Laughter is brightest in the place where the food is charismatic and that sentiment was personified with the Beach House Bistro. Located in Morro Bay, this quaint and fun little slice of heaven instantly drew us in with its tiki-esque decorations and warm spirit. My husband immediately saw the dessert menu placed on the wall and barked an order for Lemon Meringue Pie (it said only two were left and he want taking chances). The other quests all laughed at his 5-year-old type of desperation for the pie, and we instantly became friends.
While we waited I enjoyed the embellishments that clearly expressed the interested of the husband and wife team, Liz and Gerald Bednorz. A combination of beach attire and SF Giants memorabilia made this eatery comfortable and charming. Gary nearly fainted with pleasure at how good the pie tasted. The tart was magnificent with proper ratios of pie mix to soft buttery crust with toasted meringue and candied pepitos on top. Gary declared that the pucker content was superb and the pineapple mint leaf (grown out in their garden) wrapped it up nicely. He declared, “Honey, someone in that kitchen knows what is up”. A true compliment from a man of few words and a complicated palate.
We ordered a taste of the clam chowder which features dill and thyme to make it unique and fantastic. I ordered at 2005 Castoro Zin to accompany the rest of the meal. I started with the Beach Bundles, a wonderful blend of havarti and cream cheeses, laced with salmon, fresh dill and chives in a crispy fried wrapper. Resting on a bed of salad, carrots and wonton strips, these were a surprising delight.
Gary having found a pastry chef upon which he planned to propose, ordered the Six Layer Chocolate Cake with fudge frosting and a strawberry compote. He inhaled this chocolate bacchanal while Liz came over fascinated at this grown man with the huge sweet tooth. She explained that her secret is love and that she is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy. She studied classical cuisine, pastry preparation and presentation. When she was not in classes, she worked in the pantry department of A. Sabella Restaurant in San Francisco. Creativity is one of her strengths, thinking of new ways to present desserts, new applications to old recipes. Gary got down on one knee (he forgets his is married when a spectacular pastry chef comes along). She declined and introduced us to her husband.
I had the Calamari Picatta that was served in a large soup bowl and was by far the best preparation of this cephalopod I have had anywhere. I was speechless and not willing to share. The calamari steak was sautéed to perfection with fresh lemon juice, white wine, capers, mushrooms, garlic, shallots and finished with butter. It was thinly sliced and served on a bed of fresh linguini. The menu boasted, “Nobody does it better” and I wholeheartedly agree.
Gary had the Brandy Apple Pork Loin with garlic mashers and baked apple chunks. Again this dish defied expectations and the flavors melded so perfectly, we were thunderstruck. It featured lean medallions of pork, grilled to perfection, served with sautéed Granny Smith apples that were laced with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, brown sugar and a butter glaze. Savor and sweet and so virtuous.
Gerald came over to say hi in his flamboyant combination of the traditional chef’s uniform and told us he was with the CIA (that’s Culinary Institute of America) and this little slice of heaven had been his dream and now he gets to share it with his lovely wife. For ten years this lovely couple has been serving up a culinary dream in Morro Bay and I encourage you all to try it soon. I will be back often.
The Beach House Bistro is located at 2770 Main Street in Morro Bay, or call them at 805-771-9705. They are open Tuesday thru Sunday from 3:30 to 8:30.