The latest gastronomical offering to open its doors in New Farm is not pretentious or over priced, chintzy or any other adjective one might expect of a restaurant/bar in the middle of one of Brisbane’s most desirable suburbs.
Opening its doors just before Easter, Escobar didn’t have a soft opening or a quiet first week. They’re been busy every night since opening, and with the joint’s pedigree, it’s no wonder. One of the owners is also owner of Pablo (get it?) just around the corner, which has queues of hungry brunchers lining up on the pavement every weekend and is a favourite breakfast cafe of mine.
Inside Escobar is unfussy and gloriously lacking in the antique centre paraphernalia that seems to be required of most recently-opened Brisbane bars. The retro-kitsch comes through old-time boardgames lying around and the 1960s-inspired dining menu.
We enjoyed a Bathtub #1 gin, house infused, with house-made herbed tonic ($9) and house-infused spiced rum with ginger beer ($8.50). We chowed down on Steak Dianne for two ($39) served with small jacket-roasted potatoes with minted yoghurt and fresh peas. The drinks were delicious and we could have sat at the bar all night imbibing spiced and herbal liquors. The steak was perfectly cooked, an even medium pink and tender. The menu is all about sharing, so when we come back we could share a meat platter, crumbed brie and pineapple sticks or a prawn cocktail.
We had a great evening at Escobar. We almost had a vicious fight over connect four, and a good chat with the bartender who was charming and solicitous with an accent that kept us guessing. All of the staff were hard working and friendly.
If we lived locally, we’d be happy to drop in on Escobar anytime and I think that’s who is going to be really happy they opened their doors. It’s a little out of the way to be on any convenient bar ‘trail’ but perhaps it is better for it. Go to Escobar, sit down and enjoy your night. If you want to check them out before hand, they are on Facebook and Instagram.