The west bank of the Saugatuck River in downtown Westport will offer outdoor dining at various restaurants on the boardwalk when the weather warms up later this year.
Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick, who represents the owners of 20 Wilton Road, said at a Planning & Zoning meeting earlier this month that the application is “another part of the effort by this property owner to create a vibrant downtown presence along the west bank of the river."
Bartaco founder Sasa Mahr-Batuz told Patch that the idea for the eatery came to him while running on the beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Although the new eatery will have some influence from Brazilian culture, Bartaco, which will neighbor the newly opened Moja Café on the west bank of the Saugatuck River, will have "a soul of a Mexican eatery that has international ingredients," Mahr-Batuz told Patch. Mahr-Batuz, who is also the co-founder of Barcelona Restaurant & Wine Bar, described the menu as "foodie driven" and good for grazing.
The menu features a variety of tacos, salads, beef stew, ceviche (a Latin American seafood dish) rotisserie chicken and desserts. Tacos are made with different types of fish and meats from Baja fish, red snapper and Thai shrimp to pork, beef, veal and chicken. Vegetable tacos are also available. Tacos are made with fresh vegetables, house sauces and relishes.
Caipirinha, the drink Mahr-Batuz and his business partners shared over conversation in Mexico, will be on the cocktail menu. It is a Brazilian drink with lime, tequila, sugar and Brazilian rum – shaken and on the rocks. Mahr-Batuz emphasized that cocktails will be made with freshly squeezed juice. Margaritas, mojitos and 25 tequilas will also be on the cocktail menu.
Hand-pressed sodas, made with freshly squeezed juice and a splash of soda, will be available, as well as Mexican Coca -Cola, which differs from traditional Coca-Cola since the Mexican version is made with sugar cane instead of high fructose corn syrup.
The Latin American waterfront inspiration will also be experienced with one's senses through the Bartaco atmosphere. Mahr-Batuz said that the relaxing atmosphere should make patrons feel as if they have been temporarily transported to a vacation.
Those hoping to get a taste of the Mexican cuisine before the restaurant opens in Westport can head to their Stamford location, or south for the border — the New York border that is — to the Bartaco at 1 Willett Avenue in Port Chester.