Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Uvaggio Wine Bar

Attention Wine Lovers... There is a new spot in Coral Gables that is bringing wine and food pairing to a whole new level. I'm talking about Uvaggio Wine Bar located at 70 Miracle Mile. Uvaggio is a euro-influence wine bar and restaurant that is bringing a "tasting backwards" concept to its guests, where guests sip exquisite, carefully selected wines and then indulge in small plates food pairings that complement their taste, aroma and texture.

Set in a charming, upscale yet cozy ambiance, the selection of wines from around the world is extensive, and its team obviously take pride in bringing only the best to their patrons. Craig De Wald, the owner of Uvaggio,  is a confessed foodie and oenophile whose vast experience and passion for the food and wine industry are visible in every corner of the place. Heath Porter, its Sommelier, delves into his talent and knowledge of the industry to bring only the best boutique wines found in all the corners of the world. Finally, Bret Pelaggi, the chef, who recently competed on Bravo Channel's popular T.V. Show Top Chef, brings his flare for great taste and presentation to the mix, to make the experience at Uvaggio a memorable one.

The Gingie & Big Pimmpin
Salt Cod Croquetas
I recently spent a romantic evening at Uvaggio and sampled several of their dishes and wines. I was extremely impressed with the service we received from the moment we arrived. To start the tasting, we ordered two cocktails: The Gingie, a refreshing and bubbly marriage between Prosecco and Ginger Syrup and the Big Pimmpin, a luscious libation prepared with fresh mint, limeade, satsuma syrup and Pimm's. We wanted to try their "tasting backwards" approach so we let them guide us through their recommended pairings. Our first bite was their delicious Salt Cod Croquetas. Tender and flavorful, they elicited a heartfelt moan with each bite. The Prosecco truly complemented and brought out their taste.

Pork Rillette Terrine

House-made Naan Bread
Roasted Cauliflower
Next we sampled a Barboursville, Viognier "Reserve", 2012, from Virginia. It was a high acidity, fruity white wine, with hints of fresh apricots and lilacs. It was paired with an amazing Pork Rillette Terrine, that made us salivate instantly. The creamy terrine, which is slow cooked in its own natural juices and fats and then pulled and set in a terrine, was served with pickled vegetables, dill seed, grain mustard, a sweet jalapeno jam (which I need to buy for home) and slices of toasted baguette. We also munched on a dish of Roasted Cauliflower, mixed with toasted pistachios, turmeric, dates, mint and toasted garlic oil. I would've never thought that I'd like cauliflowers quite this much. When you visit, you also have to try their House-made Yogurt Naan Bread, served with goat cheese hummus, smoked baba ghanoush, and green olive tapenade. It's one of their most popular plates.

Octopus "Naranja Agria"

Braised Beef Short Rib
Next, we traveled across the world through our senses. For our next pairing, we sipped on a deeply smooth and intense Pinot Noir. It was the Stift Gottweig, Rose of Pinot Noir 2012, from Kremstal, Austria; an "altar wine" made at a 1,000 year old monastery. We indulged in it savoring an Octopus "Naranja Agria", consisting of tender octopus drizzled with yellow pepper, papas bravas, Spanish paprika and jicama. It most certainly gave the palate a run for its money. Still having a bit of room for one more glass of wine and savory small plate pairing before ending the night on a sweet note, we wet our lips with a glass of an earthy Altaroses, Garnacha 2011, from Montsant Spain. An obviously very food friendly red wine, we paired it with their juicy Braised Short Rib, served in a pool of black licorice tea consomme, black olive soil and Meadow Creek cheese pomme puree. It was the favorite of the night and an instant hit. After a few minutes sitting back and replaying this amazing "tasting backwards" experience, we shared a dessert: a light and creamy Cheesecake that danced on our tongue like the last note of a romantic ballad.

Bring a date, hang out with friends, or come alone. There will definitely be some good times to be had at Uvaggio Wine Bar. For more information, you can call them at 305-448-2400.

Uvaggio on Urbanspoon

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