Tequila for the Halibut
Well, it was all downhill from there… I lost last week to a nasty cold and cough, but I’m back in fighting form this week. Whew. Despite feeling under the weather I enjoyed a couple of good meals, at week’s end, starting on Friday night with Debbie and Stu The Wine Genius Williams and Rudy Maxa and Ana Scofield. Debbie set us up at Tim McKee’s (La Belle Vie, Solera) new venture, Barrio, a tequila bar serving delicious Latin American (emphasis on Mexican) tapas. And delicious tequila! Hey, without a doubt Barrio is loud and crowded, more bar than restaurant (per the name), but it was a blast to scope out something new and as you might have gleaned from past posts, I am a sucker for south-of-the-border fare, BIG time. I scarfed down two crispy-spicy potato-chorizo tacos, shrimps grilled on skewers of sugar cane, and tasted scallop ceviche, guacamole, tequila-cured salmon (seriously good), and tender crab empanadas. Everything was delicious.
In typical fashion, I paid very little attention to where we were going ahead of time (Team Napa is always fun!) and had already planned and shopped for Saturday’s dinner to celebrate my stepmom Susanna being in town. My menu? Uh, Latin American tapas. Well, not exactly, but pretty close. So for the second night in a row we dug into guacamole, spicy shrimps, carnitas rolled in corn tortillas with pickled onions, spicy pinto beans,rice, and grilled green peppers and onions. I even put together a cold, creamy tres leches cake, dangerously good.
After being couped up in the house all last week, I’m chomping at the bit – fresh fall air, here I come. After pretty heavy fare over the weekend, I’m feeling weighed down – sauteed halibut with aromatic vegetables, here I come.
Happy Birthday David! Happy Birthday Jen! And oh, Happy Anniversary John and Stephanie!
Moderate it: give it away. I’ve said it before, and it is a good trick – when leftovers loom large, offer takeaways for your guests. And at the tapas bar? Order lightly, since in my experience the table orders significantly more food at tapas-style restaurants than entrees at a traditional restaurant. Little bites of this and that, usually pretty rich fare, add up FAST. And oh, if the restaurant doesn’t have valet parking – and Barrio does not – wear much more comfortable shoes than I did… blisters, baby, ouch.