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Fresno eats?


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#1 bexdc

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 09:28 PM

Help! So I'm going to be in Fresno and other parts of the central valley for four days next week for business. Any recommendations on good restaurants (ANY cuisine) in a 20-mile radius?

#2 jschyun

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 10:21 AM

I think I recall Russ Parsons of the LA Times did at least a couple of pieces around that area.

One restaurant that comes to mind is Echo. Here's an excerpt about it from his story:

It's simple, elegant, delicious food, the kind you expect to find at Chez Panisse and Zuni Café in the Bay Area, and Lucques and Campanile here in L.A. But the difference is, it's in Fresno, and most of the fruits and vegetables that are served were grown within a half-hour's drive.


See his review here You have to register with the Times website to see this story, but you can register using our own egullet username and password. Simply look at the latest postings on the LA Times digest posts, found on the top of the California board.

Edited by jschyun, 06 December 2004 - 10:23 AM.

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#3 Megan Blocker

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Posted 23 December 2005 - 03:47 PM

One restaurant that comes to mind is Echo.  Here's an excerpt about it from his story:

It's simple, elegant, delicious food, the kind you expect to find at Chez Panisse and Zuni Café in the Bay Area, and Lucques and Campanile here in L.A. But the difference is, it's in Fresno, and most of the fruits and vegetables that are served were grown within a half-hour's drive.

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I had drinks here last night...my mom lives in Fresno, so I'm in town for Christmas! Echo used to be down in what's called the Tower District, which was the only part of F-No I'd ever eaten in that wasn't full of strip malls. Now it's moved way up north (not shockingly, a lot of places in the Tower didn't do well, probably due to the fact that is wasn't a mall/plaza area) to a new shopping center.

Stopped in for a drink on my way home last night, and it was pretty good. Not a terribly hopping scene (and, yes, Fresno has some places that are just packed to the gills), but my drink was delicious. I don't normally go for complicated cocktails (I'm more of a martini or Manhattan kind of girl), but since Echo's whole thing is local, sustainable cuisine, I decided to try out the Juniperotivo - Junipero gin, fresh mints, fresh lime juice, and pomegranate molasses. Very good - very tart.
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#4 russ parsons

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Posted 23 December 2005 - 05:26 PM

echo has moved and it has changed. i had dinner there this fall. the food is still pretty good, but the room is very, very different--very stage-setty. and the prices are about 1/3 higher, i think. somehow, with all the drapes and chandeliers, what seemed like charming simplicity at the old place comes across as something a little less, i'm afraid. too bad everything can't stay exactly the way we like it, i guess.

#5 syrah girl

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 09:53 AM

We also dined at Echo this fall. The new decor is very striking, like something out San Francisco or New York City. Tho the food was excellent and service very attentive, it is VERY pricey for this area.

Our favorite restaurant in our area is Campagnia. You can make reservations on Open Table. We have dined here several times, at least once a month and are never disappointed. We hosted our son's wedding rehearsal dinner here in October and it was a smashing success. We like to dine out in the atrium room. They have a website menus, etc.

Also in the same shopping center is La Paella for fantastic Spanish food. Five has just opened across the street, but we haven't been there yet.

Another considerations is Slates over in First St. and if you go to Old Town Clovis, don't miss Trelio. It is another one of our favorites and we just gave some clients a gift certificate there with a bottle of Archery Summit Pinot Noir. They were happy campers!

Any questions, feel free to ask, we live in the area and dine out quite frequently. Cheers and Happy New Year! :)

#6 syrah girl

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 11:28 AM

If it's Japanese food you're after, Sakanaya is the BIG rave around here lately. We will be trying it on NYE, so I'll let you know how it goes. It is located on N. Fort Washington Road.

KOI is our new weekly favorite Japanese restaurant, located in Clovis at Herndon and Clovis Ave. A new place with lovely ambiance and great food, service issues will be worked out after it's been open awhile longer, I'm sure. I love their Bento boxes, I would recommend the Salmon Teriyaki here served wtih a cucumber salad, goyza, tempura, rice and miso soup. Happy New Year!

#7 syrah girl

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 01:04 PM

I'll keep this Fresno thread going since we've tried some new places that I would like to report on. First of all Sakanaya on NYE was a bit of a disappointment. Granted, the decor is gorgeous and it is a very upscale area of Fresno, I found the food to be just ordinary. Nothing really stood out as great. The small salad had a couple of brown pieces of lettuce and the dressing was nothing to write home about. The bento box was huge consisting of a couple of fried chicken wings, potato salad, tempura which was very good and sliced beef. Service was OK and the green tea ice cream just didn't cut it. I prefer the green tea ice cream over at Miyuko's where we've been regulars for over twenty years. We'll probably go back, but no big hurry. We'll keep going to KOI on Herndon for our weekly Japanese fix.

Now to a BIG rave on the Fresno dining scene: FIVE

We were lucky to get in here on a Fri. night, the place is hard to book so make a reservation, especially on the weekends. We opted for a meal out on the back patio. It is rather smallish, but cozy with nice heat lamps outside. Our waiter was very friendly and service was professional and attentive.

We started with the bruschetta which was very good, tho not as great as the one they serve over at Campagnia. We shared the Spinach salad wtih hot bacon dressing which consisted of baby spinach leaves, hard boiled egg and a warm bacon dressing that was really good.

My entree was the linguine with clams which was outstanding and the cheapest item on the menu for $18. Linguine pasta with whole clams, pancetta roasted jalapenos in a garlic and wine broth. Some of the best clams I've had in a long, long time. This entree was a big hit. My husband had the roasted chicken which was a 12 oz. bone in chicken breast, braised collard greens, with rosemary roasted russett potatoes and a rich chicken glaze. He loved it and we decided we will definitely return here to try some other menu items that sounded wonderful.

Dinner also came with fresh baked bread and hummus which was really good. They don't have a website yet, hopefully in the near future. This is a great addition to the Fresno dining scene and I highly recommend a visit to FIVE, they also serve lunch.

This week we will also be trying the new Sequoia Brewing Co. which has also recently re-located to this area from the Tower District. Will report back on that after our visit. Cheers!

#8 Megan Blocker

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 01:16 PM

I ate at Five when I was at my mother's house for Christmas (same night I had drinks at Echo - they're in the same shopping center on Champlain). It was definitely good - some of the better food I've had in the area, and definitely hopping (it was the Thursday night before Christmas), though, true to Fresno form, it was really clearing out by about 9:00 (a phenomenon this New Yorker, typically considered an early-to-bedder, finds disconcerting).

I had the beef carpaccio to start - the best part of this was the salad on top. For my main course, I had spaghetti verde (spaghetti tossed with garlic, olive oil, broccoli rabe and some sort of basil puree - maybe a mild pesto?). The portions were huge - too big to finish, really - but this seems to be the norm in the area, and you certainly get your money's worth. I just can't see finishing that much pasta, and it doesn't keep well as leftovers... :sad:

The big letdown was that they had Dolce by the glass ($17.00) on the dessert menu, but the waiter came back and said they'd stopped carrying it. :angry: Also, on a different note, the menu lists espresso as "expresso." :hmmm:

Everyone seemed to enjoy their dinners...

ETA: I agree with Syrah Girl on the hummus - it's very light and garlicky - great with the crusty bread.

Edited by Megan Blocker, 03 January 2006 - 01:19 PM.

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

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#9 syrah girl

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 03:12 PM

Megan, did you get over to Campagnia across the street? It's also a hoppin place with excellent food. When you're back in the area again, you may want to plan for a dining "experience" at Erna's Elderberry House in Oakhurst. www.chateaudusureau.com It's about a 45 minute drive from Fresno and oh so wonderful! I gave my husband a certificate for a cooking class there in the Spring as a Christmas present. Glad you enjoyed eating your way around our area! :)

#10 Megan Blocker

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 03:46 PM

Megan, did you get over to Campagnia across the street?  It's also a hoppin place with excellent food.  When you're back in the area again, you may want to plan for a dining "experience" at Erna's Elderberry House in Oakhurst.  www.chateaudusureau.com  It's about a 45 minute drive from Fresno and oh so wonderful!  I gave my husband a certificate for a cooking class there in the Spring as a Christmas present.  Glad you enjoyed eating your way around our area!  :)

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I've been to Campagnia several times...my mom's lived in the 'hood since 2001, so I've been tons of places (I actually spent two months there that summer, just after college graduation)...I do like Campagnia, though I'm not sure it's as good as it used to be. My favorite thing there was always the pepper-encrusted pork chop. Yum! Good bar scene, too.

I've not been to Erna's, though I hear it's fantastic! Next time I'm up, I think I'll be headed that way. I also think a cooking class at Erna's may be my mom's birthday present in March... :smile:
"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

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#11 syrah girl

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 02:26 PM

Another hit in the same shopping center as Echo and Five is Sequoia Brewing Co. for a casual, fun meal with great food. We went on the "all you can eat" rib night, place was packed with football fans and VERY loud which was great since we had four of our teens with us for dinner. :)

A few of us had the ribs which were great, served with your choice of pasta salad, mashers or cole slaw. Smoked pork ribs, slow cooked for maximum tenderness and basted with Sequoia BBQ sauce for 12.99 A couple of has had the homemade root beer floats that were made with Producers ice cream, very good.

Other entrees were the Cobb salad and the brick oven cheese pizza which everyone enjoyed. They are also in the Entertainment Book which is makes it nice on the pocketbook, especially when dining with a larger group. Highly recommend this place and it's a gorgeous dining room with the river rock fireplace roaring.

This entire shopping center has got to be just about the best thing to happen to this area in a long, long time. The Monaco Gourmet Bakery & Cafe a couple of doors down has some amazing pasteries and baked goods and beautiful to look at. They also serve salads and sandwiches at lunch. We'll be back here again and again.

Of course, we had to stop at the Ben & Jerry's for some Chunky Monkey ice cream before venturing home. :)

#12 syrah girl

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 01:15 PM

Monday night we celebrated a birthday with eight in our party at the Tokoyo Steakhouse on Fowler & Herndon. We enjoy dining off of the regular menu, but thistime did the Tappan-Yaki. I much preferred it to Edo-Ya. Less expensive, and the chef did his thing with humor and enthusiasm. He was a much better entertainer than Edo-Ya, IMO.
I had the fillet mignon and the lobster which was excellent. Meals come with miso soup, fried veggies and bean sprouts and a small green salad. We had the goyza appetizer which was steamed and very good.
They also brought out our birthday cake and sang, we did the cutting and serving ourselves. This was a delightful evening and we will definitely return again to Toyoko Steakhouse for the Tappan-Yaki dining here. :)

#13 syrah girl

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 04:52 PM

After several weeks on the Oregon Coast, we came back to a HEAT wave. Here a few of the places we have enjoyed meals in the past few days:

La Posada-Clovis, Very good Mexican food. My favorite is the shredded chicken enchilada with the chile relleno. Great guacomole and friendly service. My favorite Mexican restaurant in the area.

Toyoko Steakhouse, weekly regulars here. They have added a nice room in the back of the Tappanyaki dining area. We share the Teriyaki boat with California rolls and tempura.

Lakeshore Resort @ Huntinton Lake- The best restaurant in the Sierra Nevadas. We went to check our condo rental and had a great meal of Black Angus Prime Rib that is served every Sat. night. Fri. night special this summer is the Australian Lobster Tail. Always crowded in the summer, a great place for a meal in Huntington Lake. This has been our favorite place in the area for quite awhile.

Cheers! :)

#14 syrah girl

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 05:18 PM

Make a note that Echo as previously mentioned here is closed, so sad. Also, Citron, another high-end Fresno eatery has closed it's doors this summer.

One more place I wanted to mention here is Fugazzi's Bistro in Clovis. Love, love, love this place. Very reasonable prices, innovative menu items and lovely ambiance. The bread and dipping sauce comes complimentary with the meal. We like to share the Pear Walnut salad that is always great, then also do a split plate of the Spinach Fettucine with Blackened Chicken. Dessert was the Cheesecake that is served beautifully with a raspberry drizzle. The Creme Brulee Cheesecake is also not to miss here. One of Clovis' best kept secrets, IMO. :)

#15 syrah girl

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 11:57 AM

In June, the new owners of Trelio took over, remodeled and opened for business. The new owners are the Shackelford brothers. Chris was the wine Sommelier for Erna's Elderberry House for many years.

The new remodel is gorgeous, taupe walls, fine artwork and an elegant yet casual look to the place. We were in for dinner a couple of weeks ago. We started with the Ceviche of Scallops & Market tomatoes, Moroccan Olives, Baby Fennel with Cilantro Cream. This appetizer was great for the warm weather, very refreshing but the most interesting thing about it and not on the menu description is the small littel vile of tomato water that comes with the appetizer. Very unique.

Next was the Bloomdale Spinach salad with warm Bacon Vinaigrette, Grilled Apples, Irish Cheddar Cheese and Chicken Livers. Very interesting flavors nad the grilled apples added a nice touch to the salad.

My entree was the Wild King Salmon that was excellent, served with a medley of baby summer veggies and a smooth, creamy sauce. My husband had the Free Range chicken with garlic, potato puree, baby summer veggies and Chaterelle Mushroom sauce. He said was also excellent. We shared a glass of Santa Barbara Pinot Noir that Chris picked out for us.

For dessert was the Chocolate Lava cake that was rich and decadant. Everything was perfect, this is the best place in Clovis for a fine dining meal. www.treliorestaurant.com

Megan, I hope you get to try this place your next visit to the area to see your mom. I think you will be very impressed! :) We will be trying lunch soon, I will report back with our experience.

#16 Captain Hongo

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 06:56 PM

The title is it. We like to try out the local products and the different types of cooking. So, what does Fresno have to Offer.

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#17 ludja

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 07:07 PM

Hope you have a good time and let us know your impressions as well!

edited to reflect merging of topics...

Edited by ludja, 14 September 2006 - 01:03 PM.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"


#18 syrah girl

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 12:54 PM

Last Fri. night we had yet another excellent meal at Campagnia. Bruschetta for an appetizer which was wonderful, my entree was the Salmon served with a couple of really great tasting little potato cakes. We brought in a bottle of Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir. The salad we chose were the Butter Lettuces with fresh nectarines and strawberries, feta cheese and yummy dressing.

Dessert was complimentary, a nice dish of Spumoni ice cream. Service was fantastic, we dined in the atrium room which is very pretty.

If you want to take a 40 minute drive to Shaver Lake through the Sierra foothills, last night we dined at Trapper's at the Point. A lakeview restaurant with very good food. I had the Prawn Scampi with Fettucini which was surprisingly excellent. Lots of garlic, capers, white wine and a fresh garden salad and homemade bread to accompany the entree. A glass of Ventana Chardonnay was nice with dinner.

Also in the same center as Campagnia, is La Paella with offers outstanding Spanish food. We like the Seafood Paella with a glass of Chianti. Cheers! :)

#19 davebr

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 09:55 AM

I just thought I would pull this thread back up. Its been a year since someone posted and I will be traveling to Fresno a few times between now and next summer. What about markets? Fish, Meat, Vegetables?
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#20 syrah girl

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 10:44 AM

Hi, check out Bentley's Market over on Friant and Fort Washington. They have a cool deli there and a great restaurant next door. If you're looking for a great meal, don't miss Rhema on Cedar and Shepherd, it is fairly new and we were VERY impressed when we dined there several weeks ago. :)

#21 mskerr

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 07:30 PM

Hey all - time to revive this old topic! I'm probably gonna be moving near Fresno in a couple of months - any new food recomendations? Especially of the inexpensive/ ethnic sort? I hear there's some great Armenian/Turkish delis/bakeries for lahmajun, etc. I know there's gonna be great roach coaches & In-n-Out, so I'm pretty much set anyway. Cheers!