What a day. Friday was my last day at my first career job after graduate school. I decided it was time to move on to another company. But, I definitely set up some time between leaving one job and starting the next where I can goof off and drink a lot of wine. I think you all would expect nothing less of me! A good friend came to visit/help celebrate and a few hours after I walked out of the office for the last time, we were already neck deep into some good wine and food. There is a new restaurant called Patria that just opened here in town and has a great wine list and really delicious food. Their menu has influence of German and Italian recipes but is definitely looking to expand on some old favorites. We started with the charcuterie plate because something about cured, thinly-sliced pig just warms the cockles of my little, black heart. Plus the little pickles just make me laugh. I don’t know why. Please don’t read anything Freudian into that statement. The thing that really drew me to the plate was they listed wild boar salami as one of the meats included. I can’t say that I had ever had wild boar salami before so I had to try it. Big shock, it tasted like salami. I was a little let down, to be honest. I don’t know why I expected it to be so different or interesting. And there was nothing wrong with it at all, it just is what it is. I guess I was looking for a much gamier, richer flavor. But, it definitely didn’t detract from the plate being beautiful and delicious. The house-cured olives were really nice too, which is a lot coming from me because I just became a casual olive fan about a year ago.
However, salty meats did happen to go really nicely with the wine we ordered. We were both getting pork for dinner so I thought a Pinot that was more on the tannic, full-bodied side would work well with all the food. I knew Adelaida came from Paso Robles but hadn’t really had any of their wine. I figured with the warmer region the Pinot would have the character I was looking for. I was a little nervous when it was first poured because it had a really light color and was not very opaque even in the dim lighting of the restaurant. It ended up being perfect. It had really bright fruit and floral notes but still had this interesting heavier feature I still can’t quite put my finger on. It was different that a lot of Pinot I have had. It was an earthy taste almost like a Cabernet Franc but not mushroomy like those can get. It was bold Like a Syrah but didn’t have that overwhelming spice and pepper flavor. Now that I have slept on it I feel like it was almost a grainy taste. Almost like a pumpernickel bread. Dark, heavy grain flavor. But it bounced off of the fruit really well and paired with the pork entrees.
Dinner was great. Breaded pork filet with wild mushroom sauce and some spaetzle on the side. Hearty and warm. Exactly how I wanted to fill my belly to start my work hiatus/debauchery vacation. I really liked the place’s atmosphere too. There aren’t a lot of great places to eat around these parts so I was excited when this came to town and actually was reviewed well. I figured it would be decent since the owner also has been involved with some great restaurants out in Carmel, CA. Dessert was really exciting as well. I love dessert. I am not super interested in overly sweet desserts just for the sake of sweet. I like sweet but I want there to be more to it than just sugar. The pear strudel was calling my name and was pretty incredible. Look at it. Just look.
I know. I had the same reaction you did. It’s beautiful. I would never rip a Monet off the wall or snap the arm off of a Bernini sculpture, but I had no problem diving right in and absolutely obliterating this work of art. I regret nothing. A fantastic dessert without being too heavy or overly sweet. It completely hit the spot.
I apologize for the lower quality pictures but I only had my iPhone with me. But I think they are still good enough to make your mouth water. If you are ever in the Old Town Salinas area, stop into Patria and you won’t be disappointed. It has a great bar as well as having good food. You can pick up some bottles of Adelaida online here. I will keep you all posted on my weeks of being an unemployed sybarite. Happy drinking!