If you are in the mood for a healthy (yes, healthy) take on Mexican/Tex-Mex inspired fare, Ocho Kitchen and Bar may be the spot for you. Chef Joel Harloff tweaks typical Mexican favorites to create a lively menu filled with fresh flavors that are both heart healthy and many, gluten free, like his Cilantro-Caper Salmon Ceviche and The Benjamin grilled chicken fajitas. Last night Chef Harloff invited a handful of local media folks out to his 8Bar upstairs for a tasting of a few of his new menu offerings, paired with seasonal cocktails. Healthy eating and tasty spirits? I had to attend and taste as his guest.
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A few new offerings included his delicious Ahi Tuna “Chimichurri” Ceviche and Smoked Vital Farms Chicken Sope, paired with refreshing takes on a typical margarita. Their cocktail list is impressive and very fresh, utilizing over 50 hand selected tequilas mixed with seasonal ingredients to create unique flavors. The Hatch Chile Smoke Cocktail combines El Jimador Reposado tequila with lemon juice, agave and hatch chile powder, creating a spicy cocktail with just the right amount of lime to make it sweet without being too tart. The drink of the night had to be their Spicy Watermelon Margarita with watermelon water, Triple Sec, Watermelon liqueur, lime syrup, jalapeno infused El Jimador Blanco tequila and mint. Heat and sweet fused together. I am in love with grapefruit in any drink, so my next trip will require a sampling of their take on a Paloma with Herradura Blanco, grapefruit, lime, mint and grapefruit soda. If you are out and about tonight, stop by. Every Thursday night from 9 p.m. to midnight, Ocho hosts a special late night happy hour with drink specials, guest DJs and complimentary appetizers.