By Connor Beach
Opening a new restaurant can be a daunting task. Any successful restaurant needs a experienced leader who can create and implement an exciting concept.
ArToro Restaurant and Tequila Bar in Northport Village has just that in owner Artie Burke, of Northport, who has been successfully operating Nina’s Pizza in Northport since 2002.
ArToro has been open for just two weeks, and Burke said the food has already been a hit with Northport locals and visitors alike.
The 44 seat restaurant features Latin Caribbean tapas on the food menu, and a cocktail menu that showcases the bar’s 40 different types of tequila.
“We are trying to give customers that Miami Beach feel,” Burke said.
Burke said he got turned on to tequila drinking at Gunther’s, the iconic Northport watering hole that was destroyed by fire last May, and decided that there were endless ways to pair the liquor with Caribbean flavors.
The idea behind the food comes directly from Burke’s own heritage.
“I was born on the Air Force base in Puerto Rico where my father met my mother,” Burke said. “My mother passed away in August, and that gave me the inspiration to open the restaurant to pay homage to her.”
ArToro wholeheartedly embraces the pairing of Latin flavors and tequila-based cocktails, and the friendly, knowledgeable bartenders are sure to make a tequila lover out of anyone who steps into the new restaurant.
From the bar, The Nutty Joy ($8) is ArToro’s most popular drink so far featuring 1800 coconut tequila chilled with crème de cacao and Frangelico, while the El Triunfo ($9) is a delicious and refreshing blend of a mojito and a margarita.
Don’t forget to eat.
To start, the Mofongo Trio ($10) features twice fried plantain cups with Cuban pulled pork, flank steak or garlic shrimp in classic Latin sauces. The crunchy and flavorful plantain cups provide a great base for the trio of proteins that each have their own unique flavor profile.
Another new addition to the appetizer menu is the Chicharron de Cerdes, a traditional Dominican fried pork belly served with avocado and Cuban mustard and chipotle lime dipping sauces. The crispy skin gives a crunch to the tender pork belly, but the dipping sauces are the highlight of this dish. The mustard has great bold flavors, while the chipotle lime sauce incorporates classic citrus notes.
Under entrees, diners will find ArToro’s take on the traditional Seafood Paella ($18) with Arborio rice, chorizo, shrimp, mussels, clams and calamari. The rice is perfectly cooked, and the dish bursts with Latin seasonings. The combination of the fresh seafood and chorizo gives it a mix of texture and color that invoke visions of the Caribbean.
ArToro’s Grilled Mojo Steak ($20) features citrus marinated steak served with a classic side of black beans and rice and mixed vegetables. The deep, lasting flavor of the mojo sauce creates a sense of cohesion on the plate, and, like everything on the menu, the vegetables are seasoned with a peppery bite that adds a kick to the dish.
For dessert, the Tres Leche Cake ($8) is a light airy sponge cake soaked in a mixture of three milks and served with strawberries. The cake is the perfect delicate finish to a meal full of bold Latin flavors.
Customers who walk into ArToro’s warm atmosphere and try the bold Latin flavors are transported out of the cold and into the tropic heat of the Caribbean, at least for the night.