There’s nothing quite like the unfortunate feeling of waking up from a deep sleep and realizing you’ve slept through your dinner reservation. After a wonderful afternoon at the Earth Day Food & Wine festival a little rest was in order, but crashing for what was supposed to be little a power nap turned into a 3 hour dream fest! I blame the wine! That and the fluffy, comfy beds at The Allegretto Vineyard Resort.
My heart was doleful with the thought that I had missed my dining opportunity at Cello, the upscale yet casual Mediterranean-inspired restaurant that is on-property at The Allegretto. I called the front desk in a panic. I was so happy to hear that they would still be able to fit me in, although it was last minute. The Chef and his team would graciously welcome me anyway and I would be served a tasting menu as selected by the kitchen.
I didn’t think twice about accepting, and made my way through the endless corridors of the resort to the candle lit Cello. After sitting down at my comfortable table, the super sweet and considerate waitress, Shannon, wanted to double check if I had any allergies. As a matter of fact I don’t, but that thought hadn’t even crossed my mind. I had a feeling I was in store for a treat, and was more than open to going “Omakase” style with whatever Chef Eric Olson and his team had in store for me.
Locals mixed in with tourists (like a delicious craft cocktail), and everyone was enjoying not only the food, but an extensive domestic and international wine list, garden-to-glass cocktails and craft beers.
Cello is famed for its creative dishes made from regionally farmed and foraged ingredients.
How awesome is that? Chef Olson and his team actually work with local farmers and purveyors on a daily basis, most of which he knows by name. Coming from LA, this concept seems so “Scandinavian,” especially if you’ve seen the recent Vox feature on calling random Swedes.
Here’s a shot of the herbs grown right out front of Cello.
Chef has a passion for foraging indigenous ingredients, and although he was off duty that evening, the passion definitely showed in the food. Chef Benjamin and his team orchestrated a meal fit for a Princess aka yours truly.
The first course was the Burrata, which happens to be one of my all time favorite cheeses; and the fact that this dish was served in a martini glass made it all the more my style! 😉 It was light and refreshing; perfect after waking up from a 3 hour nap!
If you ever go to Cello for dinner, order the Salmon. I tried to find the dish on the menu, but I guess it really was crafted just to my taste, with whatever was freshest in the kitchen that day. It was DELICIOUS, especially with the nice Pinot Grigio I had to wash it down.
And finally, The Princess Cake. Each bite of this was a masterpiece. I’m not going to lie, I ate almost the entire cake. lol. And I would do it again if I ever had the chance! It tasted even more perfect than it looks in this picture. So good.
I wonder if the lavender on the cake was picked fresh from this gorgeous plant right outside my door…
The next afternoon myself and few other members of the press enjoyed a lunch with Linda, the wonderful publicist at The Allegretto. We sat outside on the large, airy patio accompanied by sunlight and the calming yet vibrant air of the resort.
We sampled a selection of the menu including the veggie burger and some desserts. The scallops were TO DIE FOR. Here’s a peek at the dishes that our group enjoyed.
The curried cookies were also quite splendid, I was lucky enough to get to take a few home. They turned out to be the perfect mid-drive snack on the way back to LA!
And… more Princess Cake!
After the meal, Chef Olson gave us a tour around the kitchen where he showed us some fresh ingredients and some behind the scenes action.
If you’re ever in Paso Robles, Cello is a must try! And if you’re not, it’s worth the trip 🙂
Thank you to Chef, Linda and the team at Cello. I can’t wait to come back soon!
Make your reservation: (805) 369-2500
2700 Buena Vista Dr, Paso Robles, CA 93446