Barrio Social opens for breakfast
New restaurant in Vail has Spanish flair
Spanish flavors meet the Rocky Mountains at Barrio Social, a new restaurant in Vail Village. Housed in the former Master’s Gallery space, Barrio Social welcomes diners to the vast, south facing deck and interior with an international vibe.
The concept is new, but the ownership is not. Barrio Social is just down the street from La Bottega, which has been a staple on the valley restaurant scene for decades and is owned by Steve Virion.
“Since 2005, I’ve been trying to find a location to do a Spanish tapas restaurant because we have a very good and loyal following with the Mexico City and South American clientele and we were very aware of what Spanish food is, so, we tried to find a place to create that concept,” Virion said.
The space Barrio Social is in became available in 2017. It was remodeled, and they did a few pop-ups off and on in previous years. COVID-19 also put a pause on things but now they are staffed up and ready to go.
Behind the menu is executive chef Ali Gabriel Monge, who is from Argentina but he was raised in South Carolina.
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“So, I have southern cooking in my bones, too,” Monge said.
Mostly recently, Monge came from Lima, Peru, where he worked for Central for the past three years. Central is ranked fourth in the world on “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants” list.
“It’s a Spanish kitchen so we are going to be trying to be as traditional as possible, but Steve is also giving me some leeway since I’m coming from South America,” Monge said.
“We’re going to do some Latin American fusion, some ceviches and diraditos, which are kind of like sashimi but Peruvian style.”
On the menu look for breakfast tapas, a Spanish twist on breakfast classics and international dishes. There are also pastries and fresh juices and breakfast cocktails.
Barrio Social will serve breakfast from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. Look for dinner service to start later this summer.