First Look at Anthony Cafiero's Ración

Peek inside the former Tabla chef's modernist open kitchen and bar, set to debut in the West End on March 7th.

By Allison Jones February 27, 2013

Another long-awaited culinary project is set to debut next week, this time in downtown's burgeoning West End. Chef Anthony Cafiero is ready to open the doors at his modernist tapas venture Ración in the space once (briefly) home to Corazón's private dining space on Thursday, March 7th. From the looks of things, the only thing those eateries will have in common is an accent over the o.

Eat Beat is first on the scene with menu details, Cafiero's vision for the Ración dining experience, and a full slideshow of photos of the wide-open space (just click on the photo above!).

The Layout: Located off of the lobby of the mixed-use Indigo building on SW Washington, Ración's open concept features a wrap-around, 18-seat chef's counter (made of rare Purple Heart wood) surrounding a fully exposed kitchen stage, where Cafiero and his team will execute their culinary performance. Cafiero designed the space himself (with the help of ChefStable's Kurt Huffman) and confessed that "there have been, like, 5 different versions of Ración, in this building alone. I started this idea over a year age, planning it to be in the space that Uno Mas has now. The restaurant has slowly changed into something that represents me and my aesthetic, but I've had a lot of help. I like that there are lots of hands and minds invested in this restaurant".  

The Experience: Diners will be able to pop into Ración for a cocktail and a snack in the back lounge (featuring U-shaped couches, small tables, and a chalkboard of daily specials) or a full five- or seven-course tasting menu flanking the open kitchen.

The Food: Cafiero will launch Ración with a menu of "greatest hits" from the sixteen pop-up events he hosted from October through December of 2012. "I'm creating dishes that ring true to Spanish style," says Cafiero. "My creative process has expanded a bit since my Tabla days, with less effort invested in wowing guests with brand new techniques or textures and a larger focus on flavors, combinations of food, and new ingredients." A vegetarian tasting menu will soon be available with 24 hours notice. Here's a peek at the opening five-course menu:

  • Cocidito soup, ham hock broth, crispy serrano ham, broccolini + peanuts
  • Halibut cheeks, black sesame, green apple, sour cream + shiso
  • Cauliflower panna cotta, radicchio, lime, bonito + sorrel
  • Rib Eye, potato, horseradish, smoked apple cider + brussels sprouts
  • Chocolate ganache, lemon curd, goat cheese, kumquat + saffron

The Drinks: Wine pairings will be available for every course from David Rounds (who has managed the wine list at Beast for several years), cocktails, beer, and cider pairings will also rotate regularly, and an ambitious list of non-alcoholic pairings are set to change the way we look at dinner drinks. "I have non drinking friends," Cafiero explains, "and I personally like drinks of all types. The creation of sodas, tinctures, teas, juices, purees, and drinking vinegars is a new venture for me, allowing for potentially better pairings with some of the courses".

Click through to the full slideshow above, and check out the space for yourself when it opens on First Thursday, March 7th. Opening hours: Tuesday through Saturday, lounge opens at 5 pm, dinner seating from 6 to 9 pm.

1205 SW Washington

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