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“Wonderful, memorable meal” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Black Cat Bistro

Black Cat Bistro
1602 Main St, Ste C, Cambria, CA 93428-3300
805-927-1600
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Ranked #5 of 44 Restaurants in Cambria
Price range: $30 - $50
Cuisines: Californian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Dessert
New York City, New York
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Wonderful, memorable meal”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012

My husband and I had an incredibly stellar meal here. Thanks for guiding the way, Yelpers!

Their bread -- delicious.

My husband started with their special of the night, a crab dish, and I had a deconstructed Caesar salad. Both were really unique and full of flavor.

We loved our main dishes: the Chipotle Shrimp Linguine and the Three Cheese Baked Polenta. Both were rich and fresh and scrumptious. I could eat these two dishes for the rest of time.

We only wish we had had room for dessert!

Excellent service. A space with lots of charm. Great accompanying music to set the tone.

Overall a very memorable and delightful experience.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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363 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Monrovia, California
Top Contributor
207 reviews 207 reviews
132 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
143 helpful votes 143 helpful votes
“Favorite restaurant, favorite town”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2012

Black Cat bistro is one of my favorite restaurants, and since Cambria is one of my favorite LA weekend getaway places, I make reservations a couple times a year.

If you happen to be visiting the California central coast, perhaps for Paso Robles/Templeton winery visits, or a drive up or down Highway 1, you need to consider a dinner in Cambria. The Black Cat Bistro is open Thursday through Monday 5:00pm for dinner. It's a small restaurant, so be sure to make reservations well in advance.

I've made two trips to Cambria this year (January wedding anniv/hubby birthday), and last year too (Valentines Day) with my hubby, and two Memorial Day weekend trips with a group of friends. So I've sampled much of the menu.

Some items stay on the menu a long time due to their popularity. Here's a sample menu, but it changes frequently, as only local ingredients are used and some items are available at certain seasons. http://www.blackcatbistro.com/food/

Every entrees and appetiser or salad I've ordered was fabulous. I've marveled (ordered it more than once) at the mushroom & sage gnocchi (with Mmartini cream, radicchio, asiago ) - this stays on the menu. Local king salmon with Bloom micro basil is fabulous, too.

The vegetarian choices are hard to resist: Chipotle linguini $17 corn, tomatoes, scallions, asiago, cilantro, with chipotle corn cream or maybe Three cheese baked polenta $21 with eggplant, red chard, goat cheese, asiago, mozzarella, tomato coulis, shiitakes, pinenuts, fried sage.

Cayucos Ocean Rose Abalone $16, is an appetizer I want to try on my next visit, if available. The cheese plate - one cheese $8 two $14 three $21, served as an appetizer or a dessert is incredible. The Salted Caramel Tart $10 Shortbread crust, bittersweet ganache, sea salt is possibly the best dessert ever!

The restaurant has a fabulous wine selection http://www.blackcatbistro.com/drink/ but you may want to bring your own from your local wine tasting adventures. I don't recall the corkage fee, but it is reasonable, as we always bring some favorite far side winery products with us.

Just writing this (in October) makes me want to plan another visit soon!

  • Visited May 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Sunnyvale, CA
Top Contributor
238 reviews 238 reviews
149 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 106 cities Reviews in 106 cities
187 helpful votes 187 helpful votes
“One of the best”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2012 via mobile

We had a special dinner here last night based on the positive reviews and found the accolades to be very well deserved.

This is an exceptional place to have a memorable meal.

We started with sharing a plate of two cheeses, one from the Templeton area and it came with a lovely accompaniement of honey, figs, caramelized onions and shortbread. Wow, what marvelous flavors and textures. Then we split a seared Caesar and the greens were perfectly wilted with a great dressing of asiago cheese. The crouton had a buttery bacon flavor to elevate the salad. My wife had the salmon special which had a Hugh portion of the sockeye which was seared perfectly in a bed of creamy coconut milk flavored sauce with watermelon slices. I had the flat iron steak which was perfectly grilled medium rare and served with heirloom tomatoes and an unusual corn pudding. Incredibly flavorful! We ended this with their salt Carmel tart which grew more flavorful with each bite.

Service was warm, attentive, and very well paced.

What a fabulous place!!

Make reservations as the place got really crowded toward the end of our meal.

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Culver City CA
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“a little let down”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

I so wanted to like this place, especially with the lovely atmosphere of a converted house that the restaurant is set in. The menu is small and unfortunately for me, nothing quite captured my fancy. We started with the ahi and avocado crudo which was very nice, tasty and light. I settled for the baked polenta which was okay. Looking back, I probably would have done better with getting a salad (they all sounded appealing) and another side. My fiance had the pork chop which was very tender and tasty. Dessert, though was very tasty. We had the dark chocolate pot de creme, very rich and decadent, and a special of pound cake and fruit, which was surprisingly good, I'm not much of a pound cake person, but they prepared it with wonderful seasoning. The service was wonderful all around.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Southern California USA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Not the best way to end wine country tour....”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2012

After a day travelling the back roads of the Paso Robles wine trail (gently curving roads lined with old oaks and great wine tasting), we decided to end the day at the Black Cat Bistro in Cambria. Based entirely on reviews at TripAdvisor, we called from Paso Robles and reserved a spot at 5:45 on a Friday evening. The restaurant was pretty much empty at that hour, and we (two of us) were seated in a small side room. Our waitress Amelia was friendly and helpful. We ordered a cheese appetizer (excellent), arugula salad (very good) for me and tomato bisque for hubby, chipotle linguini main course for me and trout for him. Main courses ok, nothing special. (BTW pricing for the entrees starts at $17 to $28 -time to update pricing Trip Advisor.) Despite the restaurant being pretty much empty at that hour, the waiter proceeded to seat a party of 8 very noisy people directly behind us. We were unable to converse at all, and throughout the meal the waitress AND the waterboy kept coming around every 5 minutes or so asking how was the food, was everything ok, bon appetit-ing us. Very annoying. No wine or other beverage, no dessert, bill for the two of us was $85 with tip. Disappointing. We'll try something else in Cambria next time.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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