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Vienna’s Blend 111 to launch Latin seafood tapas pop-up

A tapas plate and glass of wine from Blend 111’s planned Pescao pop-up (courtesy Blend 111)

With summer in full swing, the Latin American fusion restaurant Blend 111 hopes to conjure up a cool sea breeze with a new seafood-focused tapas pop-up concept that will launch next Monday (July 12).

Pescao, which translates to “fish” in English, will operate out of Blend 111 (111 Church St. NW) in Vienna every Monday through Sept. 6. The menu will only be available during dinner hours from 4-9 p.m.

“We really wanted to try a small plate, tapas style concept,” Blend 111 owner and sommelier Michael Biddick said in a statement. “With all of the isolation and difficulty that we have all seen over the past 18 months, we thought that a concept that focused on sharing and having new experiences with friends as vaccinations increase was needed.”

Developed by Executive Chef Andrés-Julian Zuluaga, the menu will feature seafood small plates that are intended to be shared. There will be cold dishes, such as oysters and crab and trout cavier arepas, as well as hot dishes, including scallops and pulpo (grilled Spanish octopus).

The pop-up will also serve side dishes, cocktails, and wine, according to a press release.

Pescao represents a continuation of Biddick’s efforts to keep refining Blend 111, as relayed to Tysons Reporter when the restaurant marked its two-year anniversary in Vienna in May.

That willingness to adapt has been crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the introduction of a to-go lunch menu and the conversion of the venue’s parking lot into a patio for outdoor dining.

Biddick says the restaurant has seen “a steady increase” in customers since January.

“Since we have the patio space, we were fortunate to be able to host guests outside,” he said. “Even with the restrictions removed and higher vaccinations, guests still prefer to sit outdoors.”

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