Saturday, June 30, 2012

Don Julio Tequila Tasting Menu at Noche Vinings

Noche Vinings is part of the Here 2 Serve restaurant group here in Atlanta. At the helm of Vinings location is chef Tina Aleandri, who you might know from the TV show Chopped where she came in second. Chef Tina has been adding some more original Spanish tapas or small plates to the standard Noche menu and what I have tasted has been great, like this pan roasted tilapia with vegetable escabeche and these Spanish albondigas.

Last week chef Tina had a four course tasting menu paired with Don Julio Tequilas, all courses were great and have to admit the pairings worked well for each. It was nice to be able to taste the progression of tequilas (they all start as Blanco but then depends on how long it is aged) with the different courses.

To start off, had a lobster and crab salad wrapped in jicama, nice presentation, wonderful mix of flavors and texture, definitely off to a great start! This course was paired with Don Julio Blanco.

Next we had scallops in romesco sauce with asparagus escabeche
While chef Tina was downplaying the romesco sauce, it was very good! This course was paired with Don Julio Reposado.

As good as everything had been up to this point, next up was the real winner of the night:
Steak with chimichurri sauce and Peruvian purple potatoes. The chimichurri was prepared perfectly, have to say better than some of the ones I have had in South America. The Peruvian purple potatoes had a sweetness that helped cut the acidity of the sauce so the chimichurri actually went well with both... This course was paired with a Don Julio AƱejo.

To finish off, dessert was a cherry cream ice cream with cherry coulis. While I am not a big ice cream person, this was really nice and once again went perfectly with the last tequila of the night, Don Julio 70.

All in all it was a great meal, hope that chef Tina gets to this kind of tasting menus on a more frequent basis...

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