Tres Toros opens its doors in the city center
‘Tulum meets Sayulita meets Big Sky’ at a new Mexican restaurant
By Bella Butler EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
BIG SKY — Days before the opening of his new Mexican joint, Tres Toros, local restaurateur Twist Thompson sits on the restaurant’s terrace on the ground floor of the Wilson Hotel surrounded by building materials. He talks about Copal, a fragrant tree resin used as incense by the indigenous peoples of present-day Mexico.
“You light a piece of charcoal and put this Crystallized Copal on it and it just smokes and just gives off a nice, wonderful smell of pine. So we’ll probably try to burn some of it here,” he said, scanning the vacant patio. “It’s just another level of immersion.”
For Thompson, who owns four restaurants in Page, Arizona, as well as the vibrant Blue Buddha Sushi Lounge in Big Sky just steps from Tres Toros, restaurants are details, details that inform the culture.
Thompson and his two business partners, Brandon Blanchard and Josh Sauers, will open the doors to Tres Toros on September 7 at 5 p.m. an experience Thompson’s other local business is known for: a chemistry of cultural theater and eclectic pieces from the owner himself.
Thompson’s Big Sky restaurants are local capsules for the cultures he loves. It typifies the “looseness” of Mexican culture with descriptions of overloaded tacos and the “structured” nature of Japanese culture with the precise cuts of sashimi and tightly-knit sushi rolls.
Thompson said that with Tres Toros, he and his partners – the three for whom the restaurant was named – were shooting for a “Tulum meets Sayulita meets Big Sky vibe”, or in other words, according to Thompson: “Kind of ‘ultra loungy, kind of beachy, kinda laid back and laid back, but still a bit hip and upbeat and forward looking.
The menu, curated by Executive Chef Mark Christian Mcmann, is loaded with a fusion of authenticity and contemporary chic. Take, for example, the stuffed pickled jalapenos or the jackfruit taco pibil. Similar to the sushi roll list at Blue Buddha, Thompson said, the menu features a flashy range of $6-9 tacos that can be ordered in any quantity. Rounding out the offerings are a slew of entrees, quesadillas, burritos and nachos priced between $12 and $16.
As for drinks, guests can pair dinner with a range of craft cocktails featuring liquors with local labels like 406 Agave and Willie’s Distillery, or for those more subscribing to the Sayulita vibe, perhaps a Modelo or Pacifico.
Having harbored dreams of opening a Mexican restaurant since Buddha opened three years ago, Toros partners enjoyed an open space at The Wilson when the former Relic gift shop merged with Montana Supply. .
Thompson said it’s proven difficult to convert a retail store into a restaurant — colorful murals and eclectic decor will spare customers the space’s recent history of adding grease traps, water pipes and floor drainage – but the outpouring of support it has received from the community makes the labor worth it.
“[These restaurants] are not even just a desire, it is almost a need in this flowery city to give it a few brighter petals,” he said.