Pasión celebrated its relaunch over the weekend with a wildly successful party that involved great food, drink, and entertainment. The restaurant rolled out its new menu and allowed guests to experience the culinary vision of its new chef, Adrian Riera Muñoz. Muñoz, born and raised in Havana Cuba, moved to the United States just four months ago to continue his journey in the culinary world.
At Pasión, Muñoz will be preparing Latin American classics, such as ropa vieja and the Cuban sandwich, as well as his own innovations. I ordered the crab cakes after hearing the guests at a neighboring table rave about them. Served with a dollop of guacamole and a honey mustard sauce, they were truly delicious.
I sampled both the red and white sangria that evening. The sangria rojo consisted of ‘red wine, velvet falernum, cinnamon, fresh pineapple and lime;’ and the blanco was a subtle combination of ‘white wine, orange curacao, passion fruit, fresh lemon and orange.’ Both were outstanding, but I ordered a second glass of the red. Pasión’s cocktails have always been first-rate. If you are lucky, you might be able to convince Chef Muñoz to prepare one of his Cuban rum cocktails for you. While he would not divulge the complete list of ingredients, the recipe included rum, sweetened condensed milk, and a variety of spices. Creamy and indulgent, it was the perfect way to complete a meal.
Pasión took full advantage of its spacious patio. The Latin band, Sol y Sombra, enlivened the evening with a mix of Latin Jazz, salsa, and merengue. Captivated by the music, passers-by on Elmwood stopped to see what happening on the patio, some of them deciding to join in the festivities. In addition to the music, there was a dazzling dance performance by Fanny and Calvin of Baila Salsa.
Many of those who did not already dance salsa were inquiring about lessons after watching Fanny and Calvin work their magic. After the performance, there was Latin social dancing for all on the patio. Gregorio, of Cigars by Gregorio, rounded out the evening by rolling cigars for guests on the other side of the patio.
While I did not have a chance to sample much of the new menu, I was intrigued by the offerings and look forward to future visits. With a new chef and menu, Pasión has the potential to be a great place to eat, drink, and celebrate with friends. I hope that Pasión is able to keep the energy and enthusiasm of its relaunch party alive in the years to come.
Pasión | 153 Elmwood Avenue | Buffalo, New York | (716) 436-2444 | Facebook