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Cinco de Mayo Popup

May 5 @ 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Cinque di Maggio

The first question: Does Italy have Cinco de Mayo? Of course it does!  It’s just called Cinque di Maggio.  It is followed by Sei di Maggio etc.  The real question is, does Mexico have a Cinco de Mayo and the answer is, yes, but it’s nothing like the celebrations held in the US.  In Mexico, it is a holiday honoring a battle in the Mexican war against France.  In the US, it is a holiday that honors Mexican American pride that has now been co-opted to celebrating drinking beer.  So what the heck, we are appropriating it to celebrate the Cinco de Mayo pop-up: a delicious night of Mexican-Italian fusion cooking & libation!

The Cinco di Mayo Pop-up

With other holiday menus we offer, we start out with a common menu idea and then give it the Grotto spin based on Italian cooking traditions.  But for Cinco di Mayo, we are just going straight to the Mexican~Italian fusion. Because I have no experience in any sort of a Cinco de Mayo tradition in Italy, we are winging it.  Well, actually there will be no wings! But I do love Mexican cooking, especially LA style Mexican Cooking! So there will be tacos, tamales, albondigas, cocteles, and rice & beans.

So for tonight, we are imaging a menu of Mexican favorites.  The kind I would get from the Loncherias at 3rd & Figueroa at 3 am after listening to jazz in my misspent youth in LA.  And since this is a one-off pop-up, if you want to make sure you enjoy, you should reserve and make note you want the pop up menu.  Otherwise, you can just walk in and dine.

The Popup Menu

$25 per person for a serving of each plus a cocktail.

Cocteles Mixto ~ an Italian spin on ceviche and cooked fish cocktail.

Tamales ~ a favorite tamale is a pork tamale w/mole.  What could be a better Italian spin on this than polenta surrounding wild boar cooked in “Italian Mole?” This is a Medici Family traditional sauce of cocoa, garlic, stock, dried fruit & spices known as Dolce Forte

Tacos ~ tacos in LA are served on double tortillas with chopped meat, onion, cilantro & two salsas on the side.  We will offer two tacos: Lengua {randall lineback veal tongue} and Carnitas {local Rocky Hollow pork belly cooked in OJ and spices}

Albondigas {meatballs in a light tomato based soup}

Refritos & arroz ~ refried beans & rice reimagined as risotto & beans

You get a portion of each plus a Mexican themed cocktail:

Strawberry Habanero Margarita ~ house infused local strawberry tequila margarita on the rocks w/black Hawaiian salt.

Fumo e Fuego ~ Mezcal & Habanero Tequila w/tropical notes of falernum, lime & agave

Mexigroni ~ Mezcal based spin on the Negroni

If you don’t care for a cocktail, substitute a local tap beer or a glass of chianti.  If you are still hungry, all of our Cinco di Mayo snacks will be available ala carte.  Plus we will offer Happy Hour all night in the Grotto Bar.  And just for the heck of it: Half Priced Burgers.  So spend a lower key Cinco de Mayo with us at the Grotto. Or come pre-game with us and burger up before an evening of loud, crowded bars full of drunken folk.


May 5
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm


Grotto Bar at 1914
1914 9th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001 United States
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