Savor The Swanky Spirits & Dinner At Ambar Inside The Plaza Hotel
Agave enthusiasts, if you are looking for a true culinary adventure, you must check out this one-of-a-kind Agave Spirits & Tasting Dinner in the heart of downtown El Paso.
Enjoy an intimate 6-course tasting menu and agave pairing that promises to be an evening no agave connoisseur will want to miss.
I recently attended the enticing Agave Spirits & Tasting Dinner at Ambar inside the Plaza Hotel in downtown El Paso.
The evening featured a spectrum of tequilas, mezcals, sotols, and other delightful spirits, all paired with a tasty six-course meal prepared by Chef Lawrence Acosta.
Everyone in attendance had a great time, and we learned a lot in the process, thanks to the Plaza Hotel's GM and agave spirit expert, Adrian Gonzalez. His vast knowledge of tequila production, from agave cultivation to harvest, and distillation, was insightful and impressive.
Our evening began at the private and hidden dining room downstairs, below the Ambar bar, which seats 15 guests comfortably.
Each luxurious table setting included nine pre-served spirits, each earmarked with a helpful tasting mat guide to follow along.
As we tasted our way through each course, we began to understand how each spirit brought out certain flavors of each dish, even leveling off the spiciness in others. It was pretty dazzling altogether.
The menu began with guacamole made with charred tomatillo, roasted garlic, and queso cotija served with homemade tostadas. A side note: the kitchen at the Plaza Hotel has an incredible in-house Tortillera – a woman from Juarez who makes all their tortillas, gorditas, and salsas by hand daily.
Two different spirits complimented the guacamole starter: Bacanora - Rancho Tepúa (Reposado) and a Sotol - Hacienda de Chihuahua Oro Puro (Añeio), followed by an exquisite menu and spirits pairing that included the following:
Clam Tostada: Lime-tequila marinated clams, chili-dusted peanuts, salsa de Arbol, and avocado paired with:
- Raicilla - La Venenosa Puntas (Joven)
- Tequila – Socorro (Blanco)
Smoked Duck Salpicon: Achiote marinated duck breast smoked with mesquite, quince, heirloom carrots, ni pec paired with:
- Mezcal - Pluma Negra Espadin Black (Joven)
- Tequila - Arette Gran Clase 10 Años (Extra Añejo)
Beef Tenderloin Chichilo: Traditional Oaxacan mole, roasted chili spiced tenderloin, pickled onions, cilantro, and fresh tortillas paired with:
- Raicilla - Bonete Costa (Ensamble)
- Mezcal – Clase Azul Durango (Joven)
Cherry Walnut Panna Cotta: Toasted candied walnut topping paired with:
- Crema - La Pinta Pomegranate
After we satiated our senses, Gonzalez was kind enough to give us a sneak peek into their back-room reservoir that supplies the upstairs glass bar with over 600 varieties, including some of the most expensive spirits in the world, such as Patron's Limited Edition En Lalique tequila which retails just a little over $10K for a bottle or about $800 per ounce.
The entire experience was so much fun as we spent an evening discovering and savoring the fascinating world of agave spirits in an elegant and exclusive culinary atmosphere.
Everything was so on point and educational that my guest and I left with a greater appreciation for the depth and dimension of agave spirits.
Foodies and agave connoisseurs can indulge in the palatable affair every third Thursday of the month with a different menu every quarter.
The next Agave Spirits & Tasting Dinner Series will take place on November 17 and December 15, 2022, and yes, this is a 21+ event.
Plus, keep in mind that reservations are required since space is limited. For more information or to make a reservation, visit OpenTable or call 915-440-0051.