FRIDAY, APR. 27: The Cantina is no longer. Say hello to the new Rosa’s.
Bermuda’s only Mexican restaurant received a complete makeover this month with a soft re-opening last Friday.
The name has been shortened to Rosa’s by dropping the Cantina from the title to signify the restaurant is moving upscale.
Gone is the iconic Bruce Stuart dog howling and turning into a cacti art work, the kitschy plastic ornaments and the old menu.
The décor has gone upscale while the menu has been worked over by new head Mexican chef Jaime Cota Sandez.
After working at a hotel in Cabo for 12 years, Mr Cota Sandez is putting a Mexican fusion taste to the food.
And to make sure the food stays authentic when he’s not in the kitchen, new assistant chefs Alain Salas Meza and Guillermo Lopez Gutierrez are also from Mexico.
Mr Cota Sandez said: My dishes are not completely Mexican. I would say its more fusion from my experience of working in a fancy hotel in Cabo. I like to mix the Mexican ingredients with another part of the world like the Mediterranean.”
The head chef says his specialties involve fish.
“I also like the Chile Relleno and the mole. The mole is very traditional from Mexico. This week we have the posole, which is a very traditional soup made with pork.”
Mr Cota Sandez added: “I saw all the people who came to eat here and thought this is a very good opportunity for me to make something new. I didn’t want to use the old recipes from another chef. I wanted to create something different from myself.”
Restaurant manager Jillian Summers said some of those include smoked tuna rscabeche and the ceviche de pescado.
Ms Summers said her favourites on the new menu include the carne asada tacos, the new fajitas with Monterey jack cheese, and the beef tenderloin.
She said: “It’s exciting it’s a new menu — it’s fresh and the items are fresh. It’s real food; it’s not stuff just thrown on the plate. It’s not heavily Tex-Mex any more so it’s full of flavour and has fresh sauces made from scratch. This is exciting for us.”
Ms Summers said the staff love the new changes to the décor.
“We wanted it to be clean and fresh and a little bit classier. This is Rosa’s. We’re not a Cantina any more — we’re Rosa’s and we offer authentic, traditional, fresh food.”
They hired a designer to give the restaurant a look as fresh as the new menu.
“I wanted to get rid of the tacky Tijuana look. We’re still waiting for some art to come in so there is still some work to be done.”