Restaurante ConTenedor – Seville, Spain

While in Seville over my Christmas break with my family we went to  Restaurante ConTenedor (Facebook link here). The restaurant came highly recommended from the lady running reception where we were staying while in Seville. We arrived ‘early’ by Spanish standards to an empty restaurant, by the time we left a few hours later after 9pm the place was packed and it was quite clearly a favourite with the locals.

We started with a mixed meat, cheese and bread platter along with a local wine while we decided what to order from the daily menu. The wine we selected came at the recommendation of the waitress. We ordered a Spanish red, it was a light to medium bodied red that was a little young but still held it’s own. It paired well across all of our dishes being just rich enough to pair with my ragu while not too heavy for the other lighter dishes.

I ended up selecting the fresh pasta with beef ragu, which was a very rich and tasty dish that I struggled to finish but did so in the end as I did not want to waste a single bite. My sister the Lamb with peaches and a pumpkin puree, by the end of the meal the plate was almost clean and receiving rave reviews of how the flavours worked perfectly together given the interesting combination. Mum ordered the Duck dish and enjoyed it, initially the duck was a little too rare for her liking but the kitchen was happy to cook it for a little longer to bring it to medium-well for her and with that sorted she had no complaints. Dad order the Calimari and black rice dish, he too enjoyed it but preferred some of our dishes more having ordered this dish out of curiosity and intrigue rather than a great love of the ingredients and combination of them.

For desert I bowed out feeling quite full from the starter and the very rich pasta dish. My sister ordered the apple cheesecake, which I sampled a bite and wished I had enough space to order myself a slice as it was heavenly! Mum had the chocolate fondant which was recommended to us by the lady at reception, and with good reason as the bite of it that I had made me even more envious that I had filled up so much with the previous course. Dad went for a light yoghurt to end the meal as he was feeling quite full himself. The restaurant was also lovely in that they comp all tea and coffee ordered with desert, a nice touch that we appreciated as this can often lead to an expensive final course if you order a few with desert and chatting after the meal.

Further reviews of Restaurante ConTenedor can be found on trip advisor here.

The Blue Duck, Cottesloe

Hi everyone,

While the family was in town a few weeks ago we went to The Blue Duck in Cottesloe to celebrate a family member’s birthday. I didn’t manage to get a photo of every single dish we had as there was too many of us but I managed to grab pictures of those around me before they proceeded to polish off their meals.

I got there a few minutes late and the tasting plates had already been partway demolished so I didn’t manage to get any pictures of those but everyone had enjoyed them immensely. I did however arrive in time to attempt to capture a shot of the sunset that night, unfortunately my phone’s camera could not do justice to the sunset that night as it really was spectacular with all the cloud cover that evening.

View of the Sunset from the table.

View of the Sunset from the table.

For mains there was a range of dishes ordered from the menu. Those which I managed to grab a photo of were:

Lamb.

Roasted Marinated Lamb.

Fish and chips.

Tempura Fish and chips.

Mushroom.

Stuffed Field Mushrooms.

Gnocchi.

Pan Seared Gnocchi (Entree sized).

The gnocchi dish was mine and it was delightful! I wish I had ordered the main however at the time I ordered I knew there would be cake so I didn’t want to have too big a portion, however upon trying the gnocchi I could have happily eaten plate-loads of this dish! The gnocchi melted in my mouth and was accompanied by pumpkin puree, roasted tomatoes, sage butter, feta cheese and cashew nuts of which none remained by the end and the flavours worked beautifully together! This is a dish you could safely say that I would happily reorder. I also had a chance to sample some of the lamb and boy was that tender and well cooked. The fish and chips also came with the most amazing sauce (grebiche). The chicken dish off the menu was ordered by some people on the night as well and was also enjoyed by many but I did not manage to grab a photo or taste of it. The portion sizes were also well done and everyone at the table was happy.

And as it was a birthday celebration cake was obviously necessary so we had a cake arranged through The Blue Duck. The supplied us with a carrot cake which was moist and delicious!

Carrot Cake.

Carrot Cake.

I would love to come back here in the summer and sit out on the deck for dinner to see how it is out there. For me the food alone (the gnocchi in particular) is worth heading back for!

Until next time!

The Blue Duck on Urbanspoon

Wino 101: Christmas Lunch/Dinner Wines (Australian Summer Edition).

Hi everyone,

While the northern hemisphere is rugging up for a cold winter in Australia we will be getting our barbecues and bathers out in expectation of a hot and sunny Christmas Day. This post will hopefully be a good guide for you, whether you are supplying a lunch or dinner at your place of even just bringing a bottle of wine to wherever you end up on the festive occasion. I have broken the wine’s down into different categories of food that is often served in Australia on Christmas Day, along with some personal favourites.

Appetisers:

A nice glass of bubbly is a good way to start off your Christmas Day of feasting.

BBQ:

Consider lighter to medium bodied red wine or an acidic and aromatic white wine or dry Rose will pair across the range of foods you can barbecue. When pairing wine with barbecue you want to keep the wine simple and uncomplicated to match the simple flavouring and styling of food that you would barbecue.

Seafood:

When it comes to seafood you want to pair it with a light wine which has a nice degree of acidity behind it so that you really get the best flavours out of pairing it with the seafood. Look for a citrusy Sauvignon Blanc, a fruity and crisp Pinot Grigio/Gris or a dry Rose.

Roast Lamb/Beef:

Lamb and Beef being  darker and more dense meats will need a wine with more structure and depth in it so that both the wine and the food will compliment each other rather than one overpowering the other. You will also need to take the sauce(s) you will be using into account as their richness will also impact upon which wine is your best option.

For the meat: a red wine like a Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon that has seen some age in the bottle as well as having had the chance to breath either in a decanter or by opening the bottle before serving. Also if it is a very hot day think about popping your bottle of red into the fridge for about 15 minutes before serving so that thee wine will be at it’s optimum serving temperature while you eat your meal (15-20C). The wine will also develop over the course of the meal as it warms and you will see it’s aroma’s and taste evolve along with your meal.

Roast Chicken:

A roast chicken being a lighter meat allows you to pair a white or red wine with it, depending upon what seasoning and sauces you. For a roast with a light lemon seasoning look for a Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Grigio/Gris, Chenin Blanc or continue with the bubbles.

Roast Pork:

Less tannic reds are preferred when pairing with roast pork as it is a lighter meat than Beef and Lamb and due to that needs to be paired with a more softer wine that still has enough body to pair with the meat. Look for a red blend that contains Merlot or Viognier to soften the wine.

Cheese/Fruit:

Soft cheese = eg. Camembert and Brie

Consider white or sparkling wines, so as to not overpower the softer textures and flavours of the wine, however if you are daring a full bodied dry red is said to also pair nicely due to it’s contrasting texture and flavour.

Hard cheese = eg. Cheddar and Parmesan.

Consider red wines for a stronger tasting cheese otherwise if the cheese is milder in flavour and medium-to-hard texture you can then look into pairing it with a fortified, sparkling or a full bodied white wine.

Eye cheese = ed. Edam, Gouda, Havarti and Swiss-styled cheese.

Consider a full bodied white wine, medium bodied red wine or a sweeter desert or fortified wine to play best with the softer textures of the wine and the stronger flavours found in some of these cheeses.

Blue cheese = eg. Gorgonzola and Danish Blue.

generally sweeter and fortified wines do better with blue cheese, however if it is a mild blue cheese you can possibly pair it with a softer red wine. Look for a wine which is aromatic but sweet to give you the best contrast with the blue cheese.

Fruit: consider aromatic and/or sweeter wines.

Desert:

Fortified, sweet still and sweet sparkling wines would go amazing with desert.

Until next time!

Margaret River 2012 Gourmet Escape

Margaret River 2012 Gourmet Escape

The Gourmet Escape was held one the lawn surrounding the Winery at Leeuwin Estate, which was reviewed by me in this post. There were a variety of Food, Distillery, Brewery and Winery stalls along with food and wine theatres for shows and classes.

Hay Bales outside the Rekorderlig Tent.

The Alchemists:

I recognised the name and am still yet to remember where but the lady running the stall was also the owner of the Winery, which she has owned for the last 6 years and was a delight to talk to! Their wines are mainly sold to restaurants in Perth or can be found at their cellar door on the Winery’s Estate.

Ashbrook Estate:

I had met the wine Maker (Tony Devitt) previously at the Blackwood Valley Wine Show last month and Tony recognised me at the Gourmet Escape so it was nice to catch up and continue our discussion about the South West wine region as well as to ask him many new questions that I had accrued along the way as I have continued to write and research for this blog. I also tried their range, while I spoke to Tony and I was quite impressed! Their red wines were made in French styling while the white wines were pleasant and many had seen a little oak, which made the red wine lover that I am quite happy.

Bahen & Co Chocolate:

This chocolate company had 4 chocolate on display, all with 70% cocoa which was too much personally for me and BF so we headed back to the wines after sampling them quickly.

Blue Cow Cheese Company:

This company is one which my grandparents adore and have gotten me hooked on their goats cheese which I get to have whenever I make it down south and have a meal with them. The cheeses for sampling and sale at the Gourmet Escape however was their Camembert, Brie, Cheddar and Shadforth. We had some left over tokens at the end of the day so I picked up a block of the Shadforth to take back to Perth and will let you know how it pairs up with wines!

Cape Mentelle:

This winery is one I have eyed off for a while now and have been meaning to head out to their cellar door but have not succeeded yet. I had hoped their Zinfandel would be out for tasting at the show but unfortunately they did not have it. Instead they had their basic range consisting of a Sauvignon Blanc Semillon and a Cabernet Merlot, which Liquorland stocks and personally these wine are well worth the ~$25 a bottle they are in Perth stores. They also had a few of their more premium range for sampling and I was impressed with the range, many of which have in the past year done very well with regards to gold medal award and trophies, this winery has a good solid repletion in the Western Australian wine industry.

Deep Wood Estate:

I popped over quickly to their stall to ask where I could find their Harmony Rose, which I had enjoyed at Rose Revolution. Those running the stall were not sure where in Perth it was stocked but did give me an ordering form the price was listed as being $13.50, a bottle with a minimum purchase of a dozen wines and a $5 freight charge.

Devil’s Lair:

This winery has impressed me in all their ranges. From their basic 5th Leg range, their middle range titled Hidden Cave, their premium self titled range Devil’s Lair and their side line Dance With the Devil, which, allows their wine makers to have a little fun. Their Dance With the Devil line was a fun and delicious discovery to make as one of the wine’s produced in this range was a blend of 60% Sauvignon Blanc with 40% Chenin Blanc. BF and I were big fans of this unusual blend and even took a bottle home with us at the end of the night with the last of our leftover tokens. This winery is one that I highly recommend and it is unfortunate that they currently do not have a cellar door so tasting opportunities besides buying a bottle is restricted to events such as Gourmet Escape.

Devil’s Lair Stall.

Knee Deep Winery:

I tasted my way through their range, which they had on display at Gourmet Escape. Their SBS was a stand out for me with lychee notes on the nose as well as being pronounced on the palate. Different but a winner for the summer months! Would be interesting to pair this with cheeses for a lazy afternoon drink or two with some friends. Will have to find where this wine is stocked in Perth!

Rosabrook Margaret River Winery:

I had the chance to sample their Chardonnay at the wine class that week and it had been the standout for the session as the best value for money for what it offered. The rest of their range was not bad, but I personally preferred their white wines to their red wines.

Stella Bella Wines:

This winery does some amazing wines! The whites were fresh, crisp and zesty while their reds had a nice balance between the oak, tannins and fruit. They also had some of their premium ‘Suckfizzle’ range which was delightful!

Swings and Roundabouts:

I had been eyeing off Swing and Roundabout wines in stores over the last month but had not yet tried any of their range. I however enjoyed trying their SBS with lychee on the palate, this is a winery that I will be looking out for in Perth! Staff at the event were also a pleasure to chat with!

Swings and Roundabouts Stall.

Xanadu Wines:

This was another winery that I had been wanting to try having heard many good things about their wines. Their range of wines on display were well made and the staff running the stall were a pleasure to chat with.

I am sorry to say that the food I sampled at the show did not last long enough to take a picture! The ‘char sui braised lamb shoulder with sour cream labna and wattle seed roll’ that Capel Vale was making at the show was to die for and was highly recommended by everyone that we ran into at the show! I also had many people tell me that the ’12 hour braised Margaret River ‘big red pig’ port, house made tortillas with condiments’ by Leeuwin Estate was also a standout dish.

Until next time!

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