Nestled in the heart of Summer Street, Stamford – next to big foodie hotspots like Barcelona, SBC and Tawa – Bartaco can certainly hold its own. Hip, energetic vibe greets you as soon as you enter through their doors. With the restaurant centered around a huge bar as its focal point, and a menu that serves casual Mexican fare in small portions – it is the most perfect bar setting for one to chillax after a long day’s work and with a somewhat rumbling tummy.
I love that tacos on this menu are more like mini tacos at about $2.50 each. While they can be found on some food truck menus, it is unheard of at any restaurant in Fairfield County, CT, right? The size allows me to not get overly full on unnecessary (Taco Bell-esque, of Chipotle-like) stuff like rice and beans stuffed inside – completely muddling the real flavor of the meat in the taco.
At Bartaco, I get to eat and taste exactly what I ordered. The Pork Belly Taco tasted like a juicy pork belly, the Spicy Chorizo Taco had a wonderfully spicy kick that is characteristic of this sausage, the Thai Shrimp Taco had delicate Thai seasoning to compliment the shrimp….I am sure, you get the idea. And if I wanted, I could always top off my taco with a selection of hot sauces at the table or choices of sides on the menu – all at very reasonable prices. Brilliant!
The guacamole was delicious. The tacos superb. The grilled corn with lime, cayenne and Cotija cheese was out of this world! You must give the corn a try.
BTW: I am starting to sense that Cotija is the new Romano. It has started to show up on a lot of menus lately. I love Momofuku’s use of this cheese on their Roasted Chipotle Brussel Sprouts and here on Bartaco’s corn it made me do a double take as it added a really unique flavor profile to something as basic as corn. Have you had Cotija cheese on some dish recently? Do you agree with my opinion?
Bartaco’s menu has some very interesting offerings at very reasonable prices. I am looking forward to exploring it further on my subsequent visits. I love that, while its designed to be more like bar menu, the food is actually more refined and elevated than that. No greasy fries on this menu!
Bartaco restaurants are conveniently located in Port Chester, Stamford and Hartford. Rumor has it that, a fourth location is soon to open in Westport. Yay!
Bartaco | www.bartaco.com