Saturday, March 20, 2010

El Sarmiento Restaurant Ensenada - Coastal Excellence in Baja

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.

el Sarmiento outside

el Sarmiento inside

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.

el Sarmiento soup

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.

el Sarmiento lengua

The juicy shrimp skewers paired perfectly with asian chili sauce and green onion oil.

el Sarmiento shrimp

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 veal

El Sarmiento also bakes fresh bread daily and makes some amazing pizza. Everything is prepared in a Wood-fired oven.

el Sarmiento wood fired oven

el Sarmiento bread

el Sarmiento pizza

I highly recommend the cheesecake parfait. I would describe it as upside down guava cheesecake with almonds and sage incredibly delicious.

el Sarmiento Cheesecake Guava Parfait

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.

Baja Sunset By Tania Livier
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


Nathan said...

Oye chico, quando me vas a enseñar a cocinar algo cubano jeje :)me dijestes que alguin villa traedo unas recetas buenas de Cuba :)

Dennis K. said...

Wow what a perfect meal and a beautiful sunset to complement.. Btw, those lengua tacos look nothing like the ones I get! ;)

Anonymous said...

this on looks like I need to dust off my passport and head south..CH

mr.b said...

great review. my brother is just starting out in Ensenada and a good review like this makes the hard work worthwhile. I like you pictures. Is there a way I could get a hold of the high resolution files for a postcard I will be designing for the restaurant? You would get credit on the printed postcard and you url can be printed as well.

Thanks again.

brightlights said...

Isn't this Restaurante Gazuza? Did they change the name already? It's a great place!

mr.b said...

Brightlights, it's next to Gazuza.

Masa Assassin said...

Oye Nathan coño ! We just made some arroz con pollo I hope to write about but Im so backlogged. I hope to get more Cuban up soon.

Hi Dennis.. They Lengua Tacos here are also different then what I'm accustom to but I love this version.

Hi An... Lets Go! dont be scurrrred

Hi Mr.b hermano Thank You Yes I could see all the hardwork Guillermo has put in. When people are passionate about what they do it always shows. Send me an email regarding the pictures. I had an off day I'm sure I can do much better.

Hi Katleen... When your walking toward the Ocean El Sarmiento is the first restaurant on the right. To the left is La Contra Wine Shop (Which is also new here) and Gazuza Restaurant, they are not affiliated.

Nathan said...

Masa Assasin,
Bueno chico espero ver ese arroz con pollo un dia de'estos jaja. Oye y tambien como se que te encanta aprender de la cocina mexicana quieria dicirte que ay un blog de comida Mexicana de una senora de Tampico que cocina muy rico y auntentique ve darle un pistaso jeje:

brightlights said...

We are going to El Sarmiento tomorrow! So looking forward to it. Thanks for the tip!

Unknown said...

MA I hope you can come soon to taste our flavors and fusion food at Gazuza, we were the first ones to open there in viento, after the Oaxaqueño restaurant closed, and the wine store Origen change the owners, and yes we all are separated bussines working together in the Viento Gourmet Plaza, soon there are going to be a new restaurant, a craft beer boutique and a coffe shop, keep in touch.


Fabricio Palomino

Chef/Owner Gazuza Restaurant