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Amelia Islander

La Mancha Restaurant

Jan 10, 2017 11:17AM
La Mancha Restaurant is a one-of-a-kind restaurant featuring Spanish and Portuguese dishes with a Brazilian flavor. Owners Romulo and Amy Camargo, A. J. Adam, along with Chef Willys De Assis, have created a wonderful eatery in this new era of flavorful food and dining, with top-notch service and truly creative dishes. I recently joined my friend Sherry at La Mancha for dinner one night, eager to try some of La Mancha’s new menu items and signature wines. Our server, Damion, started us off with a glass of Casa de Vilacetinho Vinho Verde from Portugal, a young, tangy, slightly effervescent white, which paired well with La Mancha’s soft, yeasty bread and balsamic dipping oil. Sherry and I decided to share Tortilla La Mancha, a rich potato torte, created with layers of sliced potatoes, spinach, Manchego cheese, tavern ham, and eggs. This dish was incredibly rich, savory, and could be an entrée on its own. To accompany the torte, Damion suggested Vivanco Crianza White Rioja, a beautiful, grassy, herby white, created from rare white Tempranillo Blanco grapes. What a treat for the palate! Amy sat down and chatted for a bit, telling us about the latest goings-on at La Mancha. They currently specialize in corporate events and “buy-outs” for large groups, serving up to 100 guests. All of their steaks are hand-cut in the restaurant, their seafood is the freshest it can be, and their location at the beach makes for a great dining experience any time of the year. Amy suggested we try their new Surf and Turf Platter, and imagine our surprise when Damion brought us an entire butcher board heaped with steak and lobster tail! This dish is meant to be shared by two people, and it includes saffron rice, roasted plantains and potatoes, vegetable medley, and field green salad. The steak was an aged ribeye, topped with an amazing Spanish bleu cheese sauce, tender and juicy, perfectly grilled. An enormous Maine lobster tail was split in half and topped with garlic, herbs, and more bleu cheese sauce, a succulent treat you don’t see very often on a Florida menu! The vegetables were exceptional. The plantains and potatoes were roasted to perfection, crispy on the outside, and tender within. The field greens were tossed with hearts of palm and olives, and drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette. I especially loved the vegetable medley, which was a mixture of zucchini, cabbage, onion, and peas, freshly sautéed and seasoned. Sherry and I had a glass of Vivanco Crianza 2012 Rioja, made with 100% Tempranillo grapes, a mature red with hints of smoke and perfect with surf and turf. La Mancha’s Tres Leches Cake was a tasty ending to our meal, especially when paired with a glass of Mont Marcal Brut Cava Reserva, a bubbly cava with lime aromas. Tres Leches means “three milks,” and it is so rich and moist, it’s almost a pudding. It satisfied my sweet tooth perfectly! La Mancha is a warm, welcoming restaurant, a great place for date night or a family celebration. For more information, call (904) 261-4646 or visit www.lamancharestaurant.net. They are located at 2709 Sadler Road.