We were passing through Paso Robles on a trip back to LA from the Carmel area. It was Father's Day and it was close to 6 p.m. I started calling restaurants we'd been to -- we are frequent winery visitors and visit Paso Robles a couple or three times a year.
We just wanted a nice meal in a nice restaurant, and to get back on the road, for another 3-4 hours of driving.
We picked Enoteca because it actually had higher rankings than the two downtown Paso restaurants on our list- Artisan and Panolivo!
At first we sat near the big fireplace - this restaurant is inside a boutique hotel, La Bellasera, just off the freewaym and the fireplace is mentioned in tripadvisor reviews, but it also blocked the hotel lobby. But a father-teen/young adult daughter were bickering very loudly at a nearby table, and we moved the bar. We enjoy sitting at the counter, so this was a great choice.
Hubby had lentil/bacon soup $9 bowl - and it was on the salty side. I had the mussels $14. Crispy
pancetta, spinach, charred plum tomatoes, jalapeño. I took the broth home, and had it for lunch the next day. at work It was delicious, and the pancetta provided a nice flavor and crispy treat against the mussels.
The bread, served by the wait staff from a big basket was warm and rustic. I had the kalamata loaf, and hubs had the baguette, both were delicious!! Not made on site, but sourced from an awesome bakery somewhere!
For entrees, Hubs had the planked salmon with white crab meat and Italian fresca sauce, grilled scallion mashed potatoes, sautéed spinach $32. He loved every bite.
I had the Grilled Porterhouse Pork Chop with sherry mustard glaze, tuscan potatoes, balsamic grilled asparagus $29. I took 3/4 of it home and we both had it for dinner the next night!
Now, about the wines. This restaurant serves a lot of locals (70% I hear) and they serve a lot of excellent local wines. If you bring your own bottle of a local wine you may have picked up wine tasting there is NO CORKAGE FEE on your first bottle. That is amazing!
We were driving so only had a glass, but the two wines we selected were new to us. At first we asked for a small taste of two.
Hubby had Opolo, “Mountain,” Paso Robles, $49 for the bottle, $12 for a generous glass.
I had the Jack Creek, Templeton, $56 and $13 for the glass.
It was my turn to drive after dinner, so I nursed my one glass of delicious wine, but hubby wanted a little more wine. He asked "can I have half a glass?" Sure, no problem!
There were very nice people at the bar, some locals, some who stay at the hotel every time they come to Paso Robles. The bartender was very wine knowledgeable, and also made many interesting drinks, and our server was super nice.
I will definitely come back here, next time we will stay at the hotel too!
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