This was my first time at Brasitas Stamford (there is also a Brasitas Norwalk) and I was pleased to learn that this incredible five-course dinner would be complete with paired wines.
When we arrived, Brasitas general manager Ingrid Forero, greeted us and explained a little about Brasitas history of preparing nueva latina and latin fusion foods. She explained tonight's menu was geared more with a Spanish theme, and that all the wine pairings would be Spanish, as well. Ingrid is the niece of the owners (pictured below) of Brasitas, hosts of our wonderful evening. I'm so disappointed I wasn't able to get a picture of the lovely Ingrid, she was so busy welcoming and seeing to her guests, I didn't want to disturb her. Next time Ingrid!
|Our charming hosts for the evening, the owner of Brasitas (center), his beautiful wife (left) and lovely daughter (right)|
The restaurant features an indoor/outdoor combination bar and a wrap around patio for outdoor dining. Although intimate and cozy by nature, there is plenty of comfortable seating both inside and out. Inside the restaurant are warm and vibrant colors, which glow with intensity at night, and tastefully simple Latin decor.
The first course, a Spinach Salad, was a wonderful start to the meal, and paired with a bubbly Brut. The salad was perfectly dressed, with a nice balance of textures and flavors through the crunch of pine nuts, sweet raisins and quince, and a creamy valdeon cheese.
|(L) Ensalada Catalana|
Prepared with Baby Spinach, Valdeon Cheese, Golden Raisins,
Pine nuts, Caramelized Quince and a Sherry Vinaigrette
(R) Codurniu Brut Cava, Penedes Spain
Prominent variey of aromas, apple, citrus, almond flowers
This was my first sampling of octopus, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was surprised that the texture was fibrous, similar in texture to a white table mushroom, and the taste was delightful, accented beautifully by the accompanying sauces and garnishes.
|(R) Pulpo a la Portuguesa|
Roasted Portuguese Octopus, Baccala and Potato Cream,
Lightly Charred Scallions, Chorizo, Mojo Verde
(L) Mar de Frades Alberino, Rias Baixas Spain
notes of fuji apple, pears, and lemon verbana
|(L) Pajespo con Romesco|
Monkfish, Jamón Serrano,
With a Summer Pea Casserole, Romesco Sauce, Pisto and Clam Broth
(R) Ramon Bilbao Crianza, Rioja Spain
smokey and fruit infused nuances
On to our last dinner course, Pork Belly Brined in Smoked Paprika, paired with red Cruz de Alba Crainza. Although I was a bit apprehensive about trying pork belly for the first time, it was without a doubt, the highlight of my evening. Don't get me wrong, I love bacon and all its salty goodness to a certain degree, but I was afraid this might be too rich, salty, and overpowering for me.
I could not have been more wrong. It was wonderful. Simply wonderful.
Rich and delicious, the addition of pickled deep dark cherries added a delightful fresh and bright accompaniment to the only slightly salty rich flavor. It was amazingly good. Crispy on the outside, slow cooked and fat rendered smokily delicious on the inside. If I had to make a critique, it would be the difficulty in cutting through the crust with our dinner knife, and realized too late I should have simply requested a steak knife to assist with slicing.
I would travel the one hour trek to Stamford's Brasitas in a heartbeat, any day, just to have this one more time!
Pork Belly Brined in Smoked Paprika, Cauliflower-Manchego Foam,
Crispy Cauliflower, Chanterelle Mushroom, Solera Vinegar, Pickled Cherries
Cruz de Alba Crainza, Ribera del Duero Spain
with a Plum, smokey background
Before moving on to the dessert course and apertif, I must thank the extremely knowledgeable Victoria from Brescome Barton Wine and Spirit Distributors who joined the gathering for the evening to explain each wine as it was served with its course.
|Victoria from Brecome Barton Wine and Spirit Distributors|
And what's more, Licor 43 was the absolutely perfect apertif to serve with it. Licor 43 had a strong spirit taste tempered beautifully by the vanilla essence. I had never sampled this before, and before this week ends, I can promise you a bottle will be in my spirit cabinet. The unusual name? It's based on the 43 citrus and fruit juices, vanilla, and other aromatic herbs and spices blended to make this "Spanish Temptation" a smooth. slightly sweet, 63 proof liqueur.
|Torta de Aceite|
Olive Oil and Rosemary Cake,
Grapefruit Sorbet, Cosecha Miel Marinated Grapes
Licor 43 - Cuarenta Y Tres
citrus essence with a touch of vanilla, warm-bodied and very aromatic
Alicia from Local Food Rocks, Dee from DeeCuisine, Anatoli from Talk-A-Vino, and Greg and Wendy from Connecticut Bloggers - it was wonderful to meet you all!
|My amazing dining companions at Brasitas Stamford|
Anatoli from Talk-A-Vino, Dee from DeeCuisine, Bonnie from Home Place,
Wendy and Greg from Connecticut Bloggers. Alicia from Local Food Rocks,
954 East Main Street
Stamford, CT 06902
Phone: (203) 354.7329
Like them on facebook: HERE
Follow them on twitter: @BRASITAS
Do you have any favorite items from this review?
Have you ever tried any of the items from this five course dinner?
Do you like Latin Fusion?
I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.
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Disclaimer: I was invited to Brasitas Restaurant as the guests of management for this special fifteenth anniversary dinner. All opinions and views expressed are my own. The items reviewed in this post may not be available on their traditional menu.