If you’re headed up to Paso Robles to tour some wineries and do some wine country eating, know this: Artisan, the 7-year-old farm-to-table restaurant from chef Chris Kobayashi and his brother and partner Michael, has pulled up stakes.
They haven’t gone far, though: they’re still in Paso Robles, but now in the former A&R Furniture building at 843 12th St. The new location adds a full liquor license (yay!) for all those cocktail fanatics out there and sidewalk tables fronting the town’s grassy square and park.
General Manager Daniel Green, an alum of Eleven Madison Park in Manhattan, oversees the cocktail and Central Coast-centric wine program. Talk about local. Per Chris Kobayashi, “I’d say 80% of our wines are from Paso Robles area.” They’ve also added eight taps stocked with seasonal beers and microbrews and serve over 20 wines by the glass. “We’re right across the street from the city park, with sliding glass doors looking onto that view.”
When Artisan opened in 2006, the decor was basic bistro, nice enough, but certainly not eye-catching. This time around Kobayashi has worked with interior designer Eliana de Leon to give the restaurant a distinctive wine country look using found and repurposed materials. Walls are faced in old barn wood and recycled siding. The flooring is cork, a sustainable resource. Chairs are made of wood from FSC (forest regulated cuts) from Vermont. And when a towering black walnut tree fell in nearby Templeton, Kobayashi took it to a local cabinetmaker. From that one tree came the restaurant's cabinetry, bar, and tabletops.