You’ll have to forgive me, for I have taken WAY too long to post these pics. But then again, isn’t it the idea of waiting for something that makes it more exciting? Either way, I can’t believe it’s been a little over two months since I dined at Wheeler del Torro‘s Barrio pop-up restaurant and I’m still reminiscing about what a great experience it was and wondering when I might start hearing rumors about his next one (insert obvious wink face here).
The chef and owner of 3 scoops, vegan ice cream shop, is no stranger to the concept of pop-ups having hosted two others earlier in the year — Dining in the Dark and Fillet of Soul. However, unlike his previous two which were invite-only, Barrio was open to the public. A celebration of Afro-Cuban street food, the cuisine they served was inspired by the hues, spices and flavors one finds in the barrios of Cuba. Makes sense given the name, right?
Having never been to Cuba, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. By the end of the dinner, my mind = blown. There’s no way to truly describe the experience. It was surprising, fun, unique and exciting. All the best elements you hope to have at a pop-up, but even the countless positive adjectives a thesaurus can spew out really aren’t enough to do it justice.
Because every pop-up is different, it’s possible you’ll never get to try the exact dishes you see here, but that doesnt mean you can’t be inspired to try and create them at home. I hope you enjoy the scenes below from this seriously bomb pop-up, and consider getting yourself to one of his next events. If you’re open-minded and enjoy trying new foods with an element of surprise, you certainly won’t be dissapointed.
A selection of antipasto and creative crostinis - marinated mushrooms, white asparagus, capicola, roasted peppers, eggplant caponata, heirloom tomatoes, horseradish, pineapple, strawberry, goat cheese…
This time around, Torro paired up with Matt Drummond of Brasserie Joe to collaborate and execute the four course dinner. Here he is now, getting ready for round 2…
Stewed count neck clams, Toulouse sausage, green onion, fennel broth and citrus
Roasted Pork confit, purée of brussel sprouts, Dijon, fingerling potatoes and currant jus
For dessert, we recieved a sampling of homemade bon bons filled with some of the vegan-friendly ice cream they serve up at 3 Scoops. They were so deliciously rich, and were the perfect bite-sized ending to our indulgent dinner.
One of the best parts of the meal came at the end, when everyone came together to pop the last bottle of Dom Perignon for a final toast and to praise all the incredible staff who made the night possible. Pulling the entire thing off with effortless grace, I can’t thank you enough for letting us be a part of all the fun. And to Torro, who prepared most of this meal on a small grill from behind the ice cream shop, I commend you on your passion and talent. I can’t wait to see what’s next!
403 Washington St.