Escoba Bistro and Wine Bar
624 8 Avenue SW
Calgary, AB T2P 1G4
(403) 543-8911

Hours of operation: Mon-Fri (11 a.m. - 11 p.m.), Sat (4 p.m. - 11 p.m.)
Rating: ***
Price range: $$$$
Reservations: Yes
Client negotiations: No
Lunch w/co-workers: No
Social Lunch: Yes
Quick solo lunch: No
Time in: 11:55 p.m.
Ordered: 12:15 p.m.
Food arrived: 12:33 p.m.
Time out: 1:05 p.m.
Total time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Low $: Soup – Either Daily Market Soup or Signature Mushroom Dijon, $9
High $: Rack of Lamb, $36
Lunch menu: No separate lunch menu
Licensed: Yes

Europeans like to take their time — especially while eating. Keep this in mind when lunching at Escoba Bistro and Wine Bar.

The Mediterranean-influenced restaurant is suited for longer, more lingering lunches. While this may not be possible on most workdays, enjoying a meal at Escoba is a pleasant experience — time permitting.

Earthy and romantic, the warm atmosphere is accented by a mélange of artistic touches. Escoba has a rather long wine list and the general feeling is that, at this restaurant, they really want you to drink some vino. As my lunch-buddy Megan and I peruse the menu, the waiter comes to the table to give us a splash of the Spanish wine showcased that day; he also tells us which wine would go well with the food we chose for lunch. Adding to the wine focus even more is that most menu items come with a suggested wine beneath it.

Long and pricey, the menu seems geared towards the dinner crowd, making it a bit difficult to choose lunch. I picked the Eos flatbread, topped with herbed goat cheese, grape tomatoes, artichokes and spinach on tomato sauce. It is delicious, with the flavors complementing each other nicely — but at $17 for a personal-sized pizza — delicious doesn’t come cheap.

With an interesting wine list and a variety of dishes on the menu, Escoba, while lovely, is perhaps better suited for longer lunches or a romantic dinner than it is a casual, weekday lunch.