There’s a new spot to enjoy casual cuisine with an upscale approach in the Paso Robles wine country — Jeffry’s Catering at Barton’s Kitchen Window, which opened this past Labor Day weekend.
Tucked behind the tasting room of Barton Family Wines, which produces the Barton, Grey Wolf and Occasional Wines labels, the location boasts one of the best views in town.
After making your choice from the weekend lunch offerings, you’ll place your order at the kitchen window, then settle into a relaxing spot and wait for your name to be called.
While you eat, take in the sweeping scenery from the patio overlooking Highway 46 West. You can also enjoy some Barton Family Wines offerings with your meal, by the taste, glass or bottle.
Jeffry’s Catering takes its name from chef Jeff Wiesinger, who brings some considerable culinary chops to the kitchen. He earned an associate degree in culinary arts and a bachelor’s degree in food service management at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, graduating cum laude.
Since then, Wiesinger has assembled a resumé that includes working as chef de cuisine for a ski resort, culinary consultant for the 2007 World Series and executive chef for the now-closed Restaurant LuLu in Mammoth Lakes.
It was in Mammoth Lakes that Wiesinger met Joe Barton, winemaker and co-owner of Barton Family Wines. The two became fast friends.
When Wiesinger moved to the Central Coast in 2007 to be close to family, “Grey Wolf was my first catering client,” he said. “Joe and I actually started talking about doing something like this (Barton’s Kitchen Window) back in 2004, so this has kind of been 10 years in the making.”
Though Wiesinger often makes small changes to the Barton’s Kitchen Window menu, it typically features about half a dozen items plus a daily special or two.
Favorites include the smoked tri-tip sandwich with housemade zinfandel barbecue sauce on a French roll from Edna’s Bakery in San Luis Obispo and the Cuban pork loin sandwich with housemade pickles and Dijon mustard aioli. Another popular item is the Paso Mac & Cheesesteak, which features mini shell pasta with a roasted garlic and provolone cheese sauce, smoked top sirloin and sautéed peppers and onions.
Specials have included a cherry wood-smoked pulled pork sandwich, rigatoni alla Bolognese and a bloody mary bacon cheeseburger.
If you’re in the mood for lighter fare, you can opt for a baby spinach salad with dried cranberries and blue cheese, or nibble on an indulgent snack of housemade black truffle potato chips.
In addition to all those from-scratch touches, Wiesinger utilizes a compact smoker in the outdoor kitchen area to prepare most of his meats, which get a dry-rub treatment of “Jeffry Spice” before spending several hours cooking over either oak or cherry wood pellets. He’s looking into getting a cold smoker so he can add ingredients such as house-smoked cheeses to his menus.
Though Barton’s Kitchen Window is a synergistic setup, Jeffry’s Catering exists as a separate entity from the winery. As the name suggests, Wiesinger rents the facility for his own catering business.
“We’re doing here (for Barton’s Kitchen Window) is quite a bit different than what we do for private and special events,” he explained. “Here, it’s more like a food truck concept serving hearty wine country comfort food.”
The fare “definitely pairs very well with Barton Family Wines,” Wiesinger said, “but we also hope that after you’ve come here, tasted the wines, had some food and hung out, you’ll go visit other nearby wineries as well.”
Jeffry’s Catering at Barton’s Kitchen Window
Barton Family Wines, 2174 Highway 46 West, Paso Robles | (760) 709-1519
Hours: Noon-4 p.m. Friday-Sunday (Winery open 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily).
The scene: Relax on the casual outdoor patio overlooking scenic vineyards and the rural landscape.
The cuisine: Hearty, housemade wine country comfort food including sandwiches, salads and pastas.
Expect to spend: $11 and under (Wine tasting $7, waived with purchase).