Crystal Basin Bistro
● By Style
Photo by Dante Fontana, © Style Media Group.
Crystal Basin Bistro, a new eatery in Camino, exudes rustic ambiance that’s airy and laid-back with whimsical artwork and metal sculptures adorning the walls, including the only 10-foot ladle in California.
Located next door to Crystal Basin Cellars, the space was empty until its transformation by the winery owners a few months ago. Now it’s filled with coolers of gourmet cheeses and lunchmeats, shelves of crackers and picnic items, and tables of unusual oils and sauces. A wine bar is tucked under a colorful canopy, and guests are welcome to taste the special wines bottled for the restaurant. A nice selection of ciders and beers are available, too.
The bona-fide Bistro menu stars are the “shareable plates” created by Chef Lisa Scott. All plates are $6 and feature unique flavor combinations. There are about a dozen to choose from, plus a soup and salad of the day. The Washington DC plate was a great place to start – mushroom caps stuffed with breadcrumbs and sausage, topped lightly with cheese and served in a crème sauce. We devoured the ‘shrooms and then sopped up the rich sauce with the accompanying baguette slices.
Although The Turlock – a grilled chicken breast slathered with pesto in a wrap – looked delicious, we opted for The P’ville, a hearty plate of roasted beef brisket served on Texas toast and topped with Gorgonzola crumbles. Rounding out the dish is a scoop of cheesy roasted red pepper orzo.
Of all the plates we shared, The Hong Kong was our favorite. Two giant ginger-wasabi shrimp were served on a bed of Asian slaw and fried wontons. Refreshingly sweet and slightly spicy, each bite was crunchy and flavorful.
For dessert we savored grilled peaches with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, dusted with cinnamon and crowned with fresh basil. Knowing what I know now, next time it may be hard for me to share!
Crystal Basin Bistro, 3590 Carson Road, Suite B, Camino, 530-303-3749, crystalbasinbistro.com/wp.