Restaurant Review - Joanne
December 3, 2004

Villa Creek

1144 Pine Street ,
Paso Robles, CA 93446
(805) 238-3000, fax: (805)238-5439

Serrano Ham Hand Rolls
Stuffed with Escabeche and Aged Provolone $10

Joanne: Not notable. Tasty but not that interesting.

Selection of Spanish Chorizos
Toasted Nuts and House Marinated Olives $10

Only one was outstanding. Spicy but not hot – the great “balbo” one it was a bright orange color and about 6 inches long. The green olives were fantastic. And I’m pretty sure the little yellow ones were arbequina.

Roasted Breast of Squab
Pumpkin-Farro Risotto, Applewood Smoked Bacon and Huckleberry Sauce $24

Tiny squab breast, a little on the gamy side but very tasty. Nicely presented. The “risotto” was stand-out. The sauce making it lick the plate style. The pumpkin really was “pumpkiny” almost too much so but with the squab it worked really well. This was a chancy dish pulled off – the only negative was some of the bacon bits were rubbery tough.

Natural Veal Chop
Chanterelles, English Peas, Celery Root Puree, and Veal Reduction Sauce $26

Joanne: The Chanterelles would have been better crispy. The celery root puree was perfect – piping hot and very smooth so that you wondered what it was.

They have a real children’s menu at this restaurant! Hurrah! Trent had the Roast beef with mashed potatoes – it was really beef brisket but very tasty and it came with perfect haricot verts. No chocolate ice cream for dessert, though.

They serve Ducale sparking water from Milan. It was great.

Great wine list. Jack was lusting over the 2001 Clos Erasmus, which in retrospect we should have ordered. Instead we got the "off the wine list" choice of:
2001 Saxum Syrah James Berry Vineyard Bone Rock Paso Robles - $75.
It has 15.9% listed alcohol and probably was much more like 16.8%. Very bitter like coffee grounds with a distinct anise tone. We had it decanted but it was no more approachable at the end of dinner than at the first. It is a concentrated hard bitter very alcoholic wine. It did not compliment the food but it didn’t steamroll it either. We drank maybe 2/3 of the bottle and left the rest for the staff.

Wacky note: The restaurant's menu heavily promoted Villa Creek's own wines. Yet there was not a bottle to be had!

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