Published August 30, 2013

Had to head down to Santa Barbara and was trying to make the drive back north in the same  day but that would have been 13 hours on the road so I decided to stay the night in San Luis Obispo (Central Coast). I usually love the steaks at Madonna Inn’s restaurant but the rooms are too loud. So, I was delighted to find the Granada Hotel & Bistro quoted me about the same price for a recently remodeled lavishly decorated room right in downtown SLO.

While the accommodations were a score and I saved a bit of cash, I spent about a hundred bucks on myself in their bistro downstairs because the wine and food was so delicious. Their Cumin and Coriander Rubbed Coulotte Steak had a celery root puree, chili roasted cauliflower and chimichurri nora pepper puree that was not shy on the spice. While the combination of flavors was outstanding, I was wishing I’d ordered a Riesling or jammy zin to handle the spice in this dish. I know I should have known by the description that it was spicy. But so many chefs are simply shy on the spices to appeal to a wide audience. Kudos to the chef at Granada for embracing authentic spice and local flavors!

The Folkway Bien Nacido Vineyard from Santa Maria on the menu was a soft loving Merlot. I’m still thinking about its deliciously elegant portfolio of flavors with a real juicy dark cherry that is the hallmark of a good Merlot. But pair this with lighter fare than I did.

Finally, don’t get suckered into paying an extra $5 hotel fee for them to staff their front desk. We all have to suck up fees that it takes to run our businesses!


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