My memory may be fading (I am turning 40 this year after all) but of the many Taste of Pismo events my hubby and I have attended I think this year was unequivocally the best. Maybe it was the great “Farm Fest” Farm to Fork event that ushered in the Taste the Friday night before. Maybe it was the great mix of participating restaurants, wineries and breweries. Maybe it was the jumbo tent or the spectacular weather. It was probably a mix of all of these things — and great friends to enjoy it with (always a plus).
What I have to give the event coordinators high praise for is to gather together a truly great cross section of local wineries and several breweries as well. The food has always been delicious, but my memory is that some years the local vintner participation was less than I expected. In any event, many of my favorites — Saucelito, Adelaida, Laetitia, Chamisal, Opolo, Wolff. And many great new ones (for me) — Red Carpet Winery, Croad, Monarch Grove. And where other years had just one local brewery to serve those not vine-inclined, this year there were three — Tap It, Pismo Brewing, Firestone, and SLO Brewing!
But alas, when it’s “TASTE” of Pismo we are discussing, one must address the small bites offered. While Rosa’s stood out with their stand-by Butternut Squash Ravioli, and Splash with their amazing Chowder in a Signature Bread Bowl, Marisol knocked it out of the park with presentation and taste in their little spoonful of heaven — small bay scallops in a light mignonette sauce topped with water cress in individual appetizer spoons. And Sea Venture did a bit-sized dessert morsel of gluten-free, flour-less chocolate torte morsel that was perfect in size and delectable.
Look out for it next year — it is in late April at the beautiful Dinosaur Caves Park next to the Pismo Beach/Five Cities Amphitheater overlooking the Pacific in Shell Beach. We will see you there!