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Tag Archives: Bartaco
COVID, colder weather, the holidays, heated tents — when considering outdoor dining, Westporters have lots to think about.
The other day Rowena Weems asked Bartaco about their tent. News reports said that outdoor tents with no open panels are no different than being indoors.
Chris Messina — Bartaco’s regional director — replied:
“We purchased a heated tent with 3 motors. This circulates air more than 3 times the amount of inside. These motors pump heated fresh air at all times.
“In addition, the tent is not perfectly sealed, so ventilation is actually even better than the already great specifications we have.
“The small tents in New York City with no heated units or ventilation are worse than indoors. That’s not what we and most restaurants are investing in.
“We’ve spent a large amount of money to ensure our guests are safe and we can all get through this together.”
“Here are Bartaco’s specs:
- Total tent area: 33,972 cubic feet.
- Heating system CFH (cubic feet per hour of fresh, hot air): 288,000 cfh
- Air changes per hour: 8.5
“In a normal insulated building with HVAC, there might be 3-6 changes per hour (on the high side).”
Sure, Thanksgiving is around the corner. We’ve already had our first frost.
But the recent weather revived thoughts of summer. Well, at least for this one guy at Compo Beach on Friday.
Thanksgiving is Thursday. Which means it’s time for … Christmas lights!
Andrew Colabella spotted these — the first of the season? — on Edgewater Hillside.
The hell with the turkey. Get out there and decorate!
And finally … on this day in 1963, President John F. Kennedy was murdered in Dallas. There have been a number of turning points in American history. This was one of the most crucial.
Back in the day, restaurants handed out matches like, well, candy mints.
Back in the day too — when alert “06880” reader/beloved sailing instructor John Kantor was smoking — he collected them.
The other day — in the back of a closet — he found his collection.
They range from old favorites (Arrow, Allen’s Clam House, Manero’s) to barely remembered spots (Beansprout, Panda Pavilion, Boss Tweed’s).
Turns out, restaurants still give away matches. John’s collection includes Dunville’s, Sakura’s, even Bartaco — places still very much alive and well.
Although, if you need all those matches to light cigarettes, you may not be for long.
(NOTE: As a special “06880” gift, John Kantor will send a high-res digital copy of this poster to anyone who wants it. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org. What a great way to “light up” your holiday!)
The 3 restaurants — one Japanese-inspired, another featuring tacos, the third specializing in meatballs — could not be more different.
But OKO, Bartaco and The Meatball Shop have already joined forces with valet parking. This Sunday (October 6), they’re collaborating on a family afternoon — for a great cause.
National Hall is the site of the 1st-ever Push Against Cancer Block Party. From 2 to 5 p.m. there’ s appetizers from all 3 spots, drinks courtesy of TUCK Gin, and fun activities like Cornhole and an obstacle course for kids and adults, thanks to Upper Deck Fitness.
It all benefits the Hole in the Wall Gang Camps — the wonderful site in Ashford, Connecticut for children with life-threatening illnesses founded by Westport’s own Paul Newman.
OKO chef/owner Brian Lewis participated in this spring’s Push Against Cancer push-up contest at Staples High School — also a Hole in the Wall Gang fundraiser. He was so moved by what he learned that he offered OKO — or his other restaurant, The Cottage — for a future event.
PAC organizers Andy Berman and Sherry Jonas were happy to oblige.
Bartaco, The Meatball Shop, Upper Deck Fitness and National Hall’s landlord were equally eager to join in.
There’s a lot going on in Westport this weekend. But if you can, block out time for this great block party.
And yes, there’s plenty of parking.
(Tickets will he sold at the “door.” The cost is $40 per adult, $10 per child under age 12.)
But they share 2 things: popularity and parking.
The Mexican, Japanese and Italian-American spots are packed, for lunch and dinner. The National Hall and nearby parking lots are often full — especially during the day, when spots are reserved for employees of nearby offices.
There’s a parking deck across the street. But for various reasons — some people don’t like driving up the narrow ramp; crossing Wilton Road can be dicey; others may not even know it’s there — that option is underutilized.
The other day, representatives of the 3 restaurants sat together. Instantly, they agreed on a solution: valet parking.
Working together — and with the blessing of the new owner of the entire complex — they hired We Park, a Wilton-based firm.
Just as quickly, the service began. Valet parking is available 7 days a week, for lunch and dinner.
You don’t have to tell the valet what restaurant you’re going to. In fact, you don’t have to eat at all. The service is there if you just want to stroll along the boardwalk, admiring the river and lights.
“We’re all in this together,” says Brian Lewis, owner of OKO. “We want everyone who comes here to feel our hospitality. We all have the same goals: to take care of our guests. Whatever brings people here is good for all of us.”
He says that — like the other owners — he appreciates (and dines at) the nearby restaurants.
The owners appreciate too the receptiveness of the new National Hall owners. They’ve already repainted the lines in the parking lot, and added directional signs.
Coming soon: More signs for the valet service.
Though probably not in Spanish, Japanese or Italian.
The other day, “06880” introduced a new feature. Registered dietician Heather Bauer will offer tips on the best, healthiest dishes to order at local restaurants.
Her first trip is to Bartaco. Yes, Heather says, it’s quite possible to join friends at the very popular Mexican place on the river, and eat quite well. Here’s how:
Small guac, and either salsa roja or salsa verde. Skip the chips; order a few sides of raw veggies (no charge for extra veggies). Save your carbs for your cocktail or entree.
Entrees for fish lovers (choose one)
● Chopped salad. Hold the tortilla chips; add grilled swordfish (you can use shrimp as alternative to swordfish — but note: It is soaked in buttermilk).
● 2 tuna tatako tacos wrapped in Bibb lettuce.
● 1 tuna tatako taco wrapped in Bibb lettuce, and 1 baja taco wrapped in lettuce. (Note: The fish is fried, but the portion is small — only 150 calories — so it is fine paired with tuna tatako).
● Tuna poke (optional change: order without fried ginger).
Entrees for Meat Lovers (choose one)
● 2 carne asada tacos wrapped in Bibb lettuce.
● 1 carne asada taco wrapped in Bibb lettuce, and 2 chicken chorizo tacos wrapped in Bibb lettuce.
● Roasted chicken.
● Chopped salad; hold the chips, and add roasted chicken. Ask for double chicken, if hungry.
Entrees for Vegetarians (choose one)
● Greens and grains (a new addition to the menu). The quinoa is the protein, so no substitutions are needed.
● Chopped salad; hold the tortilla chips. Vegans: skip the queso, and ask for extra avocado.
● Cauliflower taco wrapped in Bibb lettuce, and portobello taco wrapped in Bibb lettuce (vegans: skip the queso).
● Spicy cucumber salad (only 70 calories!)
● Asian slaw (50 cals!)
● Kids’ side of avocado
● Bartaco skinny margarita. They use their house tequila (Libelula) without the agave, to save you on the sugar.
● Nojito: non-alcoholic, only 60 calories
Bonus dining tip from Heather
● Women: Wear tighter-fitting clothes to dinner. Men: Tighten your belt buckle. Both serve as a gentle reminder not to overeat.
There’s a big parking deck directly opposite the Bartaco parking lot on Wilton Road.
You can see it right there, in the background of this photo.
You can also see that there is plenty of room. There is one car on the upper level.
But that did not stop this Range Rover driver. Or rather, he did stop in the parking lot — not the deck.
There he is, right next to the “Reserved Parking” sign.
And yes, that’s a parking job. He is not driving. He did not just drop off a passenger. He has not pulled over to text.
He stopped. He parked. He got out.
And it isn’t even a decent parking job in the middle of the entrance! Look how far the driver is from the curb!
I need a margarita.
First there were dos.
Soon there will be cero.
Chipotle — the design-your-own burritos, tacos and bowls place in Compo Acres Shopping Center — will close next week.
An employee confirmed the news. The manager was not available for comment.
Chipotle follows Qdoba out of town. The similar fast-casual Mexican spot at the entrance to Playhouse Square closed in June.
Don’t worry. There are still over 2,400 Chipotles around the globe. And nearly 800 Qdobas.
Don’t want to travel far for Mexican fare?
Right here in Westport you’ve got your choice of Bartaco, Rio Bravo, Señor Salsa, Border Grille and Cuatro Hermanos.
And — of course — the granddaddy of them all: Viva Zapata.
It’s been around, I think, since Emiliano Zapata himself led the Mexican Revolution.