Wednesday, September 5

Weekend Review: California's Central Coast

Smoked Salmon & Smoked Shrimp Tacos from Ruddell's Smokehouse in Cayucos

My fiance and I just got back from a wonderful trip up California's coast for my birthday. I had wanted to keep it relaxing, so we planned a few major elements (a night in Ragged Point, a tour of Hearst Castle, and a birthday dinner at the Cass House Inn) and left the rest of our days open for whatever sounded good at the time. We took an impromptu trip to Paso Robles for lunch and wine tasting at Justin (and nearly cleared them out of their 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon), watched whales breaching and elephant seals sunbathing, and sat on a cliff overlooking the ocean while the sun set. We were lucky with our meals, mostly taking restaurant suggestions from locals which led us to plenty of freshly caught seafood, homemade sweets, and locally-raised beef, but the real food highlight was at the Cass House. Located in a historic building in Cayucos, we enjoyed four courses and wine pairings of some of the best food I've had anywhere. The service, thoughtfulness, ambiance, and perfect Wagyu beef tenderloin made the meal into my top three dining experiences of all time.

Leg of Lamb & Goat Cheese French Dip from Artisan in Paso Robles

Pork Belly & Heirloom Beans - Course 2/4 at the Cass House Inn

Crab Cakes with Spicy Remoulade at Robin's in Cambria