I had been hearing a whole lot of great things about Escondido Tapas and Wine lately and a couple of weekends ago we finally got a chance to try this place out. I have one sole regret; why oh why did we not come here sooner ?
Escondido Tapas and Wine
Escondido Tapas and Wine is located in Illovo at the Post Office Centre. You may have already guessed by the name that they specialize in tapas (a typical Spanish cuisine of small servings, usually to be shared) and wine. I have always loved the tapas concept as I enjoy trying different items over one meal and the sharing part is fun too.
We stopped in on a Saturday afternoon and surprisingly the restaurant was not very busy. I don’t know if this is typical for lunchtime however our waiter did say the evenings get quite packed so it is probably a good idea to book ahead. The menu is written on blackboards that are then moved about as needed. There were 2 boards full of options and we were told the menu changes every week.
Our waiter suggested that we start with 2 or 3 plates per person and order more if needed. That sounded like a good plan to us so the Frenchie picked out 3 and I chose 2. The snag with us is that I’m vegetarian and the Frenchie is not so the sharing part can be a bit complicated at times. There were so many plates that sounded good to both of us that we never even made it off of the first menu board and we still didn’t get to order everything we wanted to try. Here’s what we had:
Pork and Halloumi Springrolls. The Frenchie ordered 2 because he thought they would be the usual small springrolls. They weren’t, but he happily finished both.
Wild Mushroom Arancini with Truffle Cream Cheese. I love anything truffle so this was a given for me. This was so good, I should have ordered 2.
Mini Potato Wedges with Mayo. This was one of the Frenchie’s choices but I ate over half even after I had tried to convince him to order something different. Yum.
Open Mushroom and Kale Lasagne. The Frenchie sweet-talked me into this one because he wanted to try it too. I loved the flavours of this, so good.
Orange Duck Stirfry. Duck is always a Frenchie favourite and he just loved this dish.
So those were our first 5 dishes. We probably could have stopped there but I just had to try the Mac and Cheese with smoked cheddar. Oh la la, this was fantastic too and the smoky flavour gave this dish a uniqueness I have not experienced before.
Mac and Cheese with Smoked Cheddar
That was our food, and we enjoyed every last bite of it. Let’s move on to the wine. To say the wine list at Escondido is a book is not the least bit of an exaggeration. It is pages and pages long, and if you prefer to order by the glass as we usually do, they have a large and varied selection of those as well.
Part of the Wine Cellar
Private table in the wine cellar
We eat out a lot, and our lunch at Escondido was one the best meals we have had in some time. I simply loved everything about this place. The creative and tasty tapas, the extensive and well thought-out wine list, the friendly and efficient service and the attractive, earthy wood-tones all make this a place we will return to time and time again. Bravo Escondido, bravo.