Baro New World Cantina: Latin American Tapas in Fairfield

Sarah Green

[UPDATE: This restaurant in closed] Craving some Latin American delicacies? Head over to 1229 Post Road in Fairfield and check out the

brand-spankin'-new BARO' New WORLD CANTINA

, the latest labor of love brought to you by the Reyes family (also owners of

MEZON

and 2 other restaurants in Danbury.) The wine list is mostly Spanish but the

food selection - served mostly "tapas" style - comes from Brazil, Uraguay, Argentina, Mexico and the Dominican Republic

where Juan and Richard Reyes and family were born. The decor is welcoming and stylish, complete with a glass-faced ceviche bar which looks onto the bustling and aroma filled kitchen. Dark wood tables and benches, some high tops and a large bar as well as birch branch wall decorations are inviting. But the food's the thing. We'll be back for a more intensive review but

here are our first impressions:

Warm, Latin American popovers are on the table, flaky with just the right amount of puffed cheese inside to whet your whistle. The

PESCADO ceviche

, with fresh, tender halibut is mango-heavy and  quite sweet but the lime and habanera drizzled throughout adds the perfect amount of opposition.

The

BERRO salad

is a definite winner with plenty of peppery watercress, almonds, quinoa and luscious, young coconut slices. The

POLLO

(on the "anticuchos" or "skewers" list) is outstanding with jerk chicken and a pineapple salsa, accompanied by a scotch bonnet ketchup. Here, the chicken is utterly tender, succulent and very tandori-like, with the fruity chutney to keep it moist.

The

CHICHARONNES

, Domincan style pork cracklings, are hot and crispy, served with an excellent home made hot sauce. These cracklings have plenty of pork belly meat inside, adding to the richness of the dish. Not my "thang" but quite "excellent" according to my co-diners. Also spectacular are the TACOS, all wrapped in house-made corn tortillas. We sampled the

DUCK CONFIT TACO

with chacha de yuca and caramelized onions, topped with saffron aioli. 

BARO' is a very promising newcomer to the Fairfield scene. There are some tiny kinks to iron out and we are sure that they will be with a little more time. The GUACAMOLE VERANO with mango, peach, habanera and pomegranite is surprisingly bland (though the home-made yucca chips were superb!) The LECHON -spiced pork tenderloin with charred corn and hominy puree also lacks pizazz but the pork is cooked to pink perfection. The desserts are also a tad disappointing - the CHOCOLATE FLAN is too dense and the CHURROS seem to have a "whole-wheat" type of consistency and flavor.

But in general, BARO is a winner. The wait-staff is knowledgable and very attentive. The food is authentic and, for the most part, very tasty. Produce and meat are sourced, as much as possible, from many local growers and artisans including the Westport Farmers Market, Halbrook Farm in Bethel and Arethusa Farm in Litchfield, to name a few. There is a very interesting cocktail menu to sample as well as plenty of Spanish and Chilean wine and interesting choice of beers.

BARO' is a play on the word Barro which is Spanish for an earthenware vessel. Not too fancy but warm, cozy and relaxed, BARO' - like a "barro" - invites you in. Outside, on the restaurant's sign, it says "BARO' - SPIRITED. LATIN. FLAVOR." Indeed. We'll be back.

Baro New World Cantina

1229 Post Road, Fairfield

203-292-9560 

[Photography Courtesy of Elizabeth Dorney:

www.elizabethdorney.com/blog

]

Baro New World Cantina on Urbanspoon


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