There is passion, and then there is passion. Tempranillo’s Madrid-born chef-owner Javier Gonzalez-Bringas and wife embody the latter.
“We just really want people to come here and feel like they’re in a different place — to be transported a bit,” says Laura
Tempranillo’s location in the heart of downtown Basalt — with one of the most spacious and inviting outdoor spaces in the Roaring Fork Valley — makes this even easier to experience.
The sprawling, 1892 building that Tempranillo inhabits has long been a town hub: first as a train station and later as a grand hotel. For more than a decade now, however, it has been Gonzalez-Bringas’ home away from home — and where he shares souvenirs of Spain through simple cooking that showcases complex flavors.
“I want people to have the experience of traveling to Spain,” Gonzalez-Bringas says.
First, tapas: imported Spanish seafood (try the Gambas Barcelona, shrimp sautéed with garlic, ginger and tomato), heritage meat, and a wide selection of vegetarian plates, along with bruschetta and tostadas; fresh Mediterranean salads; and cheese and charcuterie boards overflowing with imported treasures. In fact, the heritage pigs, plus chickens, hail from the Gonzalez-Bringas’ family’s 13-acre ranch in Missouri Heights; and other offerings come from local farms and ranchers.
True to name, Tempranillo pays homage to Spanish wine — all 300-plus bottles on the list come from the country. Meanwhile, find sublime refreshers including housemade sangrias, negronis, Pisco sours, and more. Take these cocktails outside — the covered patio offers seating for 80 beside a shady courtyard with lounges for another 30 guests (and a children’s playground); lanterns and a vintage chandelier set a perfect summer evening mood.
And still, Gonzalez-Bringas crafts more than a dozen paella, rice, and pasta creations, including nightly specials. But the food and drink is only part of the Tempranillo experience.
“It’s a great excursion; a very different experience than Aspen in summer,” says Laura. “We think this is kind of an escape, a kind of retreat.”