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Featured Menu: Vibrant Mexican

Maggie Borden

January 25, 2016

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With over 200 events at the Beard House each year, our calendar is overflowing with top toques and rising stars from restaurant kitchens across the country. Each dinner at the Beard House is a unique culinary experience, but every so often a specific event will have our stomachs rumbling simply by scanning the menu. Read on to learn which event has piqued our palates lately.

Monday, January 25, 2016
Vibrant Mexican

After working for JBF Award winners Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier at their acclaimed restaurants in Ogunquit, Maine, David Vargas relocated to New Hampshire to open his own eatery, the charming Vida Cantina, where he serves a vibrant Mexican menu inspired by his family’s heritage. With frost lining the windows at the Beard House, guests are sure to be eager for a break from the winter chill. Fortunately, Vargas's menu provides just that, with the lively flavors of his Oak Wood–Grilled Vernon Family Farm Chicken Tacos with Salsa Macha, Epazote Aïoli, and Organic Greens; as well as his Tuckaway Farm Heirloom Corn Tamale with New Hampshire Mushrooms, Cashew Queso, and Guajillo Chiles.

Although Portsmouth, New Hampshire might seem an unlikely home for a Mexican hot spot, JBF director of house programming Izabela Wojcik highlights the potent combination of the chef’s background and New England's strong ethos for sourcing from local and small farms. “Those local products bring a special nuance to the flavors that we can't really get in New York City," she explains. "Add in Vargas’s refined techniques, honed at the acclaimed Arrows, one of the best restaurants in the country, and you end up with the food that will be special and personal. It inhabits a space that is somewhere between rustic and refined, but with a voice all its own.” Prepare to be shaken out of your cold-weather stupor from the first taste of Fideos Quemados with Housemade Cavatelli, Crema, and Salsa de Árbol to the final luscious bite of Arroz con Leche with Horchata, Cinnamon Tuile, Raisin Semifreddo, and Sesame Seeds. Check out the event listing for the chef lineup, full menu, and to book your seat.

For all upcoming Beard House dinners, check out our events calendar