Taste Vinoteca – Dinner Menu (Trinidad & Tobago Restaurant Week 2018)
First out of the gate was a glass of white wine, a crisp Pinot Grigio (La Mora Vermentino). I tend to avoid Pinot Grigios at restaurants, finding them usually rather safe and dull. This one however was bright and practically psychedelic on my tongue. I shouldn’t have been surprised. If you are a long time reader of the blog you will remember Taste’s restauranteur Lisa Johnstone from her wine tasting sessions several years ago. Wine is still a central part of her life and world view and an integral part of the Taste dining experience. If there was a Pinot Grigio choice I was gonna trust it, would be hers!
My first appetizer was the Mahi Ceviche (fresh mahi mahi, herbs and citrus). I love ceviche, but have a love-hate relationship with the amount of liquid that is often included in local Peruvian-style preparations, especially when the ratio feels 2:1 in one’s order. No such worries in this ‘dry’ presentation which Lisa said was typical of the Mediterranean approach. I found myself eating it slowly, morsel by morsel, almost willing it not to end. But end it had to as there was still more to come. A lot more!
These Baked Goat Cheese Rolls were my favorite item of the night. Maybe because they were so unexpected. Maybe because the description on the menu seemed so nondescript “Puff Pastry, Thyme” in no way prepared me for the contrast of warm, creamy sharp goat cheese, buttery flaky pastry and the savory sweetness of the thyme-infused honey that brought the two together. Simple. Decadent. As I texted a friend. “This is making me want to get on indecent in the people business place.” Lol. Welcome to the world of TGTexts™
After that it was time to take on the Pumpkin Risotto. I was still in a stupor from the first three offerings but I somehow managed to pull it together enough to take this creamy comfort dish on. The flavors were mild so I appreciated the contrast that the garnish of greens provided. I was particularly intrigued by the deep indescribable smokiness that permeated each bite. I was convinced a mushroom stock was involved but Lisa said that is what happens when you use seriously good aged Parmigiano. Plus truffle oil. Boom! I knew there were mushrooms. Hehehe.
Do you see this Moroccan Chicken? Lisa told me that while the Restaurant Week menus veered towards the brighter, cleaner side of the Taste concept, they also still offered rich, decadent, robust meat dishes in counterbalance. This Moroccan Chicken was clearly the “gateway meat dish” to that side. Complexly spiced, and unbelievably moist, you’d easily be forgiven for thinking this was another “white meat”. And those insanely plump, juicy roasted peppers? Bursting in your mouth with every bite? Obscene! Lisa asked me what I thought of the Herb Vinaigrette, but my thoughts kept going back to mmm peppers!! I still dream of the rib-eye steak I had at their Maraval Launch so I’m definitely ready to try more of Taste’s meat offerings. As of this post , they have also just introduced a Moroccan Lamb Shank.. so… what you waiting on??
You can thank me later!
At this point I was sure that I would burst and would have to take dessert home. Especially since I was presented with both options! Fortunately these cakes were unbelievably light in flavor and texture. The perfect balance and way to end the evening. I particularly loved the Ginger Chocolate cake. A pairing one would never think of “delicate” somehow was just that. Sublime!
With my menu now complete, and having arrived solo, I normally would have been ready to pack my things and head home. However that wasn’t the course of the evening. There are many clichés about wine bringing people together and helping to form friendships. Well my Restaurant Week Dinner at Taste turned into one of those. As I eventually found myself at a table with two of Lisa’s friends, enjoying more food and even more -MORE- wine for several hours again. Unhurried, the evening was just magical and definitely made me even more appreciative of the communal aspect of food and dining.
Taste VinotecaAddress: Maraval PlazaPort of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Phone: +1 (868) 323-4830