Villa Creek-it’s a restaurant, it’s a winery, it’s all very, very good. Right on the square in downtown Paso Robles, the restaurant has a vibrant bar, but the back room and even more placid garden are great places to while away the hours enjoying the food of Chef Tom Fundaro. An early proponent of fresh, local, and organic, he blends Spanish, Mexican, Provencal, even some Thai influences to make a menu of richly delicious comfort food in many languages. As for the wines, Chris Cherry (who owns the whole operation but focuses on the stuff in bottles) specializes in bodacious blends from Rh’ne and Spanish grapes. These are Parker-pleasing teeth-stainers, but are far from all fruit-forward flash; not surprisingly, they pair perfectly with Fundaro’s menu. So if you like grenache, mourvdre, and tempranillo and want to see what can be made from Paso’s best vineyards (Denner, Berry, Ohana, and Booker), hunt down these wines. Or make that two-hour drive and enjoy Villa Creek both ways. The restaurant is at 1144 Pine Street, Paso Robles. Call 238-3000 or see villacreek.com.
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