Hankering for a feast of fine food, expertly paired with fine wines? Head to downtown Paso Robles, where master sommelier Ian Adamo serves up stellar spreads in an intimate setting.
Food, wine and culture have been part of Adamo’s life since childhood. He grew up in New York, where he worked in the kitchen and dining room at legendary restaurants, including Le Cirque and La Grenouille. His career also includes stints in Seattle, London, Hong Kong and Paris.
So how did Adamo land in Paso Robles? “I first went to Paso to work at Bistro Laurent,” he explains. “I was impressed by the people and all that was happening in the wine world here. Also, I thought it would be kind of neat to be part of something that’s growing.”
Somm’s Kitchen opened in early 2017, with a sleek curved counter with 14 seats “where every night you could come to my home,” he says, plus a private dining room for six to eight guests. “The idea is to introduce people to new flavors and wines. It’s cool to introduce people to a new idea, so they walk away knowing something they didn’t know before.” Adamo does all the cooking, serving, pouring himself, but is training a sous chef to assist.
Adamo’s feasts generally consist of eight to ten shared courses per couple, each paired with wine. The menu varies constantly, but popular examples include foie gras with champagne and salmon paired with a light-bodied Pinot Noir. Adamo sources ingredients from the Central Coast and around the world. About half the wines are local; the rest come from around the globe. “It’s fun to compare wines and food with international counterparts,” he explains.
Somm’s Kitchen is open for lunch and dinner Thursday through Sunday. Adamo recommends making reservations at least two weeks in advance. 849 13th St., Paso Robles, 805/369–2344, sommskitchen.com.
This story was originally published in the Fall 2018 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.