Ch-ch-ch-changes

For those of you who missed my column in Thursday’s Go! section of the Monterey Herald, I’m reposting the stories here, complete with some photos that didn’t appear in the printed article.

As the calendar turns to summer, local menus are starting to take advantage of the season’s harvest. Sunday night, I visited Estéban and tried some of the new tapas the kitchen is serving up for summer.

Now that summer is upon on, Esteban is adding new seasonal dishes to their menu--a welcome addition to the usual suspect, like these patatas bravas.

The pan de tomato is a welcome addition to the pinxtos selections. And remember, pintxos are half off during Happy Hour (5-7 Mon-Sat, all night Sun).

There’s a new pan de tomato pinxto ($2) with a very flavorful roasted tomato atop a crunchy bite of bread that’s a Spanish nod to Italian bruschetta.

The mushrooms were flavorful, but felt incomplete.

Mushrooms, grilled with garlic and sherry vinegar ($7.50), were rich and flavorful, but I’m so trained to expect mushrooms paired with polenta or risotto so that on their own, they felt a little incomplete.

Hallelujah! The grilled peaches are back on the menu now that peach season is upon us!

And one of my favorite tapas — the grilled peach, with goat cheese and spinach ($6) — is back on the menu now that peaches are in season.

Estéban has also beefed up its selection of meat tapas, including a “crispy duck,” served with purslane, wine-soaked cherries and almonds ($10.50) and pork cheeks, with corn pudding and roasted cherry tomatoes ($13).

The crispy duck wasn't exactly crispy--and wasn't exactly tasty.

Sadly, the “crispy” duck wasn’t very crispy — it’s really just shredded duck confit. While the meat was tender, I missed that bite of crispy skin that always makes my heart swoon when I order duck confit. I also wasn’t a fan of the purslane — a leafy vegetable with a bitter bite that didn’t quite play well with the rest of the dish.

Succulent pork cheeks were a welcome addition to the selection of savory meat tapas.

The pork cheeks, however, were far tastier. The meat was so soft and succulent, slow-roasted in a wine sauce. The roasted tomatoes were a nice touch, as was the corn pudding.

Try some of Estéban’s new tapas yourself in the Casa Munras Hotel at 700 Munras Ave., Monterey.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Herald, New Dishes, Restaurants. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s