608 12th Street
Paso Robles, CA 93446
This meal was a few weeks back, late summer in Paso Robles all on my lonesome. A few of my clients have raved about Il Cortile as being the best restaurant in town. In a town with as much great food as Paso Robles, this is no small praise.
It was Claudia's fault that I was craving cava that week. (Everything is Claudia's fault). We had spent time at City Sip the previous Saturday and as usual she ordered up a glass of fizz. Being the envious type I decided I needed cava too. I was on a cava bender for weeks afterward. My point? Il Cortile is Italian and they did not have cava, dammit. They had a nice prosecco though, and it just had to do.
I sat at the bar keeping company with owner Carole and a non-local regular who stops in for dinner with Carole and crew every time he drives through central coastal California. Above, grilled asparagus, locally produced balsamic, and burrata sourced at Gioia in El Monte.
The second half of my meal was an olive oil drizzled grilled octopus with a perfect char. Underneath were grilled vegetables with such delicious simplicity I asked for a side plate.
Great conversation, sublime food and a little fizz are the perfect cure for mild loneliness born of too much travel and not enough nights in my own bed. I plan to swing back by Il Cortile later this month, for medicinal purposes, naturally.