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Wine & Gourmet Cuisine in Rosarito Beach, Mexico

Monday, November 30, 2009 Great Wine & Gourmet Cuisine in Rosarito Beach, Mexico "Vino-Tourism" by Steve Dryden Rosarito Beach is blessed with an abundance of culinary establishments that provide gourmet food along with a good selection of Baja California wines. Mexico’s premier wine country is located just forty miles south of Rosarito, allowing chefs and restaurant owners an opportunity to explore the wine region and personally select wines that match well with their culinary delights. In addition, Portofino Restaurant at Plaza Festival offers monthly wine and food dinners in hopes of educating locals and tourists about the new wave of high quality wines and cuisine being created in the region. Several other restaurants in the area have upgraded and improved their wine lists to compliment Mexico’s “silent revolution in creating good wine.” We’ve listed a few samples from four popular restaurants so you can explore Mexican wine and sample culinary wonders in downtown Rosarito Beach. A great way to sample a variety of wines and artisan cuisine in a single afternoon or evening is to visit several local hot spots and explore one wine and one entree at each location. I like to start my “vino and food explorations” at #184 Blvd. Benito Juarez, in Bistro Le Cousteau. Renowned Chef Phillippe Chauvin and partner Gloria Luz offer some of the best cuisine for the money in the region. They focus on French-European cuisine using fresh, local ingredients paired with a good selection of regional wines. For starters you just can’t beat their Ensalada Italiana at US$6.00. This flavorful salad is a dynamic mix of tomatoes, onions, fresh herbs, anchovy, tuna and provolone cheese that pairs well with a Blanc de Blanc from L. A. Cetto winery. They’re closed on Mondays; open Tuesday thru Friday from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m., and until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. [52] 661-612-2655. Chef Carlo Di Gristina at That’s Amore, #192 Blvd. Benito Juarez, can dazzle you with one of his gourmet Italian lunch or dinner entrees. My favorite is Linguine alle Vongole, linguine tossed with clams in a choice of natural wine or tomato sauce, for US$13.00. This culinary delight matches perfectly with either Santo Tomas (ST) Chardonnay, or Pinot Grigio Santa Margherita. Chef Carlo offers daily lunch specials, as well as palate pleasing homemade soups and pastas from US$5.99 to $9.99; or dinner specials from US$7.99 to $10.99. Corkage fees here are US$10.00. Open Wednesday thru Sunday from 1 p.m. to 10. p.m. [52] 661-100-2424. This charming and quaint venue is located in front of Quinta del Mar, on the opposite side of Blvd. Juarez. Another easy dining option can be found at El Nido Restaurant in the heart of Rosarito, at Blvd. Benito Juarez #67. This dependable establishment has been open since 1971, providing locals and tourists with quality food and local wine. For a real treat, I suggest their mesquite broiled venison steak at US$20.00, served with bean soup, fresh salad with either French or Roquefort dressing, homemade tortillas, and baked potato with sour cream and/or butter. Match this with a 2004 Nebbiolo from L.A. Cetto winery and you’ll be in a blissful world of contentment and satisfaction. Open Wednesday -Saturday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. [52] 661-613-1187. A classic way to end this romantic afternoon or evening with your favorite lover or friend is to visit Susanne Stehr; owner of Susanna’s, which is located in the Pueblo Plaza on Blvd. Benito Juarez. She is a charming hostess, an early pioneer in the concept of pairing quality Mexican wine with her popular California-style cuisine, and in promoting the wines of Baja California. Her wine list is the most comprehensive and informative presentation in town and features suggested wines on her menu that match well with her gourmet cuisine. One popular option here is the “before dark” menu at US$10.00, offered Monday-Friday from 1p.m. to 5 p.m. Locals and tourists rave about the quality of her cuisine, great service, hospitality and diverse wine selection. For a decadent dessert try matching her chocolate fudge cake, brushed with Kahlua, iced with chocolate fudge frosting, served with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. Pair this with either a port wine from Santo Tomas winery, or with her remarkable pomegranate liquor. Susanna’s is open daily (closed Tuesdays) from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., and until 10:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. [52] 661-613-1187. Ideally, this short wine and gourmet culinary tour will expose you to a few of the excellent opportunities awaiting you in Rosarito Beach, Baja California, Mexico. This is the perfect time to visit the region with discounted lodging rates and summer-like weather. All of these restaurants are within five blocks of each other and one block from the ocean. For those who are seeking a “wild and crazy” experience, either walk or taxi around town and have a great adventure without having to drink and drive. —————————— Steve Dryden is a wine, food and travel writer living in the Guadalupe Valley of Baja California, Mexico's premier wine country, where he guides individual and small group tours. He can be reached at sbdryden@hotmail.com or www.bajawineandtours.com.
Published Monday, November 30, 2009 3:27 PM by Zinnia Q.

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# Wine & Gourmet Cuisine in Rosarito Beach, Mexico | Mexican Real Estate

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