Chef Giancarlo Cucumo grew up amid the "lean cuisine" of Bari, Italy, where he learned to cook fresh seafood, chop veggies, and drizzle olive oil at a young age. When Giancarlo arrived in Morro Bay after a long, globe-trotting culinary career, it was like returning to the climate of his homeland, right down to the ample fishing and fresh produce. It proved the perfect locale for Giancarlo's Ristorante Italiano Mediterraneo.
That Mediterranean background can be tasted throughout Giancarlo's menu: ravioli stuffed with sea bass and smothered in a brandy-tomato cream sauce; racks of lamb encrusted with herb-honey and roasted over an oak-wood fire, pizzas crispy from a stint inside a wood-burning oven. The dessert lineup, meanwhile, is dominated by cheesecakes, pastries, and gelato. The restaurant's open-kitchen layout also adds a touch of culinary theatre to the meal.
The chefs at The Pita Pit stuff fresh white and wheat pitas with patrons' choice of more than a dozen toppings, 14 sauces, and four cheeses. Like placing sequins on a turtleneck, diners customize their pitas to taste, but the eatery's menu suggests premade configurations such as the spicy black-bean vegetarian pita with an array of garden greens and the prime-rib pita, which cossets taste buds with tender slices of beef. Sink herbivorous fangs into the falafel pita or give a coliseum-style thumbs-up to the chicken caesar pita filled with bacon and parmesan cheese. Any wrap can slip off its pita to seduce tongues in the form of a salad loaded with toppings such as hummus, cucumbers, and pineapple.
At Roll Out the Barrels, more than 20 San Luis Obispo wineries uncork their aromatic ambrosias in a bacchanal of cultivated events and self-guided tours. Bopping across a backdrop of rolling grapevine-enveloped valleys, passport holders visit their choice of vintners in a self-guided tour, exploring wineries including Claiborne & Churchill, Per Bacco Cellars, and Salisbury Vineyards while reaping benefits such as complimentary wine tastings, special discounts on purchased spirits, and tattoos of favorite grape varietals. After checking in at the Baileyana Winery, Groupon holders raise a commemorative wine glass for a series of reserve barrel tastings, let palates alight on a panoply of savory food pairings, or succor other senses with entertainments spanning from live music and local art to wine discussions and chair massages. Events unfold on Saturday and Sunday.
Chino's Rock & Tacos pairs authentic Mexican eats with a socially conscious cooking philosophy, and serves them both in a party-minded rock 'n’ roll atmosphere. Two double-item combo plates can include crispy tacos and chimichangas that scale mountains of spanish rice with pinto beans led by chicken or beef sherpas. Mouthwatering fish tacos filled with grilled mahi-mahi, ahi tuna, or shrimp are fashioned with sustainable seafood practices, and the enchilada packs your choice of chicken, beef, or cheese into a pillowy tortilla. Popular bottled beers such as Corona wash down free chips and salsa, or supply the high notes during glass-bottle family-band showcases.