Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Miradoro at Tinhorn Creek Estate Winery

Perched on the picturesque Tinhorn Creek Estate on the Okanagan's famed Golden Mile, Miradoro, which translates as 'golden view', offers sweeping views of the exquisitely scenic South Okanagan Valley and features Mediterranean influenced cuisine that showcases the freshest local ingredients of the Okanagan area. A joint venture between Tinhorn Creek and Manuel Ferreira, of Le Gavroche in Vancouver, Miradoro is a destination restaurant that also features the best of B.C.’s wine country. 

Miradoro's spectacular terrace view

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards south of Oliver - 'The Wine Capital of Canada'

Executive Chef Jeff Van Geest, works closely with local farmers and producers to make Miradoro a restaurant that pays homage to the bounty of the Okanagan. The menu draws inspiration from countries like Spain, Portugal and Italy, cuisines designed to pair perfectly with wine. The food is local, rustic, simple, straightforward and seasonal, and reflects Chef Van Geest’s belief that there’s nothing better than simple, well-prepared cuisine made with the best ingredients from one's local fields, forests and oceans. 

Executive Chef Jeff Van Geest putting the finishing touches on a Miradoro dish

Miradoro's appetizing starters feature Crispy Calamari with Thorpe's organic cucumber and bread salad, finished with preserved lemon and herb yogurt; Steamed Westcoast Mussels; Celery Root, Apple & Beet Salad with Sesen Farm's organic greens with a walnut and anchovy dressing; and each day a seasonally inspired soup created by Chef Van Geest, like the rich and fragrant Sweet Corn Soup with chanterelle mushrooms and paprika that I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon we visited Miradoro.

Miradoro's sweet corn soup with chanterelle mushrooms and paprika

Grilled cheese with Kootenay Alpine Cheese Co's Nostrala on foccacia with quince mostarda & crispy onions with prosciutto with Moroccan spiced chickpeas & organic sugar pumpkin salad

Classic Neopolitan-style Pizza Funghi with cremini, oyster and portobello mushrooms, grilled asparagus and goat cheese

Miradoro's Chocolate Mousse

Entrées include an outrageously buttery and delicious Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Kootenay Alpine Cheese Co's Nostrala on focaccia with quince mostarda & crispy onions and prosciutto; Spiced Merguez Sausage, soft polenta, braised greens and Poplar Grove tiger blue cheese, from Penticton; and for lighter fare, a selection of light sandwiches such as Chicken Salad on focaccia with basil pesto and pepper aioli, as well as homemade pizzas from the Miradora pizza oven plus Chef Van Geest's Daily Tasting Menu, with multi-course selections and optional wine pairings.

General Manager and Sommelier of Miradoro, Justin McAuliffe

Miradoro’s wine list, developed by General Manager and Sommelier Justin McAuliffe, showcases the award-winning wines of Tinhorn Creek, with both current and rare library releases available. The list also includes a hand-picked selection of standout wines from other wineries across B.C., but the focus is undoubtedly on Tinhorn Creek Vineyards, which overlooks their lush vineyards, sagebrush and the old gold mining creek – its namesake. 

Tinhorn Creek Winery

The winery, located just south of Oliver and home to Canada's only desert, sources fruit exclusively from its own vineyards, which lends to the creation of their exceptional terroir-driven wines. Tinhorn Creek offers regular wine tours and tastings, which is the natural place to start when visiting the winery.

The glass catwalk entrance to Miradoro

Tinhorn's breathtaking estate includes the 100-acre Diamondback Vineyard on the Black Sage Bench, which is planted with a mix of red and white varieties, primarily Pinot Gris, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, wheres the 50-acre Tinhorn Creek Vineyard on the Golden Mile Bench, features Gewürztraminer. With Miradoro's modern wine country cuisine and Tinhorn's award-winning wines, Tinhorn Creek is definitely worth a stop on any wine tour of the South Okanagan Valley, as both pay homage to the fruitful bounty of the Okanagan, as well as it's unrelenting beauty.


Spot Prawn Carpaccio
Serves 6
Recipe courtesy of Chef Jeff Van Geest, Miradoro Restaurant at Tinhorn Creek

3 oz fresh spot prawn meat
1 long English cucumber
12 Kalamata olives
A small handful of micro radish greens
1/2 cup lightly flavoured extra virgin olive oil 
1 cup day old sourdough bread torn into small croutons 
1/2 cup full fat yogurt
juice and zest of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper

The day before clean veins from prawns, place between two sheets of parchment paper and beat gently with a rolling pin to break down the flesh. Keep the flesh between the parchment sheets and roll out to a sheet with a thickness of 2 millimetres. Freeze the sheet on a baking tray.

Remove pits from olives and chop fairly fine. Dehydrate in a very low oven or dehydrator overnight. Pulse in the food processor until the dried olives are a texture like coarse cornmeal. Reserve

The next day cut the cucumbers with the julienne attachment on a mandolin.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and the lemon juice. Reserve.  

On very low fry the croutons in olive oil. Mix yogurt with the lemon zest. To assemble, remove the prawn sheet from the freezer. Cut into 6 equal sized, neat rectangles and place each one on a plate. Drizzle the cucumber with a little olive oil. Place a twisted up bundle of cucumber on each prawn sheet. Garnish with a drizzle of yogurt, some olive powder, some croutons and the radish greens.