Miradoro at Tinhorn Creek – by Darcy Nybo

Miradoro Restaurant at Tinhorn Creek Winery
Located off Hwy 97 just outside of Oliver on the Golden Mile
(click here for map) Directions

Phone: 250-498-3742 (Restaurant)  1-888-484-6467 (Winery)

Open March to December for lunch, tapas, and dinner seven days a week
Lunch – 11:30 am to 3 pm
Tapas – 3 pm to 5:30 pm
Dinner – 5:30 pm to 9 pm

Dress: Wine Country Comfy
Fully Licensed
Seating:  Dining Room – 65     Outdoor Patio – 65
Executive Chef: Chef Jeff Van Geest

$$ – $$$

If you want to know what BC tastes like, come to Miradoro at Tinhorn Creek Winery. Chef Jeff Van Geest is nothing sort of a maestro in his see-through kitchen. He’s the kind of Chef that goes for a walk and comes back with nettles and puts them on the menu and makes them taste delicious.

The restaurant was designed so every seat has a great view and if you chose to sit outside, you may even catch a concert or two going on below in the natural amphitheatre.

Be forewarned: this is not the type of restaurant where you drive out, have a quick bite, and leave. This restaurant has an ambience that makes time appear to slow. It’s where conversations, good food, and good wine are more important than smart phones. They have a full liquor license and they serve only BC made, from their own wines to the beer, gin, vodka, whiskey, etc., it’s all made right here in BC.

We started off with a 2012 2Bench Rosé made with 49% Syrah and 50% Cab Franc. I am going to stray a little here to let you know that all of Tinhorn’s 2Bench wines, (and I tasted most of them!) are fabulous.  Now onto the first dish.

The Charcuterie plate ($17) was perfect for sharing, served on a repurposed barrelhead and all house-made. Pickles, onion, and mushrooms and a very tasty and refreshingly sweet quince mostarda accompanied the meats. The Chicken Mortadella instantly reminded me of a mild Bavarian sausage. The foie gras pate was mild with a tasty duck rillettes in the centre. My favourite was the CabSav marinated and aged beef served with shaved, cured egg yolk. It had just enough salt to bring out the flavours of the beef and the wine.

THM_QuailUp next (this is a long review, so settle in) was the Honey Grilled Quail ($19) served with prosciutto and cabbage cappuccio and topped with micro radish and shaved hazelnuts. These are not the quail you see running around the Okanagan. These quail are farmed and have no gamey taste whatsoever. The glaze on these quail goes perfectly with the mildly acidic cappuccio. The Oldfield Series Pinot Gris pairs perfectly with this dish. 

Chef Jeff brought out the We Wai Kai Scallops and Cauliflower ($18) served with a caper and raisin puree.  One wouldn’t think capers and raisins made into a puree would taste good, but it is the perfect compliment to the perfectly cooked scallops. Chef_Jeff_scallopsThe quick roasted cauliflower provides just enough crunch to balance out the tender scallops. The wine for this course was the 2Bench White made from five varietals including Chardonnay, Viogner, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscat.

But wait, there’s more!  Chef Jeff brought out a surprise dish, one that is not on the menu. (But I’ve been told he does serve it during one of the special Chef dinners) The Mortadella Tortellini had the ability to quell all conversation. It hits your taste buds and then…  you just smile, make mmmnnnnnn sounds, and dive back in for more.

Mortadella_tortThis is one of those dishes where you wish you could lick the plate. It could have something to do with the walnut and radicchio butter sauce, or the way the pasta melts in your mouth to reveal another layer of flavour. Whatever it is, I would go back again just to repeat the experience. Like I said, it’s not on the menu but you can always call ahead and find out when Chef will be preparing it again.

Then it was onto the next dish, after a pallet cleansing sip or two of the Oldfield Pinot Noir (2009). This wine even smells like spring, and I highly recommend it to any red wine lovers. 

roast_duck_yarrowThe Roast Duck Breast ($31) was served with root vegetable fudge, ras al hanout granola and sunchoke chips and puree. This was such a multilayered dish and yet all the flavours melded together perfectly.  The vegetable fudge is made with carrots, beets and parsnips. Veggies are steamed, then dehydrated, and then rehydrated in the fridge. This process brings out all the sweetness and leaves a moist, chewy, vegetable that would have any kid tossing away their gummy bears. As for this adult, I cleaned up every last one of my vegetables! The ras al hanout granola had a warm Moroccan flavour and was the perfect link between the wine and the duck.

And then… dessert. Chef couldn’t decide which dessert (each $12) to make so he brought a different one for each of us. First up was the Tiramisu in the classic style with mascarpone, marsala, cocoa and espresso. Chef makes a delicious Olive Oil and Hazelnut cake with praline, crab apple butter, birch syrup (yes – from the birch tree) with a vanilla bean gelato.

THM_Chocolate_BedinoMy two favourites were the Lemon Crema and the Chocolate Bundino.  The Bundino because Chef makes his own sponge toffee to go with it and the blackberry nerds and dulce de leche cream were delicious. The Lemon Crema is made with lemon peel and juice, which is cooled, and then strained. Chef also makes a lavender sablé cookie to go with the dish, which is topped with a blood orange salad and a cherry mousse. This is one seriously delicious dessert.

Our desserts were served with Tinhorn 2012 Kerner Icewine, the perfect accompaniment and end to our delicious afternoon.

If after reading all of this you just can’t decide what to have at Miradoro, Chef has that part covered.  You can have a two-course lunch ($25) or a grand tasting ($45) prepared for you.  For dinner, check out Chef’s five-course tasting menu ($75). Until March 31 you can create your own for for only $39.

Whatever you choose, one thing is certain, you will never forget your dining experience at Miradoro. It honours Mediterranean influences while showcasing BC products.  You won’t be disappointed.

ALL PHOTOS BY KIRSTIN WAKAL

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Publisher and CEO of something or other! First & foremost, father, son, brother and uncle. I am also a huge music fan, promoter and marketing & promotions maniac. As a fulltime musician for the past 35 years myself (yikes, that’s a long time!), I’ve come to appreciate the fact that I am able to perform and sing for people and in return, enjoy it as much as I do. There is something to be said for that exchange of energy and good vibes that live music brings to all, from the stage to the seats, there is nothing like it and I so look forward to feeling that again when we are out of this crazy mess we are in. Music is needed desperately in everyone’s lives. The goal is to reach out and bring some awareness and light into the music scene by featuring their new music, events and in general, some light into the changes we’ve all had to adjust to in 2020. We all feel the strain in every aspect of these changes and are going to try to do our best to fill our cups up with some fantastic local music while many so of us hang on through this bumpy ride we are on. ? Making an effort to change our own thoughts and habits, can strike a chord mentally and change us along with our communities lives. Be safe and…let’s ROCK N ROLL!

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