Friday, April 23, 2010

Special Pintxos dinner at La Tienda


After I got back from San Sebastian, I have been obsessed by the food and the town of Donostia. The closest I will get to Donostia in Manila would be if I asked Chef Javi of La Tienda to prepare us some local dishes that he knows so well about. There was another excuse for this dinner though, (not that we need any) which was to try out some special wines, sent by Victor Quinson to Aaron(Thank you Victor). It turned out to be a special dinner, plus a mini vertical of Viña Tondonia, by Bodegas Lopez De Heredia, one of the few who still produce traditional classic Rioja wines.


With the impressive line up of wines, I asked Javi to prepare us some Pintxos as starters and a Chuleton for main. We started off though with some Cava courtesy of Aaron: NV Elyssia Gran Cuvée Brut, a fresh and light Cava, which is always good for me before starting a meal.


Javi then came to see us and asked if we wanted to start, so we all agreed to start. They served us in this order:

Salmorejo - an Andalusian style Gazpacho, made with only Tomatoes. It came with a shrimp, which I think was cooked in Vinegar (a la Boquerones).


Pintxo de Anchoas con Crema de Centollo - Anchovy with Cream of Spider Crab - this was my special request, after I have tried this in bar Txepetxa in San Sebastian, upon recommendation of Javi.


Escalivada - No meal in La Tienda would be complete without Escalivada, This one is Javi's own version with Anchovies and Cheese.


Bacalao Encebollado - Bacalao with lots of Onions - Fantastic dish and perfect with the Txacoli.


Txangurro - a very typical Basque dish made out of Crab Meat, Onions, Peppers, Garlic, all baked and normally served on bread, although this one was served in a small bowl.


Pies de Cerdo con Foie - Pig's Trotters with Foie - incredibly rich and tasty. Loved this and one of my favorites of the night.


We paired the first with 2008 Itsas Mendi No. 7, a Txacoli that we have had many times, and is really a good pairing with seafood based dishes, specially the ones we had. It's normally served high at arms length, to 'activate' it and release the bubbles, so since we had a pourer which I had bought in from San Sebastian, I gave it a shot.


We also had Doc's bottle of 2005 Domaine Weinbach Riesling Alsace Grand Cru Schlossberg Cuvee Ste.-Catherine, a nice light Riesling with typical hints of Lychee that Riesling have, I enjoyed this with the Foie very much.


We moved on to the main (after break since we were quite full from all the Pintxos) not before opening all the wines to match with our Chuleton. Aside from the 2000 Reserva and the 81, 91 and 94 Gran Reserva of Tondonia, we also had my bottle of 1991 Beronia Gran Reserva and Rene's 1978 castillo Ygay Gran Reserva, the last 2 being spared, since we had too many wines on deck.


Javi came out and volunteered to help us open the Tondonias, which all had wax caps, so it took us quite some time to open them. We were happy to see that all the corks were in good condition.


My favorite of the night, the 1991 Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva. This was everybody's Wine of the night, some comparing it to Catherine Zeta Jones and others to Penelope Cruz. I'd personally go with Penelope Cruz. This wine was elegant, classy and with a long finish. I found the 81 to be too old, and quite tired, similar to the notes I had of my the 85, which we had at our Aged Rioja dinner last year.

Gerry also brought a mystery wine, already decanted when he arrived, which turned out to be a 98 Angelus from St. Emillion. Although a bit tight and still closed, it went will with our meat. We also had Noels 1987 Viña Tondonia Reserva which unfortunately was corked.

The Steak (Chuleton) was excellent, rare as I like it and tender. It also came with some special Peppers that I requested Javi to Make. These Piquillo Peppers go really well with a good steak and Rioja wine.


For dessert, we had a Gateau Basque with Doc's bottle of 2004 Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume. I liked this very much with the Gateau, which had some strawberries to give it some acidity. The wine was quite sweet and apparently a Chenin Blanc. very nice.


Another fun dinner, great food, wines and friends. Thank you all for coming and thank you Javi for preparing the food...hasta la proxima!!

28 comments:

Aaron said...

Mig,

Nice photos! That was a great dinner. Thanks for taking care of the menu!

Noel said...

Stunning photos, Mig, especially the food shots. As Jojo says, they really leap out at you and make you want to bite the monitor. Yes, the '91 López de Heredia Viña Tondonia was undoubtedly the brightest light of the dinner - together with Javi's food, of course. Though still very young, I think my '94 will follow in the footsteps of the '91.

In this connection, you said it all - the only way in Manila one can have food like the pintxos in the País Vasco is to have Javi make some.

Excellent evening - many thanks for organizing it. Thanks, too, to Victor and Aaron for sending/sharing the '81 and '91 Viña Tondonia GRs.

N

domesticgoddess said...

Following your blog and that of Eye on Wine over the past few weeks has made me crave for a good Spanish meal. My husband and I took our girls to La Tienda ( a restaurant we rediscovered this past year due to all your posts) today for a delicious lunch. They didn't have everything we wanted though , nevertheless it was an incredibly enjoyable meal. No alcohol unfortunately ( A bottle of wine and our Sunday afternoon athletics regimen would not mix)- We'll probably be back soon!

Miguel said...

A - thanks to you for sharing those wines with us...

Noel - thanks it was my pleasure and we all had great fun!! We should do this again soon.

Miguel said...

Domesticgoddess - thanks..glad you enjoyed. Sundays though the Chef is not there so best to go when he is there.

Email me next time you want to go and I can have him prepare the stuff he serves us...

Fan said...

Hola Miguel!

What a wonderful blog! Just learned about it recently and am thoroughly enjoying it. Answer to my prayers! - almost - hehehe! Question - which Rioja reds - from Terry's - would you most recommend in the 1,000 php price range? Bang for buck, so to speak....Many thanks!

P.S. Will reveal to you my true identity the next time I bump into you...mystery for now...CHAIRS!

Miguel said...

Hi - thanks fro reading my blog.

As far as Riojas are concerned, I really don't buy many here as I buy most of them in the Spain. But I would say that the Marques de Caceres, Riscal and the Anares are good and reasonably priced at Terrys. I also like the Otonal Reserva.

Thanks

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