A popular lunchtime eatery in Gastown will soon be hosting a pop-up restaurant that pairs Basque-inspired tapas with locally-made and imported craft cider.
The pop-up is the brainchild of Kelly Chomat and Shawn Pisio, owners and operators of Txotx (pronounced “CHO-ch”, meaning a drinking toast), and Chef Alvarez.
All three have a serious passion for Basque culture, food, and drink.
Chomat and Pisio started the liquor importing company three years ago after a visit to the Basque region, an area known for its unique approach to food and drink.
"Jefferson contacted us because he had cooked in the Basque country, and for the past year or so, we’ve been wanting to work together on a project," Chomat explained to the Straight earlier today.
Because of Vancouver’s out-of-touch real estate, though, they had a difficult time finding the right location.
After holding their wedding reception at Birds & The Beets just a few months ago, Chomat and Pisio approached the eatery's owners to see if they would be interested in collaborating.
“We’re in Gastown, which is a much more night-oriented neighbourhood, but we’re day-oriented,” Birds & the Beets co-owner Matt Junkeer told the Straight, “so we thought it would be great to host an evening event like this.”
“We’re big cider lovers... and [Shawn and Kelly] said our café would be a great spot to host a casual cider bar."
Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening, the venue will become B.C.’s first and only craft cider bar and restaurant, serving various blends of the beverage alongside rustic share plates.
“The food is Jefferson’s wheelhouse, so we’ve mentioned notes that we want to hit, but the rest is up to him,” said Chomat. “He’ll be using some of our canned preserves, imported from Galicia in northern Spain.”
Serving a rotating selection of local draft ciders, as well as a number of limited edition imports exclusive to Orchard & The Sea, the pop-up will also host monthly seasonal tasting dinners, educational seminars, and “Meet the Cider Maker” nights.
According to Chomat and Junkeer, participating B.C. cideries will include Dominion Cider Co., Salt Spring Wild Cider, Sunday Cider, Fraser Valley Cider Company, Naramata Cider, Nomad, Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse, and more.
Imports will be sourced from Spain, France, and the United States.