Taking the bars of southern Spain as his inspiration, Pope Joan owner-chef Matt Wilkinson is teaming up with Iberian wine importer Scott Wasley in February for a series of Andalusian Sunday sessions in the Melbourne café's garden.
Gazpacho y Más will run every Sunday in February with rustic Spanish food, DJs and an excellent range of Sherry, wine and beer from Wasley's Spanish Acquisition portfolio.
Food-wise, gazpacho will be the main game, with several versions served throughout the afternoon, one of them from a family recipe for summer tomatoes from the Sanchez Romate winery in Spain. There'll also be ajo blanco, the soup made from garlic, bread, almonds and Sherry vinegar, served here with green grapes and deluxe extra-virgin olive oil from Alvaro Palacios' L'Ermita, one of Spain's most famous vineyards. In a savvy move, this is a coeliac-friendly ajo blanco, made with gluten-free bread.
Classic Andalusian dishes will also feature on Pope Joan's outdoor grill. That could mean chorizo from Matt McConnell's Casa Ciuccio and flash-fried fish tails and prawns, plus sides like Valencian-style orange salad and papas aliñas, potatoes served with onions, vinegar and parsley.
Then there's the crema Sevillana, a take on crema Catalana flavoured with Seville oranges, topped with toffee and dispensed from a soft-serve ice-cream machine.
There'll be plenty of Sherry available by the glass, and no shortage of Spanish beers, Sherry-based cocktails and rosado and blanco wines on hand.
All the food at Gazpacho y Más is available à la carte, but the best option might be paying $45 upfront, then settling in to surf the entire menu at leisure and thoroughly enjoy the laid-back Andalusian vibe.
Gazpacho y Más, Pope Joan, 77-79 Nicholson St, East Brunswick, Vic, 4pm-8pm Sundays in February; to book email email@example.com.
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