Excellent dinner for 20: Rioja.

Described as Mediterranean it leans Spanish and there is a broad selection offered which should please everyone in your crowd. While this was a large group dinner, we ordered from the regular menu so we each had our choices to evaluate and enjoy.

We started with several appetizers which included the beet salad, Rioja “Picnic” (charcuterie plate),  tuna tartare, and the BBQ peach flatbread. My nod goes to the “Picnic”….not only was it delicious, it was a presentation masterpiece. Second place goes to the tuna…..interesting combination of tuna, watermelon, shishito peppers, avocado and lime panko.

Our group broadly selected from the main menu and although they weren’t shared plates, I heard no negative comments. My choice was another interesting combination: octopus with tuna…the tuna-octopus duet. The tuna was perfectly prepared….rare and the octopus grilled. Great dish! Wines for the night included a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, which was tart and light with citrus notes, and a nice Spanish Monastrell (Mourvedre).

Next we were onto dessert….again no disappointments with more presentation masterpieces…..the blue cheesecake mousse in particular. It arrived topped with crispy chocolate angel hair….delicate and seaweed like in appearance. But, that wasn’t my choice…once again I’m boring….my choice was the chocolate peanut butter torte. A masterpiece as well….and I have no idea how it could have been sliced so thinly. Absolutely scrumptious. Since we were on a roll I had to finish the night with a dessert wine. There were a number of very nice selections and my choice was the Inniskillin ice wine. As expected for this Canadian producer known for ice wines; quite nice indeed.

The wine list is very good and leans European….mostly French and Spanish with a few Italian and New World choices.

The space is nice and the service excellent. You’ll need a reservation unless you sit at the bar or chef’s table.

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