Fenomenal believes that all food should be sourced fresh from local farmers. Our location in California's beautiful Central Coast has provided us with the ability to share with and educate our guests in locally sustained foods.
Fenomenal is a new restaurant ideally situated on 12th street between Park and Pine Streets in beautiful downtown Paso Robles, CA.
Our menu has been developed with truly unique flavor combinations and culinary creativity that makes every bite an adventure. In terms of food, we don’t just think in French, Italian, American, or Japanese… we explore what happens when Italy meets India, Argentina meets Austria and when New England meets New Orleans. Each individual item is a melting pot of flavor combinations that complement each other in ways one would think is not possible.
Our wine list features over 100 different selections designed to pair beautifully with our food. One of the main features of our bar is a brand new 32 bottle Enomatic Wine system which allows us to offer an extensive wine by the glass program. All of our wines by the glass are available in either a half or a full glass so you have the flexibility to create your own dining experience.
Thomas Drahos, Executive Chef
Thomas grew up just outside of Bradley, CA on a fifty five acre ranch where he learned how to properly turn soil, sow seeds, and harvest fruit. He also spent his youth learning how to butcher. The two experiences at a young age led to the almost pre-destined decision to become a chef.
His first taste of the restaurant industry came about as a dishwasher at a small local restaurant in Paso Robles. He was able to quickly move his way up to prep cook, then sauté and finally, head cook. Ready to move on to another learning opportunity, he was hired on as a prep cook with experienced chef Will Torres. It was under his guidance that Thomas discovered molecular gastronomy; the art of science and food combined to create new exciting flavors and textures. This experience brought his passion to a new level.
Thomas enrolled in the culinary arts program at Johnson & Wales University in Denver, CO where he spent the next two years juggling a full time education and full time work. His life revolved around food from six in the morning until eleven at night; a schedule that would discourage even the most dedicated individuals, but made Thomas love the culinary arts even more.
Upon graduation, Thomas moved back to California to work for Windows on the Water in Morro Bay as a cook where he earned the opportunity to create the evening’s specials. After many creative successes and the introduction of Molecular Gastronomy to their items he was proud to be offered the role as pastry chef.
We consider ourselves fortunate that Thomas has decided to join our team as Sous Chef and we are thrilled to have his energy, enthusiasm and passion radiate in the Fenomenal kitchen!
Samantha Payette, Wine Director
When Fenomenal was under development and we were thinking of building the team, the first call went to an old friend who happened to be knee deep in grape skins and living on the other side of the world...
Samantha is a native east coaster with many years of experience in the Wine industry. She graduated with honors from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst with a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management. She has also completed her Level I Sommelier Certification from the Court of the Master Sommeliers. Samantha spent a majority of her career in Boston where she successfully led everything from small teams in fine dining restaurants to events for well over 1500 people. She loved the challenge and the excitement that went with every day because every day was different.
After many years of working in food and wine, in 2009 Samantha decided to focus her career solely on wine. She moved across the country to Paso Robles to become a part of one of the fastest growing wine regions in the World. Like so many people in Paso Robles, wine is her passion, so she felt right at home.
After spending a few months working locally she decided she wanted to travel and learn the international wine trade. Samantha joined the vintage trail which led her to the New Zealand in January 2010. She went with the intent of staying three months for vintage but ended up staying for one year! She then opted to fly over to Western Australia to work for a winery just outside of Margaret River for the next seven months. This is where she was living when the Fenomenal concept found its location in May 2011.
Samantha returned to Paso Robles in July where she has been helping with all the fun that has gone into opening the restaurant. She has built the wine program from the ground up with the thought that wine does not have to be expensive to be good and that travelling off the beaten path can be so much more fun than taking the traditional route.
We consider ourselves fortunate that Samantha has joined our team to build a truly unique wine list that will speak to just about every palate!