I finally visited Villa Creek Restaurant on a recent trip to Paso Robles. I’ve been a fan of Cris Cherry’s Villa Creek wines for a while, and have heard nothing but raves about his Villa Creek restaurant. And lucky me, I finally got to put the two together.
It was a cold, drizzly Monday night, and I sat at the bar where I could keep an eye on the football game while I read my book. I had heard Villa Creek was a winemaker’s hangout, and it had warm service and a cozy vibe—I heard the staff chatting with both locals and tourists, and the tourists and locals chatting with each other.
The food was fantastic. I ordered the market salad and one of the day’s specials (my ultimate comfort food)—tender braised short ribs and Brussels sprouts with mashed potatoes that had just a hint of horseradish. With it, I ordered a glass of Villa Creek High Road James Berry Vineyard Paso Robles 2007, a Syrah-based wine, for $15. The wine was terrific, bold and intense with plenty of black fruit flavors and a peppery sage note. It stood up to the bold flavors of the food; together, they were a perfect match of the hearty and comforting. I rated the wine 91 points, non-blind.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Villa Creek High Road James Berry Vineyard Paso Robles 2007 (88, $50).
• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated reds from California’s Paso Robles region.