You will not stumble onto Posada in Livermore by accident.

It’s tucked in the back of the Peppertree Shopping Center anchored by a supermarket with fast-food restaurants facing the busy street on the other side.

A ceramic sun accents dining room

So, make it point to go, if you like artfully prepared Southwestern fare matched with wines. The dining room, with wood tables inlaid with tile and wooden chairs, is dominated by a large, elegant walk-in wine cellar with wood sliding doors. It covers the entire back wall of the restaurant. The cellar is a testament to how seriously the father-son team of Eduardo and Alexis Posada take their wines.

Posada wine cellar with private lockers

The wine list includes 95 selections and is continually being updated. Sparkling wines/champagnes are offered from California, France, Italy and Spain, and there’s a similar mix of domestic and international offerings across the wine list.

The cellar also features lockers that Eduardo rents for $500 a year so patrons can enjoy their own wine without corkage fees. The quality of the food is demonstrated by the wine proprietors and wineries that are renting the spaces (they are sold out): John Kinney of Occasio, Steve Mirrasou of Steven Kent, Wente Vineyards, 3 Steves, Cuda Ridge and Murrieta’s Well.

The restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. through dinner time so the menu features lunch and dinner plus brunch on Sunday.

There are plenty of innovative dishes on the menu—it’s a place that begs for return visits to try more.

Tortillas with black beans and salsas

On a late Sunday lunch, we started with the corn tortilla chips with black beans and two salsas—roasted tomato chipotle and roasted tomatillo with serrano. The serrano had a little bite, but, as one who does not get excited about spicy food, both went very well with the beans on the tortilla chips.

I took advantage of the brunch to order Picadillo New Mexico style enchiladas topped with an over-easy egg. This was a blend of ground beef and pork layered over a corn tortilla with New Mexico Chili rojo, queso fresco yogurt and Southwest relish. It was delicious and one of five options with eggs.

My bride opted for Pork al Pastor Tacos with grilled pineapple, arugula and pickled slaw. There was bite to the pickled slaw and it complemented the pineapple and pan-fried pork nicely.

There were lots of good choices that we will save for a return visit. The restaurant is known for its watermelon salad and Mahi Mahi tacos as well as its wild-caught shrimp tostadas.

New Mexico style enchiladas

I was quite tempted by wild boar shank chili with corn bread or the stone-ground white grits with cheese and shrimp. The grits are cooked in chicken broth, sweet peppers, mushrooms and onions with a Dijon mustard lemon and wine sauce. I would love to taste the Southwestern take on a classic Southern dish.

Reservations are recommended so call the restaurant to reserve (925-606-1004, there’s no online service). Posada is located at 988 Murrieta Boulevard in Livermore.

By Tim Hunt