Dinner with Friends at Bar Vacilando

Dinner with Friends at Bar Vacilando

If you have ever traveled before then you know that there is something about being on the road that makes it easier to immerse completely in new people and new things – on the road, the stars shine brighter, the air smells sweeter, and the music is just easier to sing to. Such is life on the tropically white-washed and garden-clad patio, under the twinkling string lights at Bar Vacilando.

The concept of the new gastropub on Capitol Hill is loosely inspired by this very idea; the limitless joys of world travel.  As such, the menu items at Bar Vacilando are pulled from the owners’ travel experiences, but they aren’t pointed toward one style or influence – it’s not a menu of monochromatic flavors, trends, or themes. Instead, the menu reads like a collaboration of travel stories including highlights like Jamaican jerk drums with papaya chutney and Portuguese-style local purple clams w cilantro.
Among the travelers contributing to the menu is co-owner and Chef Brian Durbin.

Prior to collaborating with Judy Boardman and Chris Linker on Bar Vacilando, Durbin owned an eco-lodge on St. Vincent. The lodge had its own restaurant where off shore, Durbin and his wife would set lobster traps (sometimes unsuccessfully rivaling the resident octopus) and solicit fresh fish from local fishermen. His kids would frequent local beaches by kayak and spread word of the latest catch. Travel stories get exchanged into the night, and the expertly executed food is a both a conversational centerpiece and exotic indulgence. “Eat it with your fingers” someone says, “It’s meant to be enjoyed with friends.”

Six-minute deviled egg spin-off with flying fish roe
All hail the tamarind soaked six-minute egg with a creamy yoke and tobiko that give this unique appetizer a sushi vibe. We dare you to find someone who doesn’t love them.

Vietnamese beef & pork meatballs
The smell of hot phở wafts off these tender meatballs so convincingly that you half expect them to be served with plum sauce, Sriracha, mint, and sprouts. They’re made with Oregon’s Painted Hills beef and the highest quality Kurobuta Pork. Dedicated phở devotees need to get these.

Jamaican jerk drums & papaya chutney
Extra crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, easy to eat drumsticks rest on a tangy papaya chutney. The strong flavors of spicy cloves combined with the sweet and sour chutney make an impression without being too overpowering.

Portuguese-style local purple clams w cilantro
These bright purple tender morsels from Neah Bay are creamy, mild, and filled with a fresh garlic flavor that is to die for. If you’re a fan of the Manila clams that are on most menus – get the ones from Neah Bay for a local treat that will blow your mind.

Hanger steak & celery root mash cress oil
There’s nothing more satisfying then perfectly done steak at a ridiculously low price point. The steak at Bar Vacilando is the kind that melts in your mouth and the addition of the crunchy, gently bitter celery works.

White chocolate passion fruit cheesecake
Do any of us really need convincing to try this? Rich white chocolate cheese cake fits nicely with moist flaky crust. The crust is made with coconut flakes, vanilla cookie and coconut oil then everything gets topped with rarely found tropical tartness of passion fruit.

Brunch? 10 am – 3 pm Saturday and Sunday
Happy Hour? 3 – 6 pm, $1 off house cocktails, well drinks, wine pours, and drafts. $3 crusts: Prosciutto & Béchamel, Pear & Gorgonzola, and Old Country Veggie Romesco

Happy traveling, friends!

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