New kid in Northport, ArToro Restaurant & Tequila Bar is creating a stir for its superb Caribbean cuisine. Since opening in January, the Latin-themed spot has been treating customers with a blend of Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican and a little bit of Mexican fare. To help guests figure out what to order, I caught up with chef Chris Macartney to learn about some of the recent crowd-favorites.
It’s traditionally made in a large vat, but chef Macartney likes to prepare this dish individually to keep it “nice and fresh.” It’s comprised of shrimp, scallops, mussels, clams, calamari and pieces of chorizo that bring “a little bit of meaty spiciness to it and balance well with the arborio rice and seafood.”
Surf and Turf Mofongo
Mofongo is a Caribbean dish made out of mashed plantains with garlic, fried ham pieces and assorted spices. It normally has the consistency of chunky mashed potatoes, but chef Macartney makes it a little smoother to “cater to the American palate.” It’s served with sauteed shrimp and grilled steak in a tequila lime garlic beurre blanc sauce. “The tequila sauce definitely complements everything, especially the butteriness of the shrimp and the heartiness of the steak. It all blends together with the mofongo.”
Mojo Roast Pork
Roasted for six hours, the pork “melts in your mouth” and is marinated in a sauce of orange, lime and pineapple juice for a “nice acidic kick.” The sauce also contains garlic, oregano, salt, pepper and proprietary spices. The meat is accompanied by Cuban rice, black beans and sauteed mixed vegetables.
Grilled Mojo Steak
One of the most popular dishes, this grilled flank steak is marinated in chimichurri—a medley of cilantro, parsley, fresh red pepper, garlic, salt, red wine vinegar and oil. It comes with white rice and black beans. Steamed yucca was recently switched with a mashed style side with “a nutty flavor and manchego cheese to make it creamy.”
A Puerto Rican layered dish similar to lasagna, chef Macartney describes it as both “sweet and hot.” It’s made with fried sweet plantains, picadillo (a combination of ground beef and pork with sofrito sauce), onions, pepper and queso blanco. “You get a little spice from the picadillo, but then the fried sweet plantains balance that out. It’s crunchy too!”