Monday, May 25, 2009

Madrid Magic at Miramonte

WinewomenPSP spirited off to Spain last Thursday as Miramonte Resort and Spa transformed their new Grove Artisan Kitchen into a tapas wonderland.

Executive Chef Robert Nyerick directed traffic over the restaurant's display arena as platters piled high with ultrathin prosciutto, olives and savory salads flew by. With a shake and slam of their fryers, cooks turned out batches of piping hot empanadas. It was all fun to watch and even better to eat as the room pulsed with the energy and anticipation of Food Network's Kitchen Stadium. Would Iron Chef Emcee Alton Brown appear to recite stage-whisper commentary?

No, ladies, this was Madrid Magic. Chef Nyerick and his on-the-ball staff delivered a tapas feast that had us dishing over each tasty bite. Greeting us at the door were flutes of Segura Viudas Aria Estate Brut sparkling wine. It was so good that we spotted a few champagne-snubbers going back for seconds.

Next, red or white sangria? It was tough to decide between the two house-made specialties so we opted to try both. Nyerick makes his red version with fresh orange, blood orange, lemon and lime juices blended with La Terre California Merlot and Spanish Rioja wines. He spices it up with splashes of triple sec and Spanish brandy before he swirls in ice and club soda with cinnamon sticks.

For his white sangria, Nyerick combines ruby red grapefruit, orange, lemon and lime juices with La Terre Chardonnay, cloves and ice finished with more Segura Viudas extra dry sparkling wine, a winner from one of Spain's artisan cavas.

Our table gave thumbs up to La Terre Chardonnay's fresh apple and pear flavors while others enjoyed La Terre Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Whatever your drinking or dining indulgence, all managed to save room for Chef's decadent chocolate dipping station – and resisted the urge to dive in head first.

Gracias, Chef Nyerick, Colby, guitarist Rafael Soto and the outstanding Miramonte staff! If you missed it, make your own magic at their Tapas Thursdays from 5-8 PM in the Vineyard Lounge.

Note to rosé fans: We found more A to Z Oregon Rosé at Jensen's in La Quinta and LA Wine Company in Palm Desert. Chill it and enjoy it all summer long.

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