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Jan 13, 2014 02:39 PM

Fogo - tapas in Montclair

Anyone know anything about who is behind this new place? The sign (which says Portuguese and Spanish Tapas Bar) has been up for a couple of months. It's on Park Street, next to Fricassee, in what once was Mexicali Rose (?).

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  1. Once Mexicali Rose and most recently Muscle Maker Grill. Haven't seen any action. I was wondering if it was the Samba crew from across the street, but haven't been in Samba in some time to ask.

    1. The person behind Fogo, the new Spanish/Portuguese Tapas restaurant is Pat Turano, chef/owner of Trattoria Rustica. Rustica is an Italian Restaurant on Bloomfield Ave. There's a soft opening now. A grand opening is yet to be announced. In a day or two there will be an article about Fogo with pix of the food that looks great. Check it out.

      1. Thanks--I figured someone on here would know something! I haven't been to Trattoria Rustica but I've heard good things. It'll be interesting to see what they know about tapas...

        1. I'm not sure who the proprietor is but I had the pleasure of dining there earlier this week. I’ve been upset over Montclair’s lack of a good Tapas place since the closing of my beloved Tapastry on Church Street. With the opening of Fogo on Park Street (in the spot once occupied by Louis Harris Soup Emporium, Mexicali Rose and most recently, the Musclemaker Grill) we are once again graced by the presence of an absolutely top-notch Tapas place.

          I had been walking to my office and was looking over the menu in the window when Chef Carlos came out to chat and introduce himself and kindly gave me a copy of the menu. It looked promising. The following night, my friend Jason and I gave it a try-out and we were more than delighted.

          We ordered the mixed olive platter, Chorizo de Fogo (a grilled chorizo served flambé in grappa), Nuestras Bravas(crispy potatoes in a spicy tomato aioli), Setas Asadas (roasted marinated mushroom with roasted cubes of white cheese – queso blanco), Coles de Bruselas (shredded Brussels sprouts with olive oil and sea salt) and Croquettas de Bacalao (salt cod fritters in a lemon aioli).

          Everything was perfect. Not good or very good, mind you, but perfect. I personally am not fan at all of codfish, but the croquettas were “to die for.” It was a symphony of tastes and flavors from start to finish, topped off with some spectacular desserts (chocolate layer cake and tiramisu).

          The service was very friendly and attentive, without being overly present or cloying. At meal’s end Chef Carlos came out and asked how everything was and we were pleased to relate our happiness with the food, its service and the ambience. I plan on spending a lot of time at Fogo!

          1. As the headline reads...Fogo is a NO go! From Rosie Saferstein on NJ Monthly:

            Astonishingly, just a few weeks after he opened Fogo, and after I wrote glowingly about it yesterday in this space, chef/owner Pat Turano, who also owns Trattoria Rustica in Montclair, has abruptly closed Fogo, which means fire in Portuguese.
            He tells me he sold the lease to someone else, who will open some other kind of restaurant in the space formerly occupied by Musclemaker Grill, sandwiched between Fricassee and Plum on Park.