Bartaco logo

There’s a new taco bar in town. It’s called bartaco.

It’s one of the brands of a restaurant group called Barteca, which also has Barcelona Wine Bar and Restaurant and specializes in the flavors of Spain, Uruguay, Brazil and Southern California. So of course it is based in South Norwalk, Conn.

Bartaco interior

Located in the Marketplace at Dr. Phillips, bartaco, which insists on being lowercased, offers light bites and “upscale street food” in what it calls a beachy atmosphere, if photo collages of Arnold Palmer and other golfers make you think of catching some waves.

Here’s how it works. The menu is a tiny little pamphlet with minimal descriptions. You don’t simply tell a waiter your selection. Instead, you use a small pencil — just like the golfers use! — to mark a little card with your choices and the number of each item. Sort of like at a sushi bar. Then when you’ve made your choices, you place the order card in a tabletop card holder to signal to a server that you are ready to order. Because God forbid the servers should have to pay enough attention to their tables to know that.

New CladdaghGoogle Maps

It looks as though Claddagh Cottage Irish Pub has found a new home, and loyal fans will be happy to know it isn’t too far from its current location.

That spot, as we reported in August, is due to be demolished to make way for a Walgreens store. At the time of that report, owner Scott Vocca said that things were still up in the air regarding the date they would have to vacate the premises. It was stipulated by the developer, Vocca said, that they would get a 60-day notice.

That notice was served on Nov. 2, so the current Claddagh Cottage will close after a final New Year’s blowout.

Then, later in the new year, if all things come together, a new Claddagh Cottage Irish Pub will move 1.1 mile west to 2421 Curry Ford Road.

Lazy Moon tables

I don’t know, I sorta miss the grunge of the original Lazy Moon.

I don’t mean the one at 11551 University Blvd., which would qualify as the first Lazy Moon when considering the second one opened recently on Colonial Drive in the Mills 50 district.

I’m referring to the one that preceded it. The original Moon was in the more than slightly rundown strip center on the corner of University Boulevard and Alafaya Trail, just across the street from the UCF campus. It had a real College Town pizza joint feel to it, a lived-in look with decals that had been slapped on the hoods over the stoves and an ordering system that involved sliding tickets to the cooks on a wire strung the length of the place.

Guy Savoy finished

Our next Supper Club is December 16 at the fabulous Oceanaire Seafood Room, and I’m giving away two tickets to the event.

The pair of tickets, valued at $196.74, will go to a person selected by random drawing from among the recipients of my weekly e-letter. If you’re already on the list, you’re already entered in this and other drawings. The winner will be announced in the December 8 edition of the e-letter.

If you’re not already on my list, just click here to sign up.

“Hey, wait a minute; you’re just trying to build up your e-letter list.”

Why, yes. Yes I am.

Bulla sign

I must say I like the look and feel of Bulla Gastrobar very much. The restaurant, in the newly opened but curiously named Lakeside Crossing development, can be at once bustlingly busy and intimately comfortable.

Sitting across Orlando Avenue from Hillstone and Trader Joe’s, Bulla’s central bar sits inside the front door and next to doors open to an outdoor patio. It also serves as a buffer from the streetscape for the dining room, which is decorated in rough wood tones, wrought iron grill work, slate blackboards, vintage black and white photos and an open kitchen. (If you can finagle one, get a padded booth or banquette— they’re luxuriously comfy.) There is an essential feel of a Madrid tapas bar, though on a decidedly larger scale than you’d find in Spain.

Bulla bar

I wish I could also say that the kitchen was turning out food to match the decor. Unfortunately it’s not, at least not with the consistency that should be in place after nearly two months open, and not for what is the third location for an established South Florida restaurant company.