Monday, June 11, 2012

Uva Bar and Cafe - grand re-opening June 6, 2012

The downstairs cafe attached to Catal Restaurant, known as the Uva Bar, has been closed for a little while as they re-designed the outdoor seating section and re-vamped the menu.  The Uva Bar was set to re-open to the public on Thursday, June 7, 2012, but there was a grand re-opening party on Wednesday, June 6, 2012, which we were lucky to have been invited to.  The servers came around with samples of many of the items on the menu as well as off the new drink menu.  There was also a band who provided lovely music during the event.

The outdoor seating now has very short shrubbery, and the space has been expanded a bit as well, allowing for more tables and a more open-air feel.

The decor has been changed quite a bit, with vibrant colors and funky designs and some interesting tables as well.

It's a surfboard table!

The new look of the bar.  The TVs have been removed, and there were no chairs out during the event.

But of course, the most important things were the food and drinks!

Uva mule - vodka, fresh house-made ginger syrup, lime juice, soda water and mint.

I love ginger, so when I heard there was ginger in this drink, I knew I had to try it.  But even I wasn't prepared for exactly how ginger-y it was.  It's not just ginger-flavored like you'd get in a liquer, but there's actual crushed/shredded/squished ginger in the drink.  And the ginger definitely gives the drink a distinctive bite.  I very much enjoyed this drink.

Returning to the menu is the lamb burger, and slider versions were available for sampling.  Very nicely done, and very tasty.

Lamb slider - house ground lamb, piquillo peppers, feta, arugula, lemon dill aioli, pickled red onion on brioche bun.

Also making a return to the menu are the tuna tartare tacos.  Tuna sashimi in a tiny taco shell - what's not to love?

Tuna tartare tacos - crispy taco with fresh ahi tuna, crushed avocado, shaved radish, soy vinaigrette and micro cilantro.

Bacalao can also be found on the menu at Catal Restaurant upstairs.

Bacalao - salt cod fritters, malt vinegar aioli, sprout salad and lemon vinaigrette.

Shishito peppers have also previously been available on Catal Restaurant's menu.

Shishito peppers with sea salt and lemon garlic emulsion.

One of the new items to the menu, and a particular favorite of mine, is the octopus salad.  The sauce does have a bit of a bite to it, which I loved.  And the octopus was nicely cooked, not too rubbery like it can be if not cooked properly.

Octopus a la plancha - "banh mi" salad, charred scallion crema, Ho Chi Minh vinaigrette.

Another of the delicious new dishes is the corn arepas.

Corn arepas - seared corn cakes topped with pulled pork, mojo sauce, cilantro and shaved red onion.

The Uva Bar has previously had flatbread, but this is a new flavor.

Market tomato flatbread - fresh mozzarella, Calabrian chilies, chorizo picante, oregano and extra virgin olive oil.

Another of the new dishes I really liked was the shrimp cocktail.

Shrimp coctel - laughing bird shrimp, spicy tomato sauce, jalapeno, cucumber, lime and cilantro.

There are some new desserts on the menu as well, including ice cream sandwiches and milkshakes.

Orange 50/50 milkshake.

Mocha milkshakes.

Ice cream sandwiches, which were quickly melting.

We had noticed that there were many new glassware designs in use as well, so we ended up getting some drinks in the new glasses.  The darker one on the right is a blackberry gimlet, the middle one is a raspberry gimlet, and I can't remember what the one on the left is, except I believe it was also raspberry based.

There was an abundance of glassware and drinks around.

Here's the new menu for the Uva Bar.

(Click on the picture for a larger, more readable version of the menu.)

We had a lovely time, enjoying all of the delicious food and tasty drinks and just spending time with friends and catching up with some of the Uva Bar employees.  As it got later in the evening, the lights in the bar came up, so here are some pictures of the bar and seating areas.

The top portion above the bar changes colors.

Bar chairs have been added to the bar area.

Purse hooks have been added under the bar.

A closer look at a purse hook.

Round seating is now available at the Uva Bar.

Regular chairs are available as well.

What does it look like under the cushion?

Close-up of the design on the planters.

All of the things we tried were delicious, and we're looking forward to returning to the Uva Bar.  The only difficulty will be deciding what to order!

P.S.  Thanks to Matt M., who took many of the pictures you see above.


Sherry said...

What is it with your obsession to look underneath things?! :)

That was a good night. Glad we could all be there together.

Cindy said...

I wish I could take credit, but I can't. Matt took a lot of the decor pictures, including the one with the cushion lifted up. I laughed when I saw it. You know I had to include it! :)