In celebration of his birthday, Enotria Chef Pajo Bruich set up the restaurant's bar area with a couple of his favorite things - namely rap music, tequila and Mexican food on Thursday evening.
With all the Mexican small bites at $10 or less, it was a very affordable way to sample some of the acclaimed chef's cuisine without breaking the bank. It also gave me the opportunity to pick up the October and November shipments of the Enotria Wine Club.
Here were the small plates we had:
Chips & Salsa ($3)
Shrimp ceviche, chiles, pineapple, lime ($10)
Pozole, braised pork shoulder, hominy, cabbage ($5)
Mole de pollo estilo Jalisco ($10)
Tacos adobada, picked onions, cotija, tapatio (2 for $6)
Churros, guajillo lime caramel ($5)
Since it was a one night event, I won't really write a long review. But I do want to say that the ingredients were fresh and the flavors were sharp. My favorite course was the churros (especially the caramel dipping sauce), followed by pozole and the ceviche. The tacos were a little too spicy for my pallate, but my dining partner with a hardier pallate loved the tacos.
We also sampled a couple of their tequila-based cocktails for the night, each $8. All three were fantastic, created with the precision and attention to detail that you'd expect from a Shady Lady or Hook & Ladder.
The Golden Rule with gold tequila, orchard pear, ginger, honey, lavender
Cider House with milagro silver, mulled apple cider, cynar, grenadine, cinnamon
Tequila Old Fashioned with gold tequila, angostura bitters, turbinado, orange
While restaurants often go upscale with their special meals, I loved the idea of an expensive restaurant going casual for a night. There was more energy in the room than I'd ever seen at Enotria, although I'll admit that it's only the third time I've been there since Chef Pajo took over the kitchen and that all of those times were midweek.
But even with a collection of plates at a lower price point, the two of us spent about $90, including dinner, drinks, tax and tip. We didn't intend to spend that much, but the plates seemed affordable and we just kept ordering until we were full. Looking at their regular menu, that's probably about half what a three-course meal with a wine pairing would have cost for two.
I'm glad Enotria did this type of special event, and I hope it encourages other high end restaurants to do this too. It probably helps drive business on otherwise slow nights, and given how much we enjoyed our dinner tonight, I think we'll look for another opportunity to return to eat off their regular menu soon.
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