Iron Chef Jose Garces’ Tinto Restaurant Hosts a Basque Cider Dinner

Dishes from the Basque cider dinner at Tinto, owned by Chef Jose Garces. Photos by Glamorosi
Dishes from the Basque cider dinner at Tinto, owned by Chef Jose Garces

This week in Philadelphia, Tinto – a Rittenhouse area restaurant owned by Iron Chef Jose Garces – hosted "Txotx", a three course dinner that paired select items on its Basque-inspired menu with ciders from Spain and France.

For the uninitiated, ciders (“sidra” in Spanish) are a slightly sweet, fermented beverage made from fruit – usually apples – with an alcohol content ranging from 2% ABV to 8.5% or more. Tinto offered a selection of ciders in a “bottomless pour” from bottles and barrels brought in from throughout the Basque and Asturias regions of Europe. Everyone left happy.

There was a Spanish Castanon that was subtly dry, a Spanish Isastegi which was more woodsy, funky and sour, and a mellow middle-of-the-road Bordatto Extaldea Txalaparta from France that was very easy going down.

To go with the cider there were three generous courses, each with several dishes. The first course featured Manchego cheese with thinly sliced Granny Smith apple, bee pollen and sweet membrillo (quince) paste. Along with that came the flavorful Chorizo Pamplona and egg salad appetizer.

The second course had two dishes: spicy meatballs with piperade (onion, green pepper and tomato sautéed with Espelette pepper) and a poached egg, and one of our favorite items, a Salt Cod Tortilla done with potato and spices.

The third course was the night’s heartiest – skewers of Nora Chili BBQ Ternera (steak) with calcots (grilled green onion with salbitxada, a traditional pepper, garlic and almond sauce), and St. George Mushrooms a la Plantxa.

To finish the meal Tinto offered a dessert of Gateaux Basque, a cake topped with chunks of fig, cherry syrup and a dollop of whipped cream. My lovely wife Glamorosi had a macchiato with her dessert, I ended the night with a nice Grahams port.

Tinto Restaurant
114 South 20th Street
Philadelphia PA

All photos ©Glamorosi 2013

Posted on Friday, April 5, 2013