Nottingham meets Nerja
Friday 23rd August and I venture out into a sunny West Bridgford for a working lunch with our Business Development Manager, Rachel. She wants to meet Natalie, the manager at Escabeche, a Mediterranean tapas bar and restaurant on Bridgford Road.
A warm welcome at the beautiful Escabeche
As we walk around the corner from the car park my eyes light up as I realise we’re going to the pretty looking place with a stunning green living wall all over the front of the building, and a sun trap patio area underneath. A perfect spot for a lunch time escape, filled with a mix of families, girly meet ups and ‘business lunchers’ like us. The cool contemporary look and occasional jugs of sangria outside set the scene for the authentic Mediterranean restaurant inside. After a really warm welcome when we walk in, we sit ourselves in the corner and I think how I could easily be sat in a Spanish tapas bar in Nerja in my flip flops and sundress looking out at the sunny hustle and bustle. Blinking and looking down at my ballet pumps, over walks Natalie, as Jamiroquai starts to play. She offers us a drink and even though I’m tempted to order the summer breeze sangria I saw two lucky ladies enjoying outside, Natalie easily convinces me to try her personal idea which isn’t yet on the menu – a virgin apple mojito – perfect for lunch time at work! And for drivers who might think they’re missing out on the daily happy hour cocktails.
Our rumbling tummies turn our attention to the menu. Escabeche means a dish of either poached or fried fish marinated in Mediterranean spices before serving, and there are plenty of yummy options to choose from on the tapas menu, including tiger prawns and scallops recommended by Natalie as popular favorites in the restaurant. I’m personally tempted by the vegetarian options of halloumi fritters and Escabeche special cauliflower cheese with toasted almonds and chilli. Delish! A new ‘rapido’ menu especially created for lunch time, which includes three tapas (or one with a big plate) plus garlic mayonnaise dip and olives is just the job. Big, fresh, juicy olives may I add! So Rachel and I order a combination of baby chorizo, Escabeche meatballs, beef shoulder, salmon, halloumi and cheesy potatas bravas. Every dish arrives in gorgeous little pans and terracotta bowls, perfect for sharing. And I have to add that for those of you who are anti sharing their food, relax! The portions are more than generous.
So even though we are fit to burst at any moment, it’s against my religion to not have something sweet after every meal. To make it acceptable, senorita Rachel and I agree to share two desserts. A Santiago Tart, which is a warm almond tart with apple puree and a chocolate fudge sundae which has homemade honeycomb wedges and hidden hazelnut cake inside. A Santiago Tart would normally be decorated with a cross of icing sugar on top to represent the cross of St James (cruz de Santiago) however we enjoyed ours just as much Nottinghamshire style – with vanilla pod ice cream.
Which just leaves me to say that if you are in Nottingham or Nottinghamshire, you can experience some great food while enjoying a bit of Mediterranean escapism without leaving our county perimeter. Either a Rapido lunch or a Spanish style Sunday roast, marinade yourself in Escabeche!
One meal in Notts is never enough.