Does it really get any better than good wine paired perfectly with fresh, local and eclectic food? I didn't think so. And that's exactly what Foremost Wine Co. in San Luis Obispo, Calif. brings to the table, literally.
Foremost Wine Co. is a new restaurant opening in downtown San Luis Obispo. Not only is it a restaurant, but Foremost also features...
- A wine lounge where you can relax and enjoy a glass of wine,
- A wine retail shop where you can purchase wine at discount prices,
- A wine bar where you can taste different flights of wine,
- A charcuterie and provisions bar where you can sit sushi-bar style and watch the cooks cook in front of you and still get full dinner service at the same time.
Owner Rob Murray, a viticulturist and farmer on the Central Coast, hatched the idea for Foremost Wine Co. He owns 1,000 acres of grapes between Paso Robles and Santa Maria, Calif. and is passionate about growing the best possible grapes. Murray also produces four different wine labels that include Force of Nature wines, Tooth and Nail, Statis and Amor Fati.
The idea for Foremost began as a simple wine bar but it soon expanded into what it is today. Foremost general manager Johnny Kenny said that the idea "grew into this co-op of foodies, farmers, grape growers and winemakers that came together to create something more that what we initially intended on doing."
The wine bar, restaurant and lounge aims to create and serve a global cuisine while using all local products. Acclaimed chef Julie Simon helps make that happen.
Kenny said that they source everything as local as they can. For example, Foremost gets all of their eggs from chickens in See Canyon.
"We also have an organic farm, a 4-acre organic farm, at See Canyon Fruit Ranch and See Canyon as well, where we plant all of our own produce and try to grow as much produce as we can for the restaurant itself," Kenny said.
The concept for the restaurant is to bring together the farm-to-table aspect "to where we actually are growing from our own farm" and the same for the grape-to-glass concept, Kenny said.
I had the opportunity to experience Foremost at one of their soft openings. Simply put, my friend and I were blown away. The atmosphere of Foremost is inviting and exciting. The decor is unique in that wine bottles line the walls of Foremost and chandeliers made from deer antlers hang from the ceiling. The waiters are friendly, knowledgeable about the menu and wine pairings, and they're obviously excited to be working there.
My friend and I started with a glass of Artezin Zinfandel 2012 and halibut cheeks served with lychees and strawberries served atop a bed of braised greens with a sauce made with coconut milk (below).
We also ordered a charcuterie platter, hoisin braised duck leg, steak au poivre and fingerling potatoes. For dessert we had caramel budino and a chocolate tourt with rose jam and strawberries.
Every single dish was amazing. You can taste the freshness and the complex and contrasting flavors of each dish that blended beautifully together. Needless to say, I'll definitely be back whether it's to enjoy dinner or to buy a bottle wine.
I encourage you to check out Foremost as well. You won't be disappointed.
Foremost is located in The Creamery at 570 Higuera St. The restaurant is planning to open to the public on Wednesday, November 12 beginning with dinners.