Maro Wood Grill is a lovely casual and elegant bistro located on the infamous South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach. Recently, I was invited to a media preview on a most beautiful September evening. Come along with me and let's enjoy!
Originally from Argentina, Mariano Molteni “Maro” eventually came to California and opened his first restaurant in Laguna Beach in 2010. With Executive chef Debra Sims, who brings her passion for sustainable, seasonal cuisine combined with her mastery of wood-fired grilling, together they created a one-of-a-kind dining experience just steps away from the ocean.
The evening tasting began with a flavorful red sangria. Refreshing and tasty, it was a great way to begin our meal.
We started with Maro's famous empanadas. I had actually heard about these from a friend so I was really excited to try these and they did not disappoint!
These Spicy Chicken Empanadas were crusty on the outside and filled with delicious Aji Molido dusted mesquite chicken, caramelized onions, and pepper jack cheese.
We then tried the Mushroom ceviche, the Grilled Sourdough and the Wood Grilled Green Beans. These tasty green beans were perfectly grilled and served with a nice but bold horseradish aioli.
Next we tried the Grilled Fennel & Fig Salad, a tasty and fresh dish that brings freshness from farm to table.
Next we tried the Ñoquis with Herbs & Grilled Tomatoes. The Ñoquis, which is Latin for gnocchi, was a lovely paring of the potato dumplings with the sweet flavors of organic tomatoes and fresh herbs. It was one of my favorites of the evening. So. Very. Good.
Next we tried the Mesquite Lamb & Baba Ghanouj. The lamb was tender and juicy and the Baba Ghanouj gave it a Meditereanian twist.
We then tried the Short Rib with Roasted Vegetables, which was very good. But for me, the Flat Iron steak with House Made Chimichurri quickly became my favorite entree. The tender grass-fed beef was so flavorful and accompnaying chimichurri sauce was beautifully fresh and tangy.
As the evening darkened, it was time for dessert. First we were presented with lovely cups of Grilled Fruit with Passion Fruit Curd.
Then, as if it could not get any better, we received a taste of Maro Wood Grill's award-winning Banana Bread Pudding Bites. OMG these were so good! Warm bread pudding in a sweet bourbon sauce that was like nothing I had ever tasted. I can see why it has one awards several years in a row.
What a wonderful way to end a delightful evening on the coast. Special thanks to the Maro Wood Grill and Gigasavvy for a wonderful evening!
Maro Wood Grill
1915 South Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
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