Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Amaya | Summer Grilling Dinner & Wine Tasting


This was our anniversary dinner #2!  When you get to twenty years, you get two anniversary dinners, no?

On Thursday 6/26 evening, we headed to Amaya at the Grand Del Mar for their Summer Grilling Dinner & Wine Tasting.  It was a special event where Amaya’s Chef Matthew Sramek demonstrates grilling the dishes in front of us.  So cool!

20140626-2014-06-26 19.16.24_blog

We sat at a table with a family of four who were vacationing from the OC.  They were fun to chat with.  On our tables they had some really nice heavy cardstock printouts of the dishes and wine pairings for the dinner.  They also provided a card for each dish’s recipe and instructions.  It was so awesome!

20140626-2014-06-26 18.56.57_blog

Lots of wine glasses to fill, ha ha!

20140626-2014-06-26 19.00.34_blog

We sat at the corner of the table.  We had a sideways view of the chef, but were able to see close-ups of his food preparation on the big TV screen.


The first dish was a Grilled Vegetable Salad.  It had Manchego cheese, watercress, arugula, different squashes & peppers, avocado, and a champagne vinaigrette.  It was paired with a Piero Mancini white wine from Sardinia, Italy 2012.  It was quite delicious!

20140626-2014-06-26 19.20.10_blog

Chef Matthew Sramek at work.

20140626-2014-06-26 19.35.31_blog

The second dish was Grilled Whole Mediterranean Branzini.  They actually had this fish flown in daily from Greece & Turkey!  They grilled the fish whole and served it with herbs, aromatics, in a coriander-lime bouillon sauce.  The fish was paired with a Copain “Tous Ensemble” chardonnay from Anderson Valley 2012.

20140626-2014-06-26 19.40.21_blog

This Branzini fish was actually rather large and meaty.  Todd and I ate about 1/2 to 3/4 of it and couldn’t finish.  After all, we had to save some room for the steak and the dessert!

A selfie.

20140626-2014-06-26 20.00.56_blog

It got darker as the sun went down, but the lights made it even more romantic.  Just love the ambiance at the Grand Del Mar!

20140626-2014-06-26 20.01.20_blog

20140626-2014-06-26 20.41.22_blog

The third dish was Grilled Aspen Ridge Prime Ribeye steak with chanterelles mushrooms in a truffle butter sauce, over truffle potatoes.  It was paired with a T-Vine Zinfandel from Napa Valley 2011.

20140626-2014-06-26 20.08.21_blog

Let me just tell you, this is quite possibly the best steak I’ve ever had!  Super-tender and just full of flavor.  Todd & I couldn’t believe how good it was! 

We laughed at how many wine glasses were on our table.

20140626-2014-06-26 20.34.49_blog

The incredible evening ended with dessert, which was a Lemon Chiffon Cake with lemon cream, crunchy meringue, with strawberry-champagne sorbet on top.  It was paired with a Michele Chiarlo “Nivole” Moscato d’Asti wine from Piedmonte, Italy 2006.

20140626-2014-06-26 20.44.11_blog

Oh my gosh, we were so full, yet SO impressed with this dinner!  It was a night that we won’t soon forget for sure.  I hope that steak makes it onto their regular menu sometime, because it was really incredible.  Happy 20th Anniversary to us.  Dinner #2!


  1. Happy Anniversary! To 20 more years!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Happy Anniversary! you're so cute together :)


Thanks for stopping by! I love to hear from you!

[feedly mini]