A BITE OF BRITTANY
If you want to literally taste WOW on your tongue, choose the best restaurant in Downtown Paso Robles. We have been coming to the downtown for years and we’ve always wanted to dine at BL Brasserie (formerly Bistro Laurent). But for one reason or the other, we couldn’t.
At first, we were in our 20s and we couldn’t afford it. Secondly and most importantly, the restaurant was always booked, and thirdly, it is in a tiny hamlet where it was difficult to find accommodation after 9 pm. I always wanted to know the man behind this restaurant that has survived a quarter of a century.
If you transport yourself to a tucked brasserie in Brittany, France, in the core of Downtown Paso Robles, you will find an open kitchen, a miniature bar and a cozy parlor the size of a seating area in one room without feeling cramped.
There is an expanded outside seating which is just as seductive. If you don’t want to order a 3x priced bottle on the wine list, you can walk two steps away from the patio to their wine shop (note: there’s no direct website). It is an intimate selection, and you can choose not to pay corkage fee or bring your own for $30.
When we got here, we were immediately greeted with enthusiasm in the bustling but restrained dining room. Marc, the Maitre’d greeted us with a pair of Taittinger Champagne and we instantly felt right at home. Everything was made to order, seasonal, with exceptional service.
Every dish was a symphony, simply plated but harmoniously flavorful.
SWEET & BRINY OYSTERS
Since we were wetting our palate with Champagne, we began with the succulently sweet and briny oysters. It was like the ocean in one bite.
Next, I was surprised to learn this was by far Babito’s favorite dish of the evening, Eggs Meurette! This is a classic Burgundian dish. Creamy poached eggs delicately flavored in a red wine sauce, it was outstanding!
GRILLED ASPARAGUS CHILLED SOUP
We then refreshed our palate with an invigorating Grilled Asparagus Chilled Soup.
CRAB & AVOCADO SALAD
The CRAB & AVOCADO SALAD is redefined here and is nothing short of heavenly.
WILD MUSHROOMS IN BEURRE BLANC
NEW YORK STEAK WITH BLACK PEPPERCORN SAUCE
The New York Steak with BLACK PEPPERCORN SAUCE seasoned and seared to perfection.
The Potato Dauphinoise was decadent, topped with a baked caramelized crispy cheese crust, then oozing with cream and more cheese inside.
COPIA VINEYARDS & WINERY
This remarkable spread had to be paired with an equally exemplified local producer, Copia Vineyards & Winery.
BL BRASSERIE’S CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
The closure, but also memorable is BL Brasserie’s Chocolate Mousse, lush and velvety to the last nibble.
At this point, it became very clear to me why Chef Laurent Grangien of BL Brasserie has been a stable and notable figure in Downtown Paso Robles for so many years. Many restaurants come and go in a small town because they don’t have the level of commitment needed to survive for so long. BL Brasserie is an illustration of a present-day top-quality landmark with a level of distinction.
WATCH BL BRASSERIE CHEF LAURENT GRANGIEN INTERVIEW
1202 Pine St, Paso Robles, CA 93446
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