During my ride home back to San Diego from Ensenada this past weekend, I just had to smile. After spending the last few days in Ensenada, I could not have capped off my trip better then the meal I had at El Sarmiento.With breathtaking views, exceptional service, and a great chef El Sarmiento is a perfect addition to the culinary scene in Ensenada.
Chef/Owner Guillermo Jose Barreto just opened a few weeks ago and already has the local food and wine enthusiasts buzzing.Guillermo comes to Ensenada from Mexicali were he runs the successful "La Piazza". Guillermo studied the culinary arts in Italy, and has been inspired my chefs Benito Molina (Manzanilla/Muelle Tres/Silvestre) and Jair Tellez (Laja/Merotoro). Guillermo definitely brings a new and exiting twist to the local Baja scene with his use of fresh local ingredients and his classic Italian training.
When I first stepped into El Sarmiento I was embraced by the rustic charm. Small, cozy, and a stones throw away from the pacific ocean, whats not to love.
While we were waiting for some friends we were served a delightful potato soup. Potato, and leek, with hints of smoky bacon and bleu cheese.
For appetizers we each ordered the taquitos de lengua (tongue tacos). Simple and well put together. One tender slice of beef tongue complimented with cool cucumbers and guacamole topped with a mouth-watering pickled radish laced with serrano. An exciting rendition of tacos de lengua and worth the visit alone.
The juicy shrimp skewers paired perfectly with asian chili sauce and green onion oil.
At this point I wanted to shoot myself because my camera was acting up, perhaps it was operator error, or maybe it had something to do with all the mezcal I had the day before. Unfortunately pictures I had taken of two standout dishes did not come out. One dish was a whole kilo of sirlion, so tender you could cut it with a fork, and the other was the fish of the day. The fish of the day was a table favorite. Fresh Yellowtail with chile oil, white wine, tomatoes and fresh parsley.
I really love Chef Guillermos chile oils and sauces. The yellowtail chile oil was a blend of three Mexican chiles, and I'm still thinking about the sauce that came with the sirloin steak. The sauce was a concoction of green onion, habanero, almond, and olive oil. Another great dish that put the chile oils to good use was the veal.Delicate tender veal topped with grilled (on applewood) asparagus and prosciutto.
El Sarmiento also bakes fresh bread daily and makes some amazing pizza. Everything is prepared in a Wood-fired oven.
I highly recommend the cheesecake parfait. I would describe it as upside down guava cheesecake with almonds and sage incredibly delicious.
We really enjoyed our time at El Sarmiento and look forward to the next visit. We had baby masa with us on this trip and she loved it, the place is very kid friendly. She loved playing outside, and in her words the "yummy" pizza. Of course I couldn't help but to think what a romantic spot this would be to enjoy without kids. Great food and wine with the picturesque backdrop of the Baja Sunset.My fellow food blogging friend Tania captured the beauty of the sunset very close to the location we were seated.
Photo by:Tania Livier
El Sarmiento is opened Wednesday - Saturday 230pm-11pm
and Sunday from 1pm to 7pm. Major Credit Cards Excepted/Staff Bilingual
The location is adjacent to a wine shop (La Contra) and a neighboring restaurant.
KM.104 Scenic Highway 1 No 5826 El Sauzal, Ensenada BC Mex