reservation at 8pm but wasn't seated until 8:30pm. Had the daily special of "eggplant fries" which made a eggplant lover out of my kids. The eggplant appetizer is just as good as everyone said it was. The bread pudding was worth the dinner. However, the remainder of the entrees were so-so, especially the scallop pasta. At more than $30/entree, I was expecting better. Would go back for the bread pudding.

  • Visited February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank 5fortravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
160 reviews
76 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 178 helpful votes
“Almost all very good, but not that great either”
Reviewed 24 February 2012

Had dinner here with spouse and colleagues during a visit to Fresno. The buzz of earlier appraisals convinced me that this was the place to go. The telephone reservation was handled promptly and politely. When we arrived there was confusion because they had not written down my last name, but after a few moments, I was found under my first name and we were seated. The room is relatively small--there appeared to be a second room to the left that was brightly lit and may have held a private party. The main room is dark and nicely appointed. The menu's offerings were very interesting. The starters and mains were all fairly pricey and it is strictly ala carte. We began by splitting the Eggplant Napolean starter which was delicious, and defintely too rich for each of us to have an individual serving. The green salads which featured pancetta and pecorino romano were rather sad-in that there was no pancetta and little or no pecorino on top; when one was sent back, it returned with just some sort of cheese scattered on top, not tasting like pecorino romano. The entrees were presented in a stylish fashion; meats that had been requested medium well were still quite pink which suggests that slicing into one of their rare steaks would produce a 'moo.' The flavor combinations were quite successful.
Some entrees included a small vegatable accompaniment.. All in all, the menu was quite imaginative. Dessert selections were never discussed--we were led to the famous bread pudding which is also quite rich and filling--a party of four split two of them and left a bit on the plate. Drinks presented a few problems. Two of our party had expected to have a cocktail and the CPB apparently is licensed only for wine. No problem there, the guests did take wine also, but my oh my, the list was really pricey. I may have missed it, but the least expensive red was $39, and the white offerings were very limited. There is a $16 wine service (corkage) charge is $16 unless you buy a bottle they have on offer--it may be they have another list, but it was only after leaving that I thought about asking. Another feature is that they add cucumber to the water which yields a distinctive taste that most folks seem to enjoy. So, on balance an uneven dining experience--probably it is the best in Fresno and certainly offers a chance for a quiet dinner allowing for conversation. The service as charming and informal. I gather that on weekends reservations are a must.

  • Visited February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank shri420
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Cracked Pepper Bistro also viewed


Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing