When I first caught wind that Three Vines Bistro was doing a tequila pairing dinner, I honestly didn’t know what to think.
I’ve heard of wine and beer dinners, and even bourbon or whiskey dinners. But tequila? At an Italian restaurant?
But I agreed to dine and experience it anyway, because you can never be sure until you try. And… tequila.
So here’s the deal. Three Vines Bistro teamed up with One With Life (OWL) Tequila to create a unique and creative dining experience for tequila and food lovers alike. Pairing three different tequila cocktails with an appetizer, entree, and dessert, you could never have guessed that an entire meal from start to finish made with tequila could be so enjoyable.
For starters, the tequila itself was really good. I mean, I’m by no means a tequila expert. Actually, I wouldn’t even categorize myself as a tequila drinker, although I do take the occasional shot when I’m at Cantina. Okay, every time I’m at Cantina.
But besides that, I typically stay away from it.
OWL tequila is all organic, and tastes way more pure than the gasoline-like tequila that I had in my college days. It’s actually a tequila that I didn’t mind sipping. It was quite pleasant, and while yes it did warm the throat a bit, it was in a good way.
Now for the dinner. Please excuse the quality of photos – I’ll admit they’re not my best. But, when drinking tequila… 🙂
The first course began with a fire roasted avocado and fire roasted shrimp topped with campari reduction paired with the “City by the Sea” cocktail, which was muddled lemon, lime and orange, agave nectar, OWL tequila and citrus soda.
I’ve never had a roasted avocado. I’ve never even considered roasting an avocado. But the guys at Three Vines did, and decided that the earthiness of an avocado would pair nicely with the earthiness of this tequila. And they were right. There was acid, fat, tequila, and salt. What’s not to like?
The drink itself was amazing. Definitely more of a summery drink, but it was so bright and citrusy, I’d love to recreate that drink at home.
For the second course, we were served Risotto Ai Fichi, arborio rice with fresh black figs and chorizo paired with an Italian margarita (amaretto, sweet and sour mix, tequila and triple sec).
This Italian margarita was also a first for me, and you know what? I loved it! Well, that’s easy for me to say because I love amaretto. But I never would have put all those ingredients together for a cocktail, but it just worked.
As for the risotto, it was the perfect al denti, and the figs were really the star of the dish. Wow. I learned later that they were marinated in the tequila and were just so lusciously sweet. Fresh figs truly make all the difference when you’re eating them or cooking with them.
Finally, dessert: A basil lemon gelato paired with The Sweet Sicilian OWL, cappuccino, frangelico, OWL tequila and shaved chocolate.
The gelato was served on an incredibly light and fluffy puff pastry, and topped with a caramel sauce and a candied pastry pinwheel.
This gelato had crazy amounts of flavor. When I was eating it, not only could I not believe how flavorful it was with the basil and lemon, but I felt like the judges on chopped when they get that really great dessert after a day full of eating. Even though I was super full, I still ate every piece of food on this plate.
Also, the cappuccino was on point as well. I love spiked coffee, and this really kicked it up a notch. It actually made me reconsider my plans for bailey’s and coffee this Thanksgiving, and to swap it for tequila and cappuccino.
I was really impressed with this meal and pairing. Not only did I learn that cooking with tequila is super easy, but it overall made me respect tequila more.
I do believe Three Vines Bistro plans to do another dinner like this in the future, so stay tuned or shoot me an email if you’re interested!
The pictures look amazing! Thanks for sharing them. The food and tequila both seem very appealing to me. I’d love a few recipes.
Thanks Cheryl! The dinner was great – I wish I had recipes for some of the dishes using tequila! Definitely would like to try some at home…