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TS SEEMS EEMS tthat hat tthe he eentire ntire cculinary ulinary w orld iiss ffair air ggame ame ffor or tthe he ttalents alents world o oif â€™â€™ss n ew cchef, hef, S antos M ajano. off S Soif new Santos Majano. T he A merican S outh, tthe he M iddle The American South, Middle East, France, France, C alifornia, S painâ€”all ffigure igure East, California, Spainâ€”all prominently in in tthe he m enu M ajano h as prominently menu Majano has orchestrated for for tthe he d owntown w ine b ar. orchestrated downtown wine bar. We enjoyed enjoyed ssome ome o is ssensitivity ensitivity tto o tthe he We off h his fresh and and tthe he sseasonal easonal aatt a ssplendid plendid aand nd fresh completely satisfying satisfying dinner dinner llast ast w eek. completely week. Starting with with tasting tasting pours pours (2 (2 ounce) ounce) Starting of a crisp, crisp, gemlike gemlike Diel Diel Riesling Riesling 2007 2007 of ($5.50) and and an an appealing appealing Slovenian Slovenian ($5.50) furmint 2008 2008 ($4.25), ($4.25), we we dredged dredged some some furmint francese in in fruity fruity olive olive oil oil and and began began francese to construct construct dinner. dinner. First First came came a small small to plate of of lamb lamb meatballs meatballs dusted dusted with with plate paprika and and crowned crowned with with tiny tiny daikon daikon paprika sprouts in in an an ivory ivory pool pool of of pureed pureed sprouts almonds ($5). ($5). Always Always a favorite favorite house house almonds appetizer, this this dish dish has has acquired acquired new new appetizer, kick under under Majanoâ€™s Majanoâ€™s touch. touch. A large large kick appetizer of of sautĂŠed sautĂŠed Louisiana Louisiana shrimp shrimp appetizer knocked us us out out ($12). ($12). A quartet quartet of of knocked succulent shrimp shrimp topped topped a white white bean bean succulent salad laced laced with with cucumbers, cucumbers, sprigs sprigs of of salad frisĂŠe and and thin thin ribbons ribbons of of radicchio. radicchio. frisĂŠe The result result was was brilliant, brilliant, cool cool and and The sophisticated, especially especially with with the the crisp crisp sophisticated, white wines. wines. white Next we we switched switched to to red red wine wine and and Next tastes of of a musky, musky, intriguing intriguing cabernet cabernet tastes sauvignon blend blend from from Lebanonâ€™s Lebanonâ€™s sauvignon Chateau Musar Musar 2000 2000 ($6.75) ($6.75) and and Chateau another of of Philippe Philippe Faury Faury St.-Joseph St.-Joseph another
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Syrahâ€”a p Syrahâ€”a perfect erfect partner partner with with m myy q quail uail aand nd tthe he ccheese heese ccourse ourse tto o ffollow. ollow. The The delicate delicate seafood seafood stew stew ($21), ($21), bulging with halibut, b ulging w ith llocal ocal h alibut, opulent opulent Gulf prawns, G ulf p rawns, ssea ea sscallops callops and and fingerling f ingerling potatoes was p otatoes ssliced liced iinto nto llong ong rribbons, ibbons, w as a off ssensuous ensuous ccreation reation tthat hat showed showed o ff the the balance off sspicing cchef hef â€™â€™ss cconfident onf ident b alance o picing aand nd The off sshellfish iingredients. ngredients. T he intertwining intertwining o hellf ish broth, white wine bathed b roth, w hite w ine aand nd ttomatoes omatoes b athed bite with eevery very b ite w ith eenhancingâ€”never nhancingâ€”never overwhelmingâ€”flavors. o verwhelmingâ€”f lavors. But But the the quail quail was was downright downright brilliant. brilliant. Astride off w wild A stride a ttweed weed ccushion ushion o ild rrice, ice, with mirepoix fflecked lecked w ith a cclassic lassic m irepoix dice dice off o onions, o nions, ccarrots arrots aand nd ccelery, elery, tthe he panpanbird rroasted oasted llittle ittle b ird ccradled radled aan n iinterior nterior packed with p acked w ith ttiny iny ccubed ubed cchorizo horizo aand nd potatoes, heat off o one p otatoes, tthe he h eat o ne pushed pushed back back byy the off tthe other. b the nutty-sweet nutty-sweet eessence ssence o he o ther. This pairing off rroot with T his iinspired nspired p airing o oot vveggie eggie w ith needed push sspicy picy ssausage ausage ggave ave tthe he n eeded p ush tto o heighten delicate h eighten tthe he d elicate ggame. ame. IItt was was a dish tterrific errif ic d ish aand nd a ggreat reat vvalue alue ffor or $20â€” $20â€” off eentree aagain, gain, tthe he ssort ort o ntree tthat hat loves loves tto o work w ork aagainst gainst a big-shouldered big-shouldered red red wine. wine. For For our our final f inal salvo salvo we we had had saved saved just wine just enough enough rred ed w ine tto o aaccompany ccompany
ggenerous enerous ttastes astes of of five f ive ccheeses heeses o on n tthe he aartisan rtisan ccheese heese plate plate ($15). ($15). IItâ€™s tâ€™s ttrue, rue, w wee m ight h ave eentered ntered the the ssweet weet w orld o might have world off S oif â€™â€™ss w arm cchocolate hocolate ccake ake or or M eyer Soif warm Meyer llemon emon ttart. art. But But there there w ere w ith wee w were with rremaining emaining wine, wine, o pened tto op erfection, opened perfection, aand nd only only ccheese heese w ould d o. would do. So we we happily happily roamed roamed through through an an So It talian Robiola, Robiola, a dreamy dreamy d omestic Italian domestic cchĂ¨vre hĂ¨vre ccalled alled B ermuda T riangle, eearthy arthy Bermuda Triangle, T allegio, nutty nutty S panish M ahon aand nd Tallegio, Spanish Mahon an ondescript b lue ccheese heese ffrom rom N ew nondescript blue New E ngland ((probably probably sstanding tanding in in ffor or England tthe he usual usual h ouse Maytag Maytag o tilton). house orr S Stilton). A pricot ccumin umin m armalade, aass w ell aass Apricot marmalade, well q uince p aste and and sliced sliced dates, dates, aadded dded quince paste ccounterpoint ounterpoint tto o tthis his splendid splendid w ay tto o way ffinish inish a meal meal aatt S oif. Soif. Kudos to to chef chef Santos Santos Majano, Majano, Kudos w ho iiss p utting his his ttwo-Michelin wo -Michelin sstar tar who putting b ackground tto od elicious d azzle. background delicious dazzle. A=74E7<30/@;3@16/<BA A =74E7<30/@;3@16/<BA
105 Walnut 105 Walnut Ave., Ave., Santa Santa Cruz Cruz 831.423.2020 8 31.423.2020 Monâ€“Thu M onâ€“Thu 5â€“10pm; 5â€“10pm; Friâ€“Sat Friâ€“Sat 5â€“11pm; 5â€“11pm; 4â€“10pm SSun un 4 â€“10pm
Published on Apr 15, 2010