The Esquire Tavern, one the oldest bars in San Antonio, has a new menu and an exciting new concept for its basement. With new menu items like the citrus trio ceviche, chicken mole salad and lamb lettuce wraps, Alyssa and I were excited to try out a lot of food. A lot of food.
Located at 155 E. Commerce St., we parked at the parking garage on Soledad, across from the Embassy hotel. $10 later, we began our five minute walk to the Esquire Tavern. Initially we walk down Soledad and turned onto E. Commerce, but I noticed a River Walk path that we took on the way back. The more scenic route, especially if you’re coming by during the night hours.
Booths line the wall across from the bar with tables towards the back, or the front, depending on where you walk in. The music is old school and lights are very dim.
Esquire’s new menu has been in place since April 2015 and includes the following:
Citrus Trio Ceviche
Fried Corn on the Cob
Soup & Salads
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Heirloom Tomato Salad
Chicken Mole Salad
Shrimp Sandwich (back by popular demand)
Hudspeth River Ranch Lamb Lettuce Wraps
Fish & Chips
Grilled Pork Loin
Tavern Chicken Breast
Tres Leches Cake
Pulso del Borracho
Snakeskin Suit, Alligator Boot
Kill the Pain
Go Down Swinging
We spoke with Nina, one of the manager’s at Esquire, and she let us in on a little secret – people rarely order dessert! Shocking, we know, especially since all the pastries are made in-house. We ordered the tres leches and the fried apple pie, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
As I mentioned above, we ordered a lot of food. First on the list, the citrus trio ceviche – a citrus trio, jalapeño, corn, tomato, onion, cilantro, large pieces of avocados and a side of tostadas. The colors were gorgeous. Alyssa also ordered the heirloom tomato salad which came with shaved fennel, pickled shallow and thick pieces of feta.
For the drinks, I was drawn to the Chelsea’s Flower which is a mixture of rum auricle blanc, lime, creme de violette, dandelion and burdock soda. Most of the drinks on Esquire’s cocktail menus were concoctions I had never come across. Alyssa ordered the blackberry Esquire limonada.
While I was calmly eating the citrus trio, I looked up to see Alyssa particularly excited about a menu item. She began to tell me about the grilled pork loin. I looked at her without excitement, but she went on to say it was accompanied with peppered jelly glaze, may tag blue cheese grits and shaved fennel-orange salad!
I ordered something a little more tamed – the tavern chicken breast. Chicken breast with a side of white bean salad, baby kale, peanut vinaigrette, toasted peanuts and golden raisin-finer chutney. It was delicious and went perfectly with the sweet tones of the Chelsea’s Flower.
The Esquire Tavern has been around for decades, but the basement has always been used for storage, until now. The basement is currently being transformed into a new restaurant which will serve cocktails as well as food. You will be able to enter from the River Walk or take the stairs and elevator from the Esquire Tavern. We can’t wait to come back and see how the basement will be transformed!