THE VINTNER’S TAVERN
ELEVATED CUISINE COMES TO CHINO
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I will travel for food. There’s something so very special about a great meal. When good eats combine with good company, they are the perfect ingredients for fond, long-lasting memories. We’re talking about more than just dinner—we’re talking an epic eating event.
So, when I heard that Executive Chef Tim Guiltinan, formerly of The Raymond 1886 in Pasadena, had set up shop in Chino at The Vintner’s Tavern, well, I knew a road trip was in my future.
Having partnered with the winemakers of Argonza Cellars, known for full-bodied wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Viognier, and Riesling, The Vintner’s Tavern may have started as a space to showcase the winery’s lineup, but it is definitely now a dining destination that should be on all foodie’s radars.
At Vintner’s Tavern, it’s all about pairing impressive wines and beers with Chef’s fantastic fare. There are no cocktails here, just fine wine to enjoy with arguably the best cuisine in Chino.
During our recent visit for dinner, we started with a lovely set up of Micro Farmed New England Oysters served with the mignonette of the day. These were impressively paired with a nice cold beer expertly recommended by staff.
Another familiar Chef Tim favorite were the Wild and Domesticated Mushrooms with forest soil, smoked vinegar, and mushroom purée. Classic Chef Tim in action.
Chef has always excelled with seafood dishes and it was obvious that he hadn’t lost his touch with the impressive Japanese Hamachi with Meyer lemon puree, marinated baby fennel, and horseradish snow, as well as the Hand Harvested Scallops with grilled sweet corn, argon mole, and tomatillo-olive cruda.
The last of the stellar small dishes was the Maple Glazed Pork Cheek with sherry-cream, Romano cheese polenta, and chive blossom. It was absolutely fabulous.
The main plates at The Vintner’s Tavern range the gamut of comfort food classics such as Meatballs & Marinara, Chicken Parmesan, burgers (there’s the Vintner’s Burger with bone marrow butter, along with the Classic Cheeseburger), salmon, and steak options.
And definitely consider any Chef Tim special as a serious option. During our visit, we definitely delighted with Chef’s Roasted Pork Belly with grilled peaches, Korean peach purée, and roasted cipollini onion; Lamb Neck; and King Cole Duck Breast with broccolini, fermented black bean jus, and potato butter emulsion. Bravo!
And many thanks to the friendly staff who surprised us with the off-menu Sisig, a Filipino dish made from various parts of the pig, including head and chicken liver. Consider this a must-have if you’re a ravenous carnivore.
And if you’re making the trek to Chino, well, definitely go for dessert. Decadent dynamite dishes include the Caramel Apple with goat cheese cheesecake, spiced almond streusel, Szechwan peppercorn butterscotch, and vanilla ice cream, as well as the Gooey Butter Cake with buttermilk-chocolate mousse, orange-cayenne gelee, and chocolate sorbet. Or go simple, yet sensational with the Trio of Sorbet or Ice Cream. We found the sorbets to be out-of-this-world good.
It’s great to see that Chef Tim hasn’t lost a step. If anything, he has raised his game as dinner at The Vintner’s Tavern was one of my favorite dining experiences of the year.
The Vintner’s Tavern is located at 13788 Roswell Avenue #186 in Chino. Open Tuesday through Thursday from 5pm to 9pm; Friday and Saturday from 5pm to 10pm; and Sunday from 4pm to 8pm. Call 909-497-7183.
Story By: Jose Martinez
Photography Courtesy Of: The Vintner’s Tavern