I’ve enjoyed a few visits to Vinoteca Barcelona over the past year, a relatively new addition to the Bahrain dining scene. On previous occasions i’ve quaffed huge goblets of Spanish gins brought to the table on a nifty hostess trolley where you can select your tipple and garnishes, who doesn’t love a bit of gin based novelty? I’ve also tried a number of their tapas and signature dishes from the a la carte menu including the salted almonds, pig trotters, patatas bravas, beef fillet flamenquin and seared scallops which have all been winners. Propping up the bar with a large glass of Sangria and being presented with manchego cheese lollipops was also a highlight! The food is delicious albeit on the slightly pricey side if you’re particularly hungry, so when I heard about their wine pairing menu for 15bd on a Monday & Tuesday I instantly opted in.
Despite the mild we have to share food, will there be enough panic, Tapas is my favourite fare. The 4 course set pairing menu assuaged said anxiety with individual portions as well a glass of grape to go with each dish.
Bahrain is now getting uncomfortably hot so we left the relaxed and heavily fanned courtyard which at any other time of year is a great place to while away an evening, to consume indoors.
The first course was Seared tuna, with romesco and fresh rocket, black olives and olive caviar paired with Santa Digna Chardonnay
I love tuna but wouldn’t have ordered this normally, it arrived invitingly pink and beautifully presented. I tried to do the delicate dish justice by dissecting it slowly and savouring each petite mouthful but that didn’t last long and it was soon polished off. Chardonnay isn’t normally my bag as it often tastes a bit like tree bark to me but the Santa Digna was a palatable number and not too tree-y at all.
Our second course was Roast chicken and foie gras cannelloni with home made pesto and parmesan crust. The accompanying tipple was a Santa Digna Syrah. Mixed feelings about foie gras for obvious reasons but i’m not one to waste food, the cannelloni was tasty, slightly gristly but the wine was so good that we ordered a bottle of it at the end! The third course was absolutely delicious and my favourite of the lot: beef fillet cooked to order with pan fried foie gras (must have done a bulk order). The presentation was beautiful with little popper shaped accompaniments of courgette and squash. The wine was a Santa Digna Cabernet Sauvignon which went down very well too.
Our final tasting treat was a Nutella and banana bread served with chocolate crumble and toffee sauce paired with Nectaria sweet wine. I gave the sweet wine a miss as it was just too sweet for me but the dessert was a great ending to a lovely meal.
The benefits of giving this type of menu a try was that I didn’t have to make a single decision on what to have, it also meant I had the opportunity to try some dishes that I wouldn’t normally try so i’ll definitely be heading back for another pairing session post-Ramadan!