Last night, Crema Espresso and Wine Bar debuted their nighttime wine and tapas service. Tucked in on the first floor of Casa de la Crème—the new face of La Crème Monterey catering—Crema Espresso and Wine Bar has been serving some great espresso for the last month or so, quickly becoming my go-to stop for my morning buzz. Now that coffee service has settled in, owner Tamie Aceves has unveiled the hotly anticipated evening wine service.
The menu will be short and sweet—a short list of great wine and a handful of Spanish tapas from chef Jon Moser. Expect the menu to change week to week, giving the kitchen the change to try out new dishes. Coffee is available in the evenings as well, a welcome addition considering how difficult it is to find good coffee after sunset.
I popped in for a quick bite before dinner last night and enjoyed a glass of Pessagno’s “Idyll Times” zinfandel and few delicious tapas.
My favorite was the stuffed Monterey Bay squid ($4.95). The squid “tube” was stuffed with brioche and flavorful chorizo. I loved the light—but spicy—tomato sauce underneath. My friend remarked these were like little squid burritos.
The butternut squash arancini ($4.95) were a nice bite. I thought the blue cheese fondue overwhelmed the delicate flavor of the golden risotto fritters. But I was willing to forgive this misstep considering how rich, creamy and tangy that sauce was. (I’m a big believer in blue cheeses!)
The short rib empanadas ($4.95) were perfect for the chilly evening. I especially loved the dipping sauces—a chimichurri and a piri, both packed with depth of flavor.
Check out the full menu of wine and tapas for the week below the fold.
If the small bites I enjoyed last night were any indication, Crema is going to shake up the night life in Pacific Grove and I can’t wait to try more!
Crema Espresso and Wine Bar is at 481 Lighthouse Avenue in Pacific Grove. 831-375-1300. lacrememonterey.com.
Crema Espresso and Wine Bar
Menu, November 29, 2012
Cava, Segura Vidas, Spain
Pinot Grigio, Georis, Monterey
Sauvignon Blanc, Bernardus “Griva”, Arroyo Seco
Un-Oaked Chardonnay, Mer Soleil “Silver”, Santa Lucia Highlands
Chardonnay, Sanford “Flor De Campo”, Santa Barbara
Pinot Noir, Estancia “Pinnacles Ranch”, Monterey
Cabernet Sauvignon, Josh, North Coast
Cabernet Blend, Bernardus “Marinus”, Carmel Valley
Zinfandel, Pessagno “Idyll Times”, San Benito
Marinated olives with fennel pollen, bay leaf, orange
Artisan meats and cheese—a daily culling of 3 handcrafted cheeses and 3 cured meats with a selection of condiments & rustic bread
Short rib picadillo empanadas with housemade chimichurri & piri-piri sauces
Grilled Monterey squid with brioche, Basque chorizo & pine nut stuffing and smoked tomato sauce
Butternut squash arancini with Point Reyes blue cheese fondue
Marinated boquerones with citrus, grilled bread, fresh herb & celery leaf salad
Grilled fennel salad with toasted arbol chile, roasted sweet peppers, mint and fried bread crumbs
Creamy Meyer lemon bar
Housemade Nutella bruschetta with toasted hazelnuts on grilled bread
“Leche Frita” with spiced berry sauce