The Old Town Camarillo Culinary Crawl, which wrapped up its third year this past Sunday, was a chance to get out and taste a bit of Camarillo alongside a good variety of wine, with standouts provided by The Wine Closet and food provided by several restaurants along a self-guided walking tour.
After acquiring a glass and a map, I set off along Ventura Boulevard eager to drop in on food — I came with a hearty appetite, after all, and wasn’t disappointed by the amount of food available or serving sizes, though of the 20 stops, several were catered by one particular restaurant.
Twenty88 Wine Bistro represented at least three of the stops that I can remember — and each was fantastically paired with a beverage, none more original than the so-called Green Bloody Mary making use of tomatillos rather than tomatoes. Think an earthy, funky beverage that’s equal parts refreshing and confounding. It paired well with the minitostada served up at my first stop in the restaurant’s dining room.
The real treats came from across the street at Sabores Pervuian Cafe, where chefs and partners Giuliana Vallejo and Jose Miguel served “Quinotta,” a “secret” blend of spices with a Peruvian beef stew, and further down, at Tri-Running, Sierra Nevada’s Hop Hunter IPA topped off firsts (and seconds) of a sausage roll with a creamy mustard sauce, again courtesy of Twenty88.
At the end of my journey, I floated into The Wine Closet and sipped on a 2013 pinot gris from Carr Winery paired with a chicken curry phyllo bite by Fresh & Fabulous, followed by a taste of Paso Robles winemaker Vinemark’s 2012 pinot noir with a small bruschetta by Ottavio’s Restaurant.
If anything, the culinary crawl demonstrated how far Camarillo has come. Only five years ago, one wouldn’t be wrong to call it sleepy. The Old Town Association’s event proved that the stereotype itself is tired.