Ortanique has a prime spot on the Crescent of Camana Bay, with ample outdoor and indoor seating. This sister restaurant to Cindy Hutson’s lauded Ortanique in Coral Gables, Florida, has made a big splash since it arrived on the scene. Fans of its “Cuisine of the Sun” have flocked to its doors, and at evening Happy Hour it is not uncommon to see large groups indulging in the comfortable waterfront lounge area, taking advantage of the cool breezes that waft through there as the sun sets.
Ortanique offers a number of speciality events on a regular basis, and one of the latest to join their calendar is their wine and cheese evening every second Tuesday of the month. A match made in heaven ever since both were invented, wine and cheese pairings are always popular with those who appreciate the bounty of the grape and a nice piece of fromage.
Ortanique’s Executive Chef Sara Mair sources exceptional, quality cheeses from countries all over the world. From firm and stoic to soft and yielding, they are presented on boards and then paired with wines from Tortuga’s vast collection. Each week two different countries will be featured, and patrons can choose one that takes their fancy. They will then receive three different cheeses with homemade accompaniments, and three glasses of wine that will compliment each one. The portions are generous – nicely beyond a sliver – so groups of two or more can share tastes and flavours if they so desire.
When my friend Lynne and I attended earlier this week, the two featured countries were France and Spain. France presented Tomme de Savoie with apples and fruit bread, Alsatian Munster with crackers and almond jam, and Brebirousse d’Argental with honeycomb and fruit bread. These were paired with a Michel Picard Beaujolais, Perrin Cotes du Rhone Blanc and Fat Bastard Sauvignon Blanc respectively.
Spain produces some extremely robust wines, which were excellent with the cheeses that Chef Sara chose. Cheeses on the board were Mahon Curado, Coinga with apples and fruit bread, Murray’s Cave Aged Queso de la Serena with dates and sourdough bread, and Valdeon with crackers and pepper tapenade. The wines were Ramon Bibao Crianza, Volteo Tempranillo Shiraz and a very strong Ramon Bilbao Gran Reserva – not for the faint of palate!
It was an extraordinary journey (or “flight” as they like to say) through a sumptuous repast of cheese and wine; and surprisingly filling. For $36 per person you can’t beat this price. You can even enjoy 25 per cent off all bottles of wine and champagne on the menu every Tuesday, known as Temptation Tuesdays.
Private or corporate groups may want to consider booking a wine and cheese evening, which can be reserved for any date – not just every second Tuesday of the month. Might be the perfect choice for the festive season.
There is so much to do at Camana Bay – this is just the tip of the cheese-burg. Fall back in love with Camana Bay this autumn and rediscover all it has to offer.
Enter this week’s Experience Camana Bay competition (and others!) by clicking here.