Food & Home Online Spring 2019

Food & Home Online Spring 2019

By Michael Amador on Jul 15, 2019 at 05:30 PM
Food & Home Online Spring 2019-2

What’s not to love about Michael and Lisa Amador’s lively wine tasting
room and kitchen, which serves up great food and unique wines in a former Haley Street dive bar? The space has been remodeled and gussied up with a visible kitchen, high-top tables, and wine dispensers.

Michael Amador has been around the culinary and wine block a few times as a food and beverage man at San Ysidro Ranch, La Cumbre Country Club, and Canary Hotel, where he gravitated to boutique wines he wanted to showcase. He took the dive and opened Uncorked, initially called Crush (the name was changed due to a trademark issue) and it quickly attracted a host of friends and fans, old and new, as well as five-star ratings on Yelp.

The wines are great — there are 20 that are dispensed in tastes (1.5 oz.) to full-glass pours. A picky friend and I liked each one we sampled, which included Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, a Pinot, Mouvèdre, and more. Ever hear of Kimsey, Bravo, Cordon, Lavender Oak, King’s Carey, or Locavore? Neither had we — and that’s half the fun — discovering great new wines from small-batch producers.

The hearty and delish food on a varied menu, including a burger, salads, flatbreads, and daily specials that Amador calls “light bites,’’ are far from light and best shared. The lobster sliders (two) served with a pile of fries on a black slate tile were terrific. The mushroom and truffle sacchetti (a pasta also known as “beggars’ purses”) were heavenly and filling stuffed pasta pockets in a rich sage cream sauce surrounded by a plethora of mushrooms. No surprise, as chef Carlos Vargas hails from Santa Ynez’s Trattoria Grappolo and does justice to the recipes developed by Michael Amador.

Join the Wine Club and enjoy a gratis glass/ tastes of the wines and free flatbread when you pick up monthly allotments. Special nights
like SI Oyster Night (Mondays, $2 grilled) and cooking cl^es are also part of the fun. Pop in to 24 Blackbird’s new chocolate showroom just next door (open till 7 p.m.) for a chocolate treat on your way home. (Chocolate and wine pairings are in the works.)

Uncorked feels almost like going to a friend’s house for a party. Knowledgeable staff members are terrific and keep the party going. We found the fun-loving, grownup crowd friendly, if you want to mingle. The Food Network’s “Chef’s Table” plays silently on a giant TV screen to a backdrop of music ranging from techno pulse to flamenco (my preference). Local winemakers the Kimseys (we tried their tasty Syrah) came in to sip and nosh while we were there. - LAW
Uncorked Wine Tasting and Kitchen, 432 E Haley St, (805) 690-4590

Food & Home Online Spring 2019

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