Whether you’re seeking a casual lunch or an upscale dinner, a caterer or a private room for special occasions, Farmstead Kitchen & Catering in Paso Robles fits the bill.
The restaurant opened in December at the corner of 14th and Park streets in a building previously shared by Panolivo Family Bistro and Jaffa Café.
Farmstead owners John and Nancy McDevitt opened up the space considerably and lightened it with neutral tones and natural materials. The result is an engaging bar area and stylish, comfortable dining room.
New sidewalk seating adds a relaxing and dog-friendly spot in front of the restaurant, and the Central Coast Room behind the dining room can seat up to 35 people for private events.
Plus, since the location has the luxury of having two separate kitchens, one can be entirely dedicated to serving those events and any off-site Farmstead Catering Co. work. The other kitchen is just for service to the main dining room.
Keeping all those dishes spinning while operating Chariot Wine Tours in Paso Robles might seem a tall order, but the McDevitts are up to the task.
Between them, they bring several decades of experience to the table. John McDevitt’s skills are primarily as a chef and caterer, while his wife’s talents lie in hospitality and wine. The couple also owned and operated a popular restaurant in New Jersey for almost a decade.
John McDevitt described Farmstead Kitchen & Catering fare as “new American with international influences, and food that goes well with beer and wine.” It’s an approach that successfully presents a menu with broad appeal without being scattered.
Appetizers include carne asada tacos, seafood stew and smoked salmon and trout salad.
For lunch, try lighter options such as a roasted vegetable wrap or half of a grilled cheese sandwich with a cup of tomato-eggplant soup. Those with heartier appetites can go for pan-seared black cod with a green bean salad or penne pasta in a silky tomato sauce with andouille sausage, chicken and artichoke hearts.
Many starters and lighter dishes are also available at dinner, as are expanded entrée choices. Some favorites are Duroc pork chop with fingerling potatoes, stuffed chicken from Bee Wench Farms in Shandon and Maple Leaf Farms duck leg confit and breast served with a cardamom-cinnamon demi-glace.
“Our mixed grill entrée is also popular because we feature meats like lamb and bison and (the selection) changes all the time,” McDevitt said. “And we run a lot of seafood specials – monkfish or the big diver scallops and local fish whenever we can.”
A chalkboard wall in the bar lists all of Farmstead’s draft beers, wines-by-the-glass and wine flights. The eight flights give you a chance to try a trio of various wines, such as Paso Red Favorites, or an Italian grouping called La Dolce Vita.
“I wanted to mix in local wines with those from around the world, but still keep the price point reasonable,” said Nancy McDevitt, who’s passed the Society of Wine Educators’ rigorous Certified Specialist of Wine exam.
Also look to the chalkboard for the selection of Today’s Tavern Treats – available in the bar during the afternoon when the full dining room isn’t open. Recent selections included smoked chicken wings, the Farmstead Burger with smoked cheddar and sautéed mushrooms and a Mediterranean sampler with hummus and baba ganoush (roasted eggplant dip).
Interestingly, this restaurant was a bit of a postscript for the McDevitts. After all, they were already busy operating Chariot Wine Tours and Farmstead Catering Co.
It was the search for a better commissary kitchen that impelled them to add that aspect to their businesses. When they discovered the Park Street location, “it was the perfect space for what we eventually wanted to do,” McDevitt recalled. “It was just too good to pass up.”
Farmstead Kitchen & Catering
1344 Park St., Paso Robles
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday; closed Tuesday. Light bites menu available 2:30 to 5 p.m. in the bar.
The scene: Comfortable and stylish, this new spot offers indoor and outdoor seating, plus a private room for special events.
The cuisine: New American cuisine with international influences that pairs well with beer and wine. Select wine flights give you the chance to try a trio of themed wines.
Expect to spend: Most starters and sandwiches $10 to $15, lunch entrées $15 to $20, dinner entrées $20 to $35.