Our second day wine-pairing lunch was at Casa El Enemigo. We had been there last year, and as it was late May (Autumn in Argentina) then, we sat outside and enjoyed the colorful views.
This visit was in early September, which was the end of Winter, and while the outdoor weather was quite mild, we ate inside the brilliantly and colorfully decorated dining room this time.
As I write this in September 2019, Casa El Enemigo is the number one rated restaurant on Trip Advisor in Mendoza, out of 639 restaurants, (including a recent review from “yours truly”, and like our last visit, El Enemigo lives up to its outstanding rating.
Prior to heading to El Enemigo for lunch, we had started the morning with a winery tour at Mendle Winery. Mendel had a small and rustic, atmosphere; “homey-like” if you will, which made for an enjoyable and relaxing visit.
Our wine hostess was Silvina, an enthusiastic and energetic lady, who treated DOS and I to a fun and private tasting in a “country-kitchen” like-dining room. Silvina even taught us a few words in Spanish, as I told here we were trying to learn the language. At some point after I retire, I told DOS I would like to live in Mendoza a couple months, and hopefully my broken Spanish from high school would come back to me with a little bit (ok a lot of bit) of instruction. Here are some photos from our tasting with Silvina at Mendel Winery.
Thank you Silvina – you were a terrific and really fun host! We thoroughly enjoyed our visit with you at Mendel! Muchas Gracias!
After leaving Mendel Winery, our driver and tour guide Alejandro, took us to Casa El Enemigo, for our fabulous lunch. When we got to Casa El Enemigo, we were met by Leo, his wife, and one of their teenage sons.
Leo is the owner of Vendimia Wine Tours, and we have used Leo’s company on each our four prior trips to Mendoza. Leo always customizes us a great full day tour, and includes a nice wine-pairing lunch, individualized per our request. Unfortunately this trip Leo couldn’t take us on the tour personally as he did on our previous trips, due to a recent sports injury on his leg and he is working a bit more behind the scenes now. Still he met DOS and I before our lunch, and gave us a couple wine-themed presents, including a framed photo of us taken yesterday at Catena Zapata. It was great seeing Leo and family, and they all looked jovial as ever. We told them our driver and guide Alejandro was taking great care of us in his absence and he was a great choice to show us around in his absence.
After meeting with Leo and family, we walked around the winery property a bit before heading to the restaurant itself at Casa El Enemigo.
We were promptly seated at a nice table for two, which was placed in a corner of the room, offering a bit of privacy and views outside the windows and side doors.
We were served by several wait staff throughout the extended lunch, and the entire staff was outstanding! The pre-set, three course menu, allowed for a choice of items you could choose from.
The bread served table side with olive oil was delicious, but we had to be careful we didn’t fill up on it, so we would have room for the meal to come. For our starter, we both had to choose the Argentina national specialty, the Empanadas, which were wonderful!
As it was a fancy food and wine pairing lunch, different wines were served with each course as well. The wines were excellent, and were from the winery onsite. In addition to taking photos of the bottles (so I remembered what we were served), Casa El Enimigo conveniently places a small circular card on each of the Crystal wine glasses noting the wine for that glass. It helped when you wanted a refill on a certain glass of vino too!
Here are some additional photos from our amazingly wonderful lunch.
Prior to leaving, the owner of the vineyard and restaurant stopped by each individual table of diners. He did this last year, and can be quite a bit of a clown as seen from a couple of these selfies.
As we chatted, I showed him our photo of him with us from our visit to his restaurant last year, where we ate outside on the terrace.
As we headed out after lunch to meet our driver Alejandro, Steve (DOS) walked up to him and once again told him how outstanding the food, service, and staff were, and we would be back next year.
Until next visit at Casa El Enemigo; Muchas Gracias and Cheers!