‘Authentically Ourselves’ – richmondmagazine.com
Practically 5 years in the past, Sincero was prepping for its debut pop-up at The Veil Brewing Co., serving tacos and sopes (Mexican corn desserts) on paper plates beneath an EZ-Up tent. Per week in the past, homeowners Karen Negvesky and Alex Bobadilla launched Sincero as a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Jackson Ward — with actual dishes, flatware, cocktails and all.
On the Mexican American mashup, friends will discover the whole lot from grilled pork ribs lathered in Harmony grape barbecue sauce and accented with peanut salsa seca (assume peanut butter and jelly) to fried calamari tossed in Previous Bay (a shout-out to Bobadillo’s Maryland roots) and a pressed birria soften. There are a dozen choices, many shareable plates similar to ancho dry-rubbed wings and charred, tahini-tossed broccoli topped with queso fresco, together with a handful of sandwiches and tacos, with the most costly gadgets ringing up at $16.
Taking up the shuttered Lucy’s at 404 N. Second St., the duo describe the constructing as a neighborhood nook with good bones — a unicorn in at present’s eating world as turnkey buildings have grow to be tougher to come back by.
For Negvesky and Bobadillo, getting right here has felt natural, with a gradual ahead momentum as they gained a following via their pop-ups and snagged a spot as one in every of Hatch Native meals corridor’s first distributors when it opened in 2022. Aiming to deliver an informal bistro to the neighborhood, the Jackson Ward residents need Sincero to be a mutable place, a spot for grabbing a drink with pals or stopping by solo to have a sandwich and a shot of mezcal, whereas additionally being household pleasant.
“Sincero has had a variety of totally different variations and been a variety of various things, and we will actually say the entire time it has been us,” says Negvesky, who has labored at Brenner Cross, Metzger Bar & Butchery, and Odyssey. “We hold saying, folks form of put the label of ‘genuine’ on us, however we’re extra so, simply form of authentically ourselves. That is the following form of step for us, a more experienced model of the model.”
The menu is an edible scrapbook of kinds showcasing their evolution: A trio of tacos (rooster, steak and chorizo) are a nod to their beginnings, whereas the wings have been a preferred merchandise throughout their meals corridor stint. On the cocktail lineup, The Lil Dino (Hendrick’s gin, cardamaro and Harmony grape), previously on the menu at Metzger Bar & Butchery, is a salute to Negvesky’s time working within the entrance of the home there.
Different libations embrace a margarita-meets-Salty Canine, aka Previous Salty, that includes tequila, frothy grapefruit and lime with a salted rim; a mezcal Negroni; and some draft beer choices together with Nighthawk Brewery’s Mexican lager and The Veil Brewing Co.’s Grasp Shredder IPA.
Crafting the menu into an sincere model of themselves has been a part of the enjoyable for the pair. And for the primary time, Bobadilla is ready to let unfastened a bit within the kitchen, now not compelled to navigate the nomadic existence of a pop-up or work throughout the restrictions that come from working in a shared area.
“We lastly get to place the stuff on that Nick (Shawn) and I have been messing round with,” says Bobadilla, who beforehand labored at Brenner Cross and at Unhealthy Saint in Washington, D.C. “I felt like I used to be at all times serious about it another way and didn’t simply wish to promote tacos, or avenue tacos or no matter anybody else needed me to do. I form of felt like I’ve at all times been considering that approach, and now I get to observe via on issues.”
Within the kitchen, Bobadillo is joined by Shawn, additionally beforehand of Brenner Cross, who joined the Sincero crew final 12 months. An integral a part of Sincero’s ahead momentum, he might undoubtedly, and delightfully, be dubbed the companions’ third wheel. However his relationship with Negvesky began lengthy earlier than they started working collectively.
“We now have identified one another our total lives; our dad and mom have been pals rising up, so we’ve identified one another since we have been infants,” she says.
That sense of familiarity ripples via the restaurant, from a portray that hangs close to the bar gifted by buddy and native baker Olivia Wilson to the Humorous Ft cocktail, a long-running joke between Negvesky and her father stemming from his love of foolish slippers, and a pencil cactus from the previous homeowners of Lucy’s, Jason and Amanda Lucy.
Including that they hope to fill a gap that Saison left when it shuttered earlier this 12 months after a decade-long run in Jackson Ward, Negvesky says, “What this place goes to be is precisely what it must be, and what the neighborhood desires to make of it. We simply need folks to come back in and make it their very own expertise.”
Sincero is open Tuesday via Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 to 10 p.m. Search for brunch service to debut quickly.