Fresh Takeout: Dining with Barra During COVID-19

Photo credit: Erin Kuschner for the Boston Globe

“We opened two weeks before closing,” says Barra owner Paola Ibarra of her pint-sized Latin-American cocktail bar in Union Square. Though you can’t saddle up for a mezcal drink just yet, you can get the bar’s delicious mixers, as well as beer and wine, to go. The bright, punchy Margarita mix comes with a condiment container of chili salt to adorn your glassware at home. Or try the Malverde mix, with cucumber, mint, and yuzu. Natural wine lovers will appreciate bottles of the crushable, orange-hued Austrian Meinklang.

While Barra is mostly a bar, the super-fresh food is not to be missed. Aguachile is made with a sparkling raw fish of the day that takes a dip in a serrano, passion fruit, and citrus emulsion. Chile Relleno Tacos are downright adorable (and pack some heat) with ground beef-stuffed jalapeños and pickled vegetables in warm tortillas. The chicken-filled Enchiladas are comforting and rich, with refried beans and choice of red or tomatillo sauce.

When life gave Ibarra lemons (and limes and grapefruits) she chose to make cocktail mixers and forge on.

Must Have: Picnic for Two: As we step (six feet apart) into summer, this picnic is the move. It comes with fresh tortilla chips and guac; a cold plate and hot plate of your choice; and a drink mix or bottle of wine—with a twist top to keep it simple. They’ll also throw in a disposable tablecloth, napkins, forks, cups, plates, and ice.

Insider Tip: Check out the retail selection to find a unique gift for the drink lover who has everything. Cocktail syrups and flying ant salt? Now those are gifts they haven’t gotten before.

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