En Su Boca opens, chef at Blue Goat leaves, and a tiki lounge comes to Ipanema

A former adult bookstore becomes way more food friendly, shakeups in the kitchens of Secco and The Blue Goat, and Center of the Universe debuts a new brew.

En Su Boca has finally opened at 1001 N. Boulevard and so far we’ve been hearing nothing but “two thumbs up” from people. The once iconic adult book store has been transformed into a taqueria open for both lunch and dinner. The menu includes seafood ceviche, taqueria pickle jar, grilled street corn, to name a few, along with a variety of tacos and burritos. Its large patio is equipped with picnic tables, so you can grab your grub from the takeout window and grab a seat if that’s your style. They also have plenty of seating inside with a large bar area if sweet, sweet AC is more your speed.

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Kevin LaCivita has left his position as head chef of Blue Goat to pursue other opportunities. When Blue Goat first opened in 2011 the restaurant had a “nose-to-tail” approach. But over the past couple of years diners have been urging for a more traditional menu. Slowly but surely the menu items have gone from crispy pig ear to pork belly, which has helped keep Blue Goat packed with customers but has the left the chef frustrated with concept and menu changes. In an interview with Richmond Magazine, LaCivita said, “If I’m saying I’m doing nose-to-tail that’s locally sourced, then that’s what I want to do. It’s my name, my reputation on the line.” LaCivita is leaving the EAT Restaurant Partners on good terms with well wishes from both parties.

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Also leaving his spot as head chef is Secco’s Tim Bereika, who is taking an opportunity with Mosaic Catering Company. Stepping into his position will be Chef Mike Braune who has served as Secco’s sous chef for two years. He comes with his own list of accolades, including a degree from the International Culinary Center, a sous chef position at a AAA 4 Diamond restaurant, and stints in the kitchen of LeMaire and Six Burner. Secco’s menu will stay pretty much the same, but with maybe a few small changes to match Braune’s style. Bereika also plans on making some appearances at Secco here and there.

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All anyone wants to talk about lately is the heat, so thankfully bartenders T. Leggett (The Roosevelt) and Tim Quinn (Heritage) have a tiki pop-up cocktail lounge planned for July 31st at Ipanema to cool everybody down. According to Style Weekly, they will be turning Ipanema into a tiki paradise and will have Polynesian bar bites thanks to Brittany Anderson and Greg Darden will have the music covered. Most people probably think corny drink umbrellas with they think tiki bar, but the pair want to show what a masterful art these drinks are with homemade syrups, fresh, juices, and spices. The party will go from 10:00 PM – 2:00 AM at 917 W. Grace Street.

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Center of the Universe has a new beer! On Friday, July 26th they’ll debut Flight School Belgian Amber which was the winner of COTU’s “Pilot the Flight for Autism” challenge in March. Participants got to taste eight different beers and vote on the one they wanted to be released this summer. All proceeds from the fundraiser went to the Dominion School for Autism. Flight School is a Belgian Abbey-style ale brewed with five different malts. After primary fermentation is complete, the beer is aged on dried orange peel. The result is a deep ruby Belgian-style ale that is both complex and bold. The release party is from 4:00 – 9:00 PM.

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In case you’ve been living under a rock, THE REDSKINS ARE IN TOWN! Our first restaurant spotting with RGIII and Dan Snyder was at the Tobacco Company last night. Instagram pics available here.

photo by Anne Aurelia Lewis

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