After seven years spent running Munjoy Hill destination Bar Lola with his wife, Stella, Guy Hernandez was ready for a change. After the most successful year to date, they closed the restaurant and began a complete renovation of a neighboring space, which is now Lolita Vinoteca and Asador.
“I felt that we were cooking the best food we ever had, so there seemed like no better time to focus on bringing Lolita to life,” Hernandez says.
His dish of Smoked Squid, Fava, and Preserved Lemon reflects the overall approach to the menu, which is simple ingredients prepared in a straightforward manner, “presented in a way that allows each to be appreciated but brought to a new level by their juxtaposition,” he says.
The squid is seasoned and coated in olive oil before being quickly grilled, attaining a nice char and smoky flavor in the process. Creamy Peruvian giant white favas are simmered with a few herbs and aromatics, while preserved lemons impart acidity to the overall dish. A garnish of bitter frisée, pickled shallots, and Aleppo chilies add both texture and a bit of subtle heat.
“I’d be happy if Lolita never had a signature dish,” Hernandez says. “But was instead known for a style and approach to cooking that was evident in every item on the menu.”
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