Untitled Document Home
Chef & Hotel Profile
Publisher's Page
Gift Guide
Travel Adventures
Epicurean Events
Health Minded
Spa Baby Secrets
Book Bites
Culinary Coup
Sense of Style
Kids Kaleidoscope
Tinsletown Tidbits
Radio Show & Links
Contact Us

JetBlue Airways
Pearl Seas Cruises


                     COASTING with BONNIE CARROLL

NOVO RESTAURANT & LOUNGE, A Plate To Please Every Palate in SLO by Bonnie Carroll

Located in the middle of a 'foodie' feasting area on Higuera Street in San Luis Obispo you will find NOVO Restaurant & Bar. This is a venue with plates to please your palate and satisfy your curiosity for culinary dishes from distant places that are prepared with optimum flavor and good health in mind.

The first floor of NOVO has an open lounge with a window dining bar perfect for people watching, and the outdoor rear patio overlooking the creek, is a very popular destination for the SLO lunch and dinner crowd, offering a close to nature experience. Due to rainy weather we opted to dine in the lower level wine cellar, a cozy dining room lit by a warm red hue that makes you forget where you are and lets you get lost in the moment of some exceptional food and attentive service.

NOVO Restaurant Chef Richard Pfaff was born into an Italian American household, where food––and the belief that food brings people together––was always a driving force in his life from the time he was a very young boy. According to Chef Pfaff one of his earliest memories as a child was sitting on the counter with his grandmother making fresh pasta and canning fresh marinara sauce. His father, a very accomplished pastry chef in New York, gave him the drive and ambition to make the culinary industry his future. The memory of his father and his accomplishments still drives him today.

He worked as a pastry chef, through high school, but when it came time for culinary school, he decided to blaze his own path by not following his father's footsteps and he gave cooking a shot. Needless to say, he fell in love, and the twenty plus years that have passed since have been amazing. He attended Johnson and Wales University in New England, spent a year in Europe (mostly in France, but also Spain and Italy) finding his culinary voice. After returning to the states, he traveled across the country learning regional cuisines and perfecting his craft in cities like Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Santa Fe.

Although he spent years developing his skill in European cuisine, he soon became focused on the culinary importance of implementing clean and local foods. The use of organic, local produce, regional meats, and small, local companies are his commitment to the health of his customers as well as his planet. “It is a throw back to a time when you knew your farmer, butcher and fishmonger, and could trust what was in your food and where it came from,” says the chef.

Selections from dinner I enjoyed to the last bite included Novo Lettuce Wraps with huge butter leaf lettuce, stuffed with fresh jullienne vegetables, mint, cilantro, nuoc nam, sweet chili sauce, roasted peanuts and shrimp. They also have potato samosas that looked divine made of Indian spiced potatoes in wonton skins, dipped in hot oil, with mint, chutney and yogurt.

Two entrees that I savored were the Korean Short Ribs served with house made kimchi and jasmine rice, and the Tai Green Chicken Curry that was light and served with coconut milk curry and green chilies. Both were unique and quite delicious. The Korean Ribs paired beautifully with a glass of Melville Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills 2014.

The portions at NOVO are large, but if you have room for a salad their mixed lettuces with local apples, dried figs, toasted hazelnuts, creamy goat cheese & orange vinaigrette or the signature soup do novo, which is always vegetarian, and sometimes vegan salmon bisque (with shellfish) are both delicious additions.

The cocktail menu has everything from old standards to new mixology muddles and then some. The wine list at NOVO is outstanding and contains many fine wines by the glass and unique wines from the many award winning surrounding vintners. Their champagne list is quite impressive and offers the best bubbly from around the world.

For unusual beverages you might try their thai iced coffee or tea, lavender cream earl grey tea, made using bergamont & real citrus peel, genmaicha, a nutty flavored tea blend of steamed green tea with toasted rice or the jasmine dragon pearls, hand-rolled green tea infused with essence and aroma of fresh jasmine flowers that could become my drink of choice forever.

The dessert menu is a bit overwhelming, and included Mc Connell's Ice Cream favorites, but our talented server was kind to recommend this amazing and delicious dessert, which is ideal for people who are not so lactose friendly - the Negranti "sheep's milk" ice cream trio
made from local sheep's milk and all natural cane sugar,
with flavors that change daily. Our flavors were chocolate, salted caramel, and vanilla honey – simply divine ending to a perfect dinner on a rainy night in San Luis Obisbo.


726 Higuera Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401



Caribbean Summer  .   .   .

Celebrate Saint Lucia’s Jazz Festival with Special Jazz and Summer Promotions

As part of the 2018 Soleil Summer Festival, the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority is proud to announce the second event of this exciting year-long festival line-up. From May 6th – 13th, 2018, the island of Saint Lucia hosts the 27th Saint Lucia Jazz Festival, a celebration of seven days of eclectic musical brilliance from international, regional and local Jazz artists in beautiful intimate settings throughout the island. The festival culminates in a power-packed open-air concert at the historic Pigeon Island National Landmark on May 13th.    

A celebration of Saint Lucian, Caribbean and international jazz music, the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival will host a mix of free and paying concerts throughout the island. The Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort will host “A World of Jazz” beginning on Monday, May 7th at 7pm. ($40USD per show). The line-up is as follows: May 7th – Barbara Cadet, Denys Baptiste; May 8th – Pauline Jean, Arnaud Dolme; May 9th – Zara McFarlane, Etienne Mbappe and the Prophets; May 10th – Cameron Pierre, Luther Francois; May 11th – Carolyn Malachi, AZIZA featuring Chris Potter, Dave Holland, Lionel Loueke and Eric Harland.

The newly opened Harbor Club in Rodney Bay will host “A Taste of Bourbon Street” on Thursday, May 10th and Friday, May 11th at 7pm featuring Jazzmeia ‘Jazz’ Horn and a set dinner each night ($100USD per person per dinner set).

The Royalton Saint Lucia Resort & Spa will host “A Musical Tapestry” on Friday, May 11th and Saturday, May 12th. Each night will feature two shows at 7pm and 11pm ($40USD per show). Lalah Hathway will perform the May 11th show and Alfredo Rodriguez will perform the May 12th show.

The Jazz Festival culminates at Pigeon Island National Landmark at 2pm with the “Mother’s Day Special” on Sunday, May 13th with performances by The Frantz Laurac Quartet, Ronald ‘Boo’ Hinkson & Friends, R+R=NOW with Robert Glasper, Terrace Marti, Christian Scott, Derrick Hodge, Taylor McFerrin and Justin Tyson, and Avery*Sunshine. Cost is $50USD per person.

For more information on the musicians and full details on the festival, please visit www.stlucia.org/jazzfestival.


Elegant ASIAN Adventure  .  .  .


Spacious suites feature plush sofas and armchairs, soaking tubs, and frosted glass doors; villas are outfitted with private courtyard gardens and
plunge pools.

A respite on the Chao Phraya River, this 39-room boutique hotel is a 30-minute boat or taxi ride from Bangkok’s bustling center. American-born, Bangkok-based designer Bill Bensley (whose fantastical style can be seen in projects like the JW Marriott on the Vietnamese island of Phu Quoc and Phuket’s DC Beach House) channeled art deco architecture when conceiving the Siam, incorporating Thai antiques collected by owner/actor/rock star Krissada Sukosol-Clapp, the youngest member of the Sukosol dynasty of entrepreneurs. Scattered around the property guests will find an array of offbeat objects from decades past, from a 1940s Myanmar wooden dental chair and World War II–era gramophone to a early century Parisian bar cart and 1960s leopard skin that graces the piano in the Vinyl Room. Spacious suites feature plush sofas and armchairs, soaking tubs, and frosted glass doors; villas are outfitted with private courtyard gardens and plunge pools. Culinary options include the alfresco Bathers Bar by the infinity pool; Chon restaurant, which was fashioned from three antique Thai houses and serves authentic local cuisine; the jazzy Deco Bar & Bistro for a full English breakfast; and Café Cha, the place for freshly baked pastries and Thai iced teas. For intrepid souls, an on-site muay Thai ring and tattoo parlor await. If it’s leisure that entices, book an appointment at the Opium Spa, where plant and essential oil–based Sodashi therapies are on the menu, or maybe a session of Trataka meditation will do the trick, guided inside a tranquil, candlelit sanctum that feels a world away from frenetic Bangkok.

March 08 | April 08 | May 08 | February 09 | March 09 | June 08 | July 08 | August 08 | September 08 | October 08 | November 08 | December 08 | January 09 | April 09 | May 09 | June 09 | July 09 | August 09 | September 09 | October 09 | November 09 | December 09 | January 10 | February 10 | March 10 | April 10 | May 10 | June 10 | July 10 | August 10 | September 10 | October 10 | November 10 | December 10 | January 11 | February 11 | March 11 | April 11 | May 11 | June 11 | July 11 | August 11 | September 11 | October 11 | November 11 | December 11 | January 12 | February 12 | March 12 | April 12 | May 12 | June 12 | July 12 | September 12 | October 12 | August 12 | November 12 | December 12 | January 13 | February 13 | March 13 | April 13 | May 13 | June 13 | July 13 | August 13 | September 13 | October 13 | November 13 | December 13 | January 14 | February 14 | March 14 | April 14 | August 14 | May 14 | June 14 | July 14 | September 14 | October 14 | November 14 | December 14 | January 15 | February 15 | March 15 | April 15 | May 15 | June 15 | July 15 | August 15 | September 15 | October 15 | November 15 | December 15 | January 16 | February 16 | March 16 | April 16 | May 16 | June 16 | July 16 | August 16 | September 16 | October 16 | November 16 | December 16 | February 17 | January 17 | March 17 | April 17 | May 17 | June 17 | September 17 | July 17 | August 17 | October 17 | November 17 | December 17 | January 18 | February 18 | April 18 | March 18 | May 18 | June 18 | July 18 | August 18 | September 18 | October 18 | November 18 | December 18 | January 19 | February 19 | March 19 | May 19 | June 19 | April 19 | July 19 | August 19 | September 19 | October 19 | November 19 | December 19 | January 20 | February 20 | March 20 | April 20 | May 20 | June 20 | July 20 | August 20 | September 20 | October 20 | November 20 | December 20 | January 21 | February 21 | February 08 | January 08

| November 07 | October 07 | September 07 | August 07 | July 07 | June 07 | May 07
April 07 | March 07 | February 07 | January 07

December 06
| November 06 | October 06 | September 06 | August 06 | July 06 | June 06 | May 06
April 06 | March 06 | February 06 | January 06

December 05
| November 05 | October 05 | September 05 | August 05 | July 05 | June 05 | May 05
April 05 | March 05 | February 05 | January 05

© 2008 Bonnie Carroll, All Rights Reserved