Escoba Bistro and Wine Bar
624 8 Ave SW
Entry number two documenting my experiences in this year's Big Taste event. Escoba Bistro and Wine Bar is the location of my dinner. My victim being my good friend from high school Darcie. Escoba featured a $35 dinner menu for this year's Big Taste event and the options available were pretty impressive, covering a board variety of tastes. Red meat carnivore? You got your steak. Itching for some seafood? There's a grilled Atlantic salmon. Veggie eating Hippie? No problem. Try the grilled vegetable bake. Do vegetarians even eat cheese? Straight up vegan? You might be out of luck. Maybe inquire beforehand. You can always get a bowl of steaming water.
To start things off, a trio of tasty appetizers were brought out for us - A spinach, almond and feta spring roll with sweet chili dip, Southwestern crab cake topped with a guacamole and chipotle aioli and a double smoked bacon stuffed mushroom cap topped with asiago cheese. They were all equally amazing, but I think I like the crab cake the most. It was fried to a perfect golden brown, so crispy. The sauce was a little spicy. So so so sooooooo good! I wish I had another plate or two right now.
For my entree, I selected the herb roasted chicken supreme. A juicy piece of chicken supreme (chicken breast with the wing bone attached) laid over a bed of smooth creamy roasted garlic mashed potatoes, giant tree trunk asparagus, bell peppers and baby carrots. The chicken meat was fairly tender and very flavourful. The asparagus stocks were massive. I almost had to ask our waiter for a chainsaw in order to cut it to manageable pieces. Thank goodness it was so tender and didn't require much effort on my part as I sliced and diced that asparagus like a ninja into bite sized piece for my consumption.
For my dessert, I selected the parfait. Chunks of raspberry and passionfruit were solidified in a blob of frozen whipping cream and egg yolks mixture. The fruity block is served over a mango coulis with a small helping of mixed berries on the side and topped with a mint leave and some sort of pastry stick. It was decent. I thought it was maybe too frozen? Or I hadn't waited long enough for it to properly thaw out. But if you put something that looks so tasty in front of me, you can't expect me to not devour it instantly. Which was a terrible idea by the way. Major brain freeze. Clearly didn't think that one through. -20 weather... Frozen parfait. Get your head in the game David! Get your head in the game... It was definitely the less sweet (flavour wise) choice of the two options. The tiramisu with chocolate truffle looked pretty amazing as well. And tasted as such, I’m told.
The verdict; drum roll please...
Atmosphere: 8 out of 10. The interior was renovated to give a rustic wine cellar look. It feels pretty dark but it's not really that dark. There's ample lighting. My photos turned out alright!
Food: 9 out of 10. Not too shabby. I wasn't a super huge fan of the dessert. It was good. But it could have been better given their stellar track record to date.
Presentation: 9 out of 10. Presentation was top notch. You could tell effort was put into eat dish and it wasn't just thrown together.
Price: 8 out of 10. With more and more restaurants going for the $35 dollar menus, sometimes it feels like they aren't even deals anymore but rather an opportunity for restaurants to showcase their stuff or gain exposure. I can assure you that you will be getting a deal at Escoba though. There are cost savings when you add the three items together.
Service: 8 out of 10. Our waiter was very friendly. Service was good. Very attentive.
Overall: 9 out of 10. Pretty amazing overall. Check it out. Escoba. You won't be disappointed.