February 08, 2006

frontera grill, again

C is in town again, and we both had fairly stressful workdays, so we went to Frontera again to get some cocktails with our dinner (and so C could have another try matching wines to spicy mexican foods).

The mezcal margarita remains spectacular. We tried a special also, of reposado tequila, lime, pear nectar, and a bit of oloroso sherry, which was rich and nutty, like a pear tart in hazelnut crust. I always thought the celebrity bartender concept was kind of bogus, but whoever is concocting these drink recipes knows what they are doing, for sure.

Then we had enchiladas nortenas, beef in a warm tomatoey sauce covered with melty cheese, utterly comforting and delicious, and a plate of empanadas filled with huitlacoche and served with peppery tomatillo salsa and some shredded radishes. Very nice indeed. For mains we dawdled too long and missed out on the sablefish, but we drowned our sorrow in pork loin atop stewed pork and potatoes in a tinga poblano sauce, and in lamb stewed in guajillo chile sauce topped with charcoal grilled green beans. Jill the fabulous sommelier helped us pick out a spanish wine, which god damn it, i've forgotten already, but C wrote it down so i'm sure he'll help me out.

And then we went a little batshit, ordering kaffir lime goat cheese flan and chocolate cheesecake, plus mezcal hot chocolate and cafe de olla. Chocolate cheesecake = good, but the flan was awesome, very rich and thick from the goat cheese, and then after the cheese dissipated on the tongue, fabulous kaffir lime flavor. When eaten with the mint garnish, even better, a sort of thai flan. YUM.

We had a great waiter, who picked up immediately on the fact that we were sharing the starters, and brought us the mains split into two dishes each, and also let us have a "split" order of the two dessert drinks (which was really one drink apiece of each) -- and he brought us some rolls of the spiced-sugar they use to make the cafe de olla, because C was only planning on having a sip of the coffee (so he wouldn't be up all night) but it was so delicious he actually had nearly a whole cupful, and asked the waiter how it was made. Needless to say, BIG FAT TIP.

Another fine meal at Frontera, and another evening in which I roll home stuffed to the eyeballs, groaning from the pleasure and pain of it all. :-)

(I have a photo on my phone of the nummy and photogenic lamb stew, but who knows when I'll manage to get it downloaded and onto the net.)

Posted by foodnerd at February 8, 2006 12:15 PM

The wine was Emilio Moro 2003 Ribera del Duero from Pesquero de Duero. 100% Tinto Fino. It was a big, alcoholic fruit bomb. Not bad, but really not my style. Jill gets props, though, for selling us a wine that stood up nicely to the sauces, which were spicy (for this Oregonian, anyway) and mildly acidic. Next time, though, I think it'll be beer.

Posted by: C at February 8, 2006 04:02 PM

Here's the Wine Spectator on the Emilio Moro:

"2003 Emilio Moro Ribera del Duero: Ripe fruit and solid structure marry in impressive harmony in this balanced red. It offers blackberry, chocolate and mineral notes, with herbal and smoky accents. Has an appealing sweetness, but stays fresh though the finish. Drink now through 2012. 1,000 cases imported." 92 points - Wine Spectator, November 15, 2005

92 POINTS? That's an f'ing joke. But FN, it demonstrates my comment at dinner that we were drinking the kind of alcoholic, highly-extracted wine that the critics go bonkers for.


Posted by: C at February 8, 2006 04:06 PM
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