Tiro Vino Wine Bar Dinner Tasting – Dec. 19th, 2011

Forget Tuscany, stay in Los Angeles for the best Pappardelle since the famed restaurant Erasmo in Ponte A Moriano Lucca, Italy. TiroVino is serving up a melt in your mouth, succulent Pappardelle with wild boar ragu that will bring all of those authentic Italian food memories back to life. Really, save your money and fly to Tiro Vino Wine bar in the heart of trendy Melrose Avenue.

The atmosphere is Contempary Italian Chic, sporting 1040’s theatrical lighting fixture over a common table, complete with wing back chairs. Old Hollywood black and white photos of
Robert De Niro, Marcello Mastroianni , Sophia Loren and famous Italian film stars grace the walls. Maricio the owner, loved this book as a child “Opera Medica”, so he tore the pages out and made wallpaper for the photo area and ceiling paper above the bar. The interior is very slick but simply, with lots of Italian accents. There is an Al Fresco patio that has wonderful Old Italian movies playing on the wall. This is a great refuge in a very busy city.

Sevy my very handsome and gracious wine expert, who was 24 hours away from hoping on a plane back to Rome for the Holidays, served me up some great wines paired with some delicious, perfect Italian treats.

Pescatora seafood soup of calamari, clams, shrimp and cod in a garlic tomato wine broth. The seafood is cooked to perfection, with amazing tomatoe flavor. Arancini a traditional crispy rice croquette filled with braised beef, green peas and mozzarella cheese, melts in your mouth. Mele e Finicchi, fennel and apples, greens, mustard wine vinegarette. Fennel salad – very refreshing with its sweet citrus dressing. Fava beans tossed with toasted walnuts and Tuscan Pecorino. Pizza Rustica, tomato, mozzarella, and Italian sausage, mushroom. The crust on these pizza’s are magnicent, light and crispy. Pizza Capricciosa, tomato, mozzerella, articokes, and ham. Pizza With articokes and ham, this pizza is better the next day. Pappardelle, with braised wild boar – so amazing, brings tears to my eyes. Cod very tender and fresh with great capers and thinly sliced seared garlic served on a lovely bed a sautéed spinach.

For desert the Amaretto cookies soaked in espresso coffee covered with mascarpone cream was stupendous. This is a Teramisu without the typical lady fingers which makes this dish so rich and smooth. Just the right amount of everything.

A lot of the wine tastes were really too small to make sense of. In my opinion wine is alive and grows in your glass, in your mouth and when you pair with food. I tried a lot of great wines here but could only make opinions on a few, here’s all the wines tasted:

Cortese, Pio Cesare, Gavi di Gavi 2009.
Sauvignon Blanc, Cantina Cortaccia 2010.
Toscana Chardonnay, Corte alla Flora, Giuggiolo,Bianca Toscano 2009.
Marche Verdicchio, Bucci, Classico, Castello di Jesi 2008.
Chardonnay, Planeta 2007.
Barbera Fontatafredda, Briccotondo Barbera d’ Alba 2010.
Barbera Nebbiolo, Merlot Stefano Farina Le Brune, Langhe Rosso 2006.
Dolcetto, Stefano Farina , Dolcetto di Diano d’ Alba 2009.
Nebbiolo, Oddero, Barolo 2006.
Corvina Blend, Masi, Valpolicella Classico, Bonacosta 2008.
Supertuscan, Sangiovese/Merlot, Castello di Meleto, IGT 2007.
Negroamaro Malvasia Nero Rivera, Salentino 2007.
Calabria Gaglioppo, Statti,  Lamezia Terme, IGT 2009.
Nero d’Avola, Planeta, Santa Cecilia 2006.

These are ones I really loved and paired nicely the dishes below:
Toscana Chardonnay, Corte alla Flora, Giuggiolo,Bianca Toscano 2009 very smokey, fruity paired great with the salads and the cod.
Supertuscan, Sangiovese/Merlot, Castello di Meleto, IGT 2007 was very rich and full bodied, paired great with the papardelle and wild boar, brought out the wine flavors in the meat. Corvina Blend, Masi, Valpolicella Classico, Bonacosta 2008 is super dry, nice ruby color, has rasberrie and tabacco flavors, paired great with Pizza’s.

This place serves up some traditional Italian fare, with a little modern twist. An absolute find, and a must try in a city filled with lots and lots of great Italian restaurants.


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