by Brian Addison
When looking at the magnificent plate that is simply named the "Smoked Bird" on the inaugural menu of Selva, the Colombia-inspired restaurant that overtook the former Hideaway space, there is a genuine sense of soul.
The chicken's aromatics—turmeric meets smoked salt meets burning wood—pair with the festive array of colors: Glowing Marigold flowers are tucked between the chicken and arepas flayed out on the plate. Bright yellow and red pickled biquinho peppers sit atop equally bright green banana leaves.
Glass jars—filled with a classic Colombian green aji, an aji amarillo, and a red, fresno chile-d out take on the green aji—reflect deep reds, bright greens, and warm yellows across the table, little spoons begging you to take a dip.
A bowl of rice and beans are dotted with beaming flower petals that contrast with the deep black of the onion ash that was sprinkled on top of a filleted avocado. A side of caramelized, sticky plantains—somehow bright and acidic as they are sweet and salty—are smokey slices of wonder.
The rice and beans sit in front of caramelized plantains [upper left] and arepas with chicken [upper right]. Photo by Brian Addison.