Friday, June 12, 2009

Prelude to Buenos Aires

Last evening, one of our favorite Tampa restaurants, Toasted Pheasant, had an Argentinean wine dinner. The timing could not have been more appropriate with less that a week to go before we depart to Buenos Aires. We sampled six different wines over four courses of very nice food. 

The menu:

arugula and avocado with garlic shrimp, tossed with parmesan and cilantro dressing
Mairena ~ Sauvignon Blanc

served on paella rice with chorizo sausage
Romance ~ Chardonnay ~ Torrontes

marinated flank steak served with mild chili corn polenta
Mairena ~ Bonarda  and  Mairena ~ Malbec
(two wines with this course)

a light gateau layered with papaya and chocolate served with cappuccino sauce
Domaine de Coyeux ~ Muscat de Beaumes de Venise

My favorite was the sea bass, simply steamed with a tomato salsa and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic. Exquisite I say! Surprisingly, for me, the steak was my least favorite, although the chimichurri sauce was a great addition. I will try to replicate this sauce. (OK, there are probably as many recipies for this as there are gauchos in Argentina)

My favorite wine was the Bonarda, a varietal which was new to both of us. Apparently it is an Italian grape that was brought over by the Italian immigrants. I put it in the same easy-to-drink, category as Pinot Nior.

With a full house of sixty guests at a single seating, service was at times slow. But then again we were their to dine, not just to eat.

That's my story and I am sticking to it !

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