Bar Vasquez Replacing Pazo in Harbor East

| October 11, 2016 | 0 Comments

Bar Vasquez will replace the recently closed Pazo at 1425 Aliceanna St. in Harbor East.

Foreman Wolf Release:

Tony Foreman and chef Cindy Wolf are pleased to introduce their newest restaurant, Bar Vasquez, an Argentine bar, lounge, and restaurant. Bar Vasquez pays homage to chef Wolf’s mentor, chef Marcelo Vasquez. “I am excited to honor Marcelo who had an incredible impact on the early days of my career in Charleston, South Carolina. I am excited to present the cuisine of his country, Argentina, and to honor its unique food culture. This restaurant is very special to me as we created a place I think Marcelo would have really loved,” says chef Cindy Wolf.

The airy, 230-seat restaurant focuses on open-flame, wood-fired cooking of locally sourced and Uruguayan meats and game. The seasonally inspired menu opens with starters and a variety of hand-made empanadas, fugazza (Argentine pizza), and house-made pasta. The meats offered on the menu are complimented with an array of chimichurri and classic Argentine sauces. Diners may also enjoy composed seafood courses such as Sweet Pink Shrimp from Patagonia served with Herbed Späeltze, Scallions, and Charred Lemon, as well as other South Atlantic fish entrees. Side dishes include verduras or vegetables such as Butternut Squash from the Embers, Wood-Oven Roasted Local Broccoli, but also a potato menu with variations of Papas Fritas, Herbed Pommes Anna, Mashed Local Yukon Gold Potatoes and more. Executive Chef Mario Cano Catalán, a chef with Foreman Wolf for over 15 years says, “I am excited to work with whole animals, different cuts of meat, and all the empanadas we will be making by hand. The wood-fired grill and rotisserie will allow us to infuse great flavor into our dishes.”

An enormous undertaking, Foreman Wolf went about completely redesigning the space with the help of Katie Destefano, interior designer and owner of Curiosity. From the outset, as guests walk in, the former solid glass wall has been replaced with a custom painting, a beautiful vignette that is a mirror awash with deep Argentine colors. As one turns the corner, a magnificent and lush, green space is unveiled. Giant, 15-foot palm trees and living centerpieces of ferns, succulents and moss bring the lounge and main dining room to life. There is a slight rusticity of cowhide, iron, and textured glass that are balanced by layers of glamour.  Guests will revel at the main bar with its gorgeous gold leaf mosaic stenciling and old mercury glass light fixtures. Destefano and Foreman tirelessly researched actual restaurants in Argentina to learn their history and to pinpoint exactly what makes them feel the way they do. “There is an element of surprise and a layer of beauty that people are not going to expect when walking into an Argentine steakhouse. The challenge was to create a very special, authentic environment and we did just that,” says Destefano.

Downstairs the bar and lounge provide a more relaxed and easy environment fit for enjoying drinks and snacks to live music. Upstairs, the second floor is a more intimate scene of white tablecloths, silver candlesticks, Rosenthal china, and formal service. Diners will appreciate a view of the energy downstairs from a more private location. Tucked in the corner of the upper mezzanine is a 10-seat whiskey bar led by Beverage Manager and Kentucky Bourbon Master, Samuel Massa, formerly of Bin 604. Massa has tasted thousands of whiskies and has curated a special list of 100 of the best whiskies in the world. “Our list includes only whiskies that are good or interesting. This bar is about sharing great whiskey, especially American whiskey, with as many people as possible,” says Massa.

As for the wines, co-owner and Wine Director of all the Foreman Wolf restaurants, Tony Foreman, tasted over 1500 Argentinian wines alone to make selections for Bar Vasquez’s wine list. The wine cellar will be filled with mostly Argentinian wines and a few South American varietals. “It is my goal to have 100 wines that are under a $100 that are completely brilliant. It is exciting what you can find on our wine list—fun, bodacious, just simply great wines at all price points. Best of all, guests can enjoy live performances from passionate, talented musicians and artists that will keep a crackle of energy in the space that doesn’t come about any other way,” says Foreman. Vasquez will be open for dinner six days a week with live performances every night.

Photo Courtesy of Pazo’s Facebook Page:

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About the Author:

Creator and owner of Incept Multimedia, the company behind The BMore Stoop and SouthBMore.com. Resident of South Baltimore and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, beach volleyball enthusiast, dog lover and "bar food" foodie. Email me at Kevin@InceptMM.com and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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