Favorite

Brie Bruschetta 

Swirl Wine Bar

717 Manitou Ave., #102, Manitou Springs, 685-2294, swirlismybar.com

2 oz. triple-cream Brie

2 slices of artisan bread

3 or 4 sliced strawberries

1 tbsp. chopped organic basil (ours is from Happy Ass Ranch)

1 tbsp. Cocoa Crema Balsamic Vinegar from The Olive Tap

Slice artisan bread and two 1-ounce portions of the Brie, removing its rind. Place one slice of Brie on each slice of bread and toast at 350 degrees until cheese is fully melted. While waiting for Brie to melt, slice the strawberries and chop the basil. Once toasted, cut the bruschetta slices in half and place on a plate. Evenly place strawberries and basil on top of the bruschetta and drizzle the balsamic on top. Serves 2.

Aftertaste

The texture of the Brie Bruschetta has layers of crunch and creaminess. You'll taste the sweetness of the strawberries with a little punch from the tanginess in the Cocoa Crema balsamic vinegar, and then run into a peculiar herbal character from the basil. Strange ingredients that just happen to mesh, like many people in Manitou. The idea for this dish emerged from the desperation of needing to have the Cocoa Crema at Swirl. We created the dish around the balsamic, and it has since become the most-ordered and asked-about dish. We always recommend a dry Rosè with this dish. Anything else will get a gasp from our Sommelier ... that's about it, but her gasp is very sad.

— Submitted by owner Sharon Erale-Palmer and Steve Spencer (friend and cook at Adam's Mountain Café)

  • Swirl Wine Bar

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