It may not come as a shock to you, that we headed to El Valle de Guadalupe to celebrate Antonio’s birthday. We don’t necessarily need any type of excuse to pay a visit, but with such beautiful scenery, and amazing meals at our finger tips, how can you resist? I was just happy that it had stopped raining, after the previous day of the lovely hail and rain that we had. We got down to El Valle a couple of hours before our lunch reservation at Corazón de Tierra, so a wine tasting and visit to their Farmers Market could have not been more necessary. It’s such a shame staring at all of the gorgeous produce, just knowing that I wasn’t able to bring any home with me, but we did bring home a beautiful jar of olives. We finally got to tasting them last night, let’s just say there is no longer a need to buy jarred olives at the store any more.
For 50 pesos the wine tasting of Cavas del Mogor that day consisted of one white, and two reds. With the blustery air blowing by, sipping the Chassellas de Badan had me picturing the hot summer days and a nice ceviche. The second red, a French and Mexican grape Syrah-Grenache blend, and the third their most popular Mogor Badan Red Bordeaux blend. Before the Mogor Badan tasting was poured into our glasses, we all got to head down to their cava. That is really an experience all on its own. The smells, and sights are just unbelievable. First thing that popped into both Antonio’s and my mind was, “Wow! Could you just imagine what a dinner party would be like here?” We can dream can’t we…
The couple of hours at Las Cavas de Mogor passed by in the blink of an eye, and it was time to sit down at Corazon de Tierra for lunch. The views from your table seem to get even more magnificent with each visit, and the meal that we enjoyed, well there are not many words to describe it. I always leave in a blissful state, feeling so inspired after dining at this restaurant.
The smoked tuna amuse bouche, was delicate and just the right way to begin the rest of the afternoon.
An array of different lettuces, picked fresh from the garden outside, with pine nuts, and local cheese. Underneath the green leaves, was a tomato-olive puree. Every bite, I worked my way around the plate ensuring that I had each component on my fork. Oh, and those baby carrots, who knew such a tiny vegetable could be bursting with such sweetness.
After each meal that my husband and I enjoy together, we can’t help but ask ourselves what was our favorite of the day. It was difficult to choose from so many outstanding dishes, but the Barnacles came slightly above the rest. The acidity from the lime juice covered barnacles, and the avocado puree was just heavenly. The barnacles had the perfect texture to them. You can’t finish that plate without eating the Purple flower that tastes exactly like an Oyster. If you have never tried one, please do when it ends up on your plate. We all looked at each other at the table, with such smiles on our faces.
The roasted beets with green sauce, and Foie Gras dust, were earthy with a natural sweetness that came shining through. I could have easily had two plates of this, no questions asked.
Seared tuna, with dried celery powder, greens, and fennel. Tuna is one of my all time favorite fish dishes, and the seared crisp skin, against the rare meat of the fish was just delightful.
I took one look at this cooked to perfection piece of quail, and before I knew it, it had vanished. I swear that I put my fork down in between bites. The white radish added this lovely acidity, and crisp bite next to the plump white meat of the quail.
The palate cleanser automatically had me thinking about February, and flavors that are associated with Valentine’s day. Yes, I am going to go on to say that we do not need a certain day to put chocolate and strawberries together, but it does make an ideal combination, no?
Antonio’s dessert came along with a candle, and he got to make his birthday wish. The bright flavors of the lemon ice cream, and candied kumquat, were so refreshing. If you are wondering what the black tinted oil is, it is a burnt Chamomile oil. Once again, both my mind and taste buds have been able to explore flavors and textures, that I have only dreamt of.
Just before heading back up the coast, we could not help ourselves from walking down to the Vena Cava winery, for a tasting of their Big Blend, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
It was an unforgettable day of Birthday celebration, good company, delicious wines, and a phenomenal meal. We will be counting down the days until our next visit. El Valle de Guadalupe, you truly hold a special place in our hearts.
Cavas del Mogor
Km. 85.5 Highway 3 Tecate-Ensenada
San Antonio de las Minas
Corazón de Tierra & Vena Cava
Km. 88 Highway 3 Tecate-Ensenada
San Antonio de las Minas