In the spirit of full disclosure, I don’t drink very much. So, last night after returning home from our tasting menu and wine pairings I couldn’t actually blog about it. But I digress ….
We spent a lovely evening at one of my favorite places, Wine Vault and Bistro. They do weekly five course tasting menus and wine pairings. Occasionally, they do ten course extravaganzas!
The ambiance is lovely; the walls are lined with wine bottles. The wine selection varies seasonally. SO if you like something you must purchase when you are there. The wineries they use are rarely the ones you find in a grocery store. Instead, they feature smaller wineries from around the world.
Course One: Torched blue fin tuna belly/togarashi aioli, heirloom cucumber relish
The fish was velvety soft. Delicately placed with hints of wasabi and sweet chili, amid a creamy aioli.
Course Two: Stir-fried Brussels Sprouts, sweet garlic chili broth, crispy shallots
First of all, I love a Brussels Sprout. Especially when it’s crispy and sweet. These were cooked to perfection, exactly the right amount of crisp until the sprouts were no longer bitter. The sweet garlic sauce and crispy shallots were the perfect accompaniment.
Course Three: Thai-style bbq duck wing, lemongrass scented rice, peanut salsa
I could have lapped up this bbq sauce by the gallon. It was sweet, it was spicy, it had just enough ginger to make it zing without overpowering. And, best of all, it crisped the duck wings perfectly. Crispy = magic! It paired beautifully with the rice and the peanut sauce.
Course Four: Soy and ginger braised beef, roasted eggplant, oyster mushroom ragout
This was my favorite course. Soft and buttery beef melted in my mouth. Delightful asian flavors hinted at a global cuisine. If I could cook beef this soft and delicate I would never leave my house! Did I say it was SOFT?!
Final Course: Mango bar, pineapple, coconut swiss meringue
This course was accompanied by the best Pina Colada I have ever tasted.
A delicious cookie crust held a tangy, sweet mango creme. On the side, not whipped creme, but a coconut meringue – perfectly sweet and creamy.
I don’t like pina coladas. Really. I find them too cloying. HOWEVER, this is the second time Wine Vault has made me like a drink I normally hate. Fresh pineapple juice, mixed with fresh coconut creme and white rum. Absolutely the best Pina Colada I’ve had!
It was a delightful evening with friends and family. The wine flowed (hence my inability to write last night.), the food was delicious. Our servers took great care of us, explaining each new wine pairing and course. The owners mingled with the patrons, making us feel as though we were part of their family. Wine Vault and Bistro is a hidden gem in San Diego, tucked away on India street. Visit their website and look up their calendar of events!