Valle de Guadalupe: Latitud 32
The damp and cooler temperatures does not seem to keep us, and even other frequent visitors from heading down to Baja California's wine country. It is definitely on the quiet side, compared to the hustling and bustling season of the summer time, but the unforgettable feeling of serenity still very much remains. We spent the afternoon enjoying our time at a newer addition to the valle, El Cielo vineyards, and its restaurant Latitud 32. What a gorgeous property! Before settling down for lunch, Chef Ryan Steyn led us down to take a peek at the barrel room, tanks, and beautiful tasting room. The private dining area that is set up down there, just had me dreaming of the upmost perfectly coordinated dinner party. A girl can dream, can't she?
Chef Ryan Steyn prepared an outstanding five course meal for us on that afternoon. You know those meals that leave you highlighting every dish you had during the drive on the way home? That was Antonio and I. Oh, and I can't forget to mention that Giovanni took a visit to the garden with Chef Ryan, so he continued to ask for fresh peas the entire drive back up to Tijuana.
Okay, so back to the meal that continues to leave me wishing that I could transport each and every dish to my house at any given moment.
The dining room was aglow from the crackling fire place, and aromas of the wood fired grill lingering throughout the air. A delightful cozy setting during these cooler winter months.
The meal began with a delightfully rich foie gras, crunchy toasts, and refreshing Hibiscus jelly.
Following that, a beautifully plated dish of Tuna Tataki, octopus, and local seaweed. Those little dots of avocado merengue were bursting with flavor, and notes of citrus. Each of the ingredients also picked up the earthiness from the painted beet, as well as the saltiness from the salicorina.
This dish, honestly, I can't stop thinking about it. Freshly made squid ink pasta, clams, deboned quail, and a carrot and orange sauce. Fresh pasta is huge in my book. I grew up with wonderful memories of making pasta with my grandma. It truly does make all the difference. The texture, and the slight brininess in contrast with the bright citrus sauce, and perfectly cooked quail and clams, was just magical.
The colors on all of Chef Ryan's dishes are so inviting. This grilled Ribeye had me salivating after each bite. It was seasoned perfectly. I had to make sure to get in bites before Giovanni finished the whole plate.
It's not pictured, but I can't forget to mention the dessert of Malva pudding. This is actually Chef Ryan's grandma's recipe. It's warm, and buttery, and with the dollop of vanilla ice cream on top, just divine!
What an afternoon to remember. I can not wait for the upcoming spring and summer seasons, and just the thought of dining al fresco at Latitud 32 makes me so excited.
El Cielo | MAP Parcela No. 118 km. 7.5 Carretera Guadalupe - El Tigre Ejido El Porvenir, Ensenada Baja California.