One of my favorite parts of this job is meeting new chefs. It always fascinates me why people move to this area and what they did in their previous lives. I am also thrilled to taste the new flavors, techniques and attitudes they bring to their host restaurants. This week I was dazzled by Executive Chef Charles Weber of Adelina’s Bistro at Trilogy in Nipomo. This place (I call it the Las Vegas of the Central Coast) is a splendorous and appealing edifice housing some of the finest architecture and design found anywhere. In the style of the upper crust clubhouse, this opulent beauty and fine dining is available to everyone.
Charles Weber has a rock star chef background working in French and Mediterranean cuisine for over 30 years and from Napa to Chicago to New York and now Nipomo. This culinary genius moved to this area because of his love for fresh produce, our exceptional wine country and his love for bicycling. This man knows his way around a market and a kitchen. Adelina’s is truly blessed to have such a genius at a stunning location sharing his gift.
Adelina’s is rolling out a new menu that is locally sourced and seasonally biased, not to mention innovative and delicious. To pick the signature dish, local food critics and community leaders were invited to a special lunch to taste and vote for the new dishes to be offered on this exceptional menu.
We started with a calamari (tubes and tentacles) appetizer swimming in a white wine and garlic broth with minuscule bits of chorizo surprising our mouths and delighting our taste buds. The fresh baked bread from La Brea sopped up the remaining sauce with elation. We tasted a 2009 Taz Pinot Grigio from that brought out the sea and domain of this dish.
We shared stories of press pitfalls and politics with glee as we moved on to what would not only be the “first” for many of the diners, but also the favorite. Battered and flash fried veal sweetbreads placed over a bed of chicories. These selections of field greens were perfect with a mix of spicy, buttery, juicy and fresh flower stems and leafs blended with perfection to the Dijon mustard vinaigrette dressing. This dish was so good, we all threatened (and some did) lick their plates. Sweetbreads when properly prepared are heaven in the hands of the right chef, and Mr. Weber is that man.
Next, we tried the butternut squash risotto with crispy pork belly. I have said this before and I will again, it takes an angel on a chef’s shoulder to make a good risotto. Chef Weber has a talented cherub and the two towers of pork belly paired perfectly with the browned butter sage sauce and toasted pepitas.
We moved on to the cheese plate where Chef Weber shared nine of his favorite chesses with delightful honeycomb, candied walnuts and pistachios and more crusty bread. Each was a breath taking display of dairy at its finest. He chatted with us and we all understood that Adelina’s is worthy to be called our finest dining destination. Come here to savor the flavors of an artist, bask in the warmth of the fireplace, and pretend you are the king of this opulent castle.
In addition to the delicious Bistro, Adelina’s also is home to The Market Place, a complete specialty grocery stocked with what will become your favorite new indulgences. From a variety of breads and cheeses to everything offered on the Adelina’s menu, to an exemplary local wine collection to olive oil from all over the world, The Market Place at Adelina’s is one part farmer’s market, one part old-time country store, one part gourmet food source.
Adelina’s is located at 1645 Trilogy Parkway Nipomo, or call them at 805-343-7500. It is worth the drive whether you live in San Luis Obispo, Five Cites, or Santa Maria, make a night of it and take your special one to sparkle in this picturesque setting.