By Sandy Zimmerman
(Photos by the Artisan Bistro unless indicated)
Recognized as a James Beard nominated restaurant, the Artisan Bistro is one of the few small restaurants with this honor. Usually restaurants in the larger cities are chosen to receive the James Beard nominations and awards.
Paso Robles is a small-town with a population under 50,000 people; Named a culinary destination, the Artisan Bistro is an acclaimed leader in the farm-to-table dining movement.
Executive Chef Chris Kobayashi is active about sustainable and organic food. As owner of both the Artisan Bistro and a farm, Chef Chris embodies the true meaning of farm-to-table meals.
Chef Chris’ wife, Shandi Kobayashi, the Farm Director, grows sustainable and organic produce in Templeton, just 10 minutes from Paso Robles. This is ideal for a chef who cares about the quality of his meals.
Chef Chris buys from local farms that follow the principles of sustainable and organic food.
When the guests look at the menu they realize the Artisan Bistro is different. Chef Chris creates original flavor combinations. Dining at the Artisan is a culinary experience. Guests enjoy healthy meals with the freshness of just-picked fruit and vegetables as well as newly laid eggs.
Julie Heins, the sous-chef, explained, “We take pride in what we do. Our dishes are interesting and tasty.”
The mushroom toast becomes a meal when topped with mushrooms, bacon and a poached egg. Guests taste the richness of the cream Fraiche and the crispness of the bacon. Cream Fraiche, a France sauce, is thickened cream similar to sour cream.
You do not usually find Dungeness crab on a slider. The Dungeness slider is another example of the chef’s unique take on food. It is filled with onions, celery, prosciutto and a quail egg. The slider is pan seared then basted in butter and served on a hot English muffin with béarnaise sauce.
Among the entries, the pork porterhouse is impressive. Their 12-ounce cut from almost covers the entire plate. The pork was served with a sweet potato casserole made with cream, shallots, garlic, and goat cheese. Besides these flavors, the casserole was finished with toasted pecans and bread crumbs.
Their rabbit Stroganoff raises comfort food to a new level. Known as one of Chef Chris’s curveballs, Chef Chris puts a spin on familiar food.
The rabbit Stroganoff comes with pretzels, braised carrots and black trumpet-shaped mushrooms. They boil the pretzel dough in a perforated pan to make dough balls then blanch and sauté them with butter.”
The Artisan is a family run business with Chris’ brother Mike Kobayashi as General Manager.
The Artisan Restaurant is in downtown Paso Robles, in central California’s wine country, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
There are direct flights from Las Vegas to Santa Maria and Santa Rosa airports.
Sandy Zimmerman has been producing television commercials, programs and travel specials for more than 25 years.
Sandy is a syndicated journalist with columns featuring show reviews, restaurant reviews and travel as well as health and medicine. She is a talk show host for the Las Vegas Today Show television programs nd Discover the Ultimate Vacation travel specials. For information about any of Sandy’s columns, please call 735-5974. firstname.lastname@example.org