In case you haven’t noticed, we’re experiencing a taco moment.
First, some credentials. The Franco-Camacho's are the folks behind one of the state’s first taco carts sixteen years ago, the chef behind the initial iteration of South Norwalk’s Habana, owner and chef of New Haven’s beloved Roomba and upscale Bespoke, and currently running Branford’s Suburban, and now Tacuba and an adjacent wine bar, Swill.
Overall, the space matches the menu's modern yet homespun Mexican feel. A row of old wooden theater chairs salvaged from a New Haven theater form a row of seating in the front of the restaurant and a hot pink wall riddled with relief crosses decorates a space at the rear in a space filled with a few high tops more suited to sipping tequila. Bold colors, green plants and touches of wood throughout keep it bright, and corrugated aluminum accents and small potted succulents and hints to the country of Franco-Camacho's youth (such as the small wall of Mexican stamps, a bowl of chiclets) bring it back to the arid south of the border inspiration.
Although there is clearly a ground swell of trendy taco joints, it is not just a trend at Tacuba, but more of a natural next step as Franco-Camacho returns to the food of his youth and his family deepends their roots in the Branford community. The food here is lighter and brighter (more bartaco than Bodega) and focused in the hands of Franco-Camacho than at many Mexican-inspired restaurants cropping up across the state and feels a bit more family friendly and cozy. Admittedly a trek for those of us in Fairfield County, I'm going to insist on stopping here when driving along the Connecticut shoreline (which is often in the summer).
Tacuba is located at 1205 Main Street, Brandford, CT, 203-208-0736.