click to enlarge Chef Eduardo Silva stands alongside his pop-up, Hueya, at the Q Rooftop Bar above Quirk Hotel Richmond.

Scott Elmquist

Chef Eduardo Silva stands alongside his pop-up, Hueya, at the Q Rooftop Bar above Quirk Hotel Richmond.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Let It Grow

Pop-up Hueya brings fresh tacos and tequila-infused salsa to Q Rooftop Bar.

Posted By on Wed, May 18, 2022 at 4:00 AM

Chef Eduardo Silva’s pop-up, Hueya, is taking over the Q Rooftop Bar for the summer.

Silva started Hueya –which means “to grow” in Nahuatl, an indigenous Mexican language—in the fall of 2021 to share the memorable flavors of his childhood. He says the name is an ode to “always growing your concept and always growing your food,” which is exactly what Silva is doing.

Previously, you could find Hueya sporadically popping up at The Jasper, The Coop, and Grisette. Now you can stop by the Q Rooftop Bar, Tuesdays through Saturdays after 5 p.m., to enjoy fresh tacos, cold beer, and those great city views.

A first generation Mexican American whose parents were farmers, Silva discovered his love for cooking and an appreciation for local, fresh food at a young age. Today he doesn’t claim that his food is 100% Mexican, but rather a reflection of what he learned growing up.

He’s also learned plenty from Richmond’s restaurants. Silva has spent the last decade cooking at various establishments including The Roosevelt and Grisette. Currently, he is the sous chef at the Quirk Hotel Lobby Bar, in addition to creating the new Q Rooftop Bar food menu.

Let’s talk food: Menu highlights include rock shrimp ceviche and barbacoa de Cordero (both $14) – adobo lamb, gingerly wrapped in plantain leaves slowly braised until tender, served atop a handmade tortilla with shaved onions and salsa borracha (drunk salsa). Tequila doesn’t just have to come in your margarita. Yes, that’s right: He throws a splash of tequila in the salsa for some extra flavor.

click to enlarge The ceviche verde from Hueya. - SCOTT ELMQUIST
  • Scott Elmquist
  • The ceviche verde from Hueya.

Of course, the tortillas are pressed fresh every day: “I use my mom’s tortilla press that she gave me, which is almost as old as me,” he says. “You can never duplicate the texture and flavor of a fresh tortilla.”

For vegetarians, the small menu offers a few options: mollete de birote (think a Mexican crostini) or esparragos a la parilla (grilled asparagus), a simple summer favorite. The mollete de birote is served on house-made Mexican sourdough, “made by adding beer and lime juice to the starter. This takes some of the funk away and makes it sweeter,” explains Silva. The sourdough is grilled and topped with a miso pinto bean spread, compressed tomatoes, and queso fresco. Like most of the dishes, the inspiration came from Silva’s childhood, a take on a common breakfast in his home.

Silva is a strong believer in using the freshest local ingredients, so Hueya’s menu will constantly be changing during the summer to highlight what is in season. He recommends to always bring a friend and always eat socially: “I wanted to replicate growing up, having friends and family over and cooking all the time and hanging out.”

If you’ve never been, Q Rooftop Bar offers sweeping city views, modern minimalist décor, a refined drink menu and this inspired food, making it an ideal spot to hang with your crew on a summer evening.

Hueya is located at Q Rooftop Bar of the Quirk Hotel (201 W. Broad St). Hueya will be there Tuesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. until close. Reservations available on Quirk Hotel’s website or @hueya_rva Instagram.

click to enlarge The Q Rooftop offers sweet views of the city. - SCOTT ELMQUIST
  • Scott Elmquist
  • The Q Rooftop offers sweet views of the city.
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