Appetizing Places: BedStuy’s Latin American Beso

Chef Richard McDuffie, Jr.

Brooklyn’s BedStuy neighborhood has quite a few new restaurants opening or in development. Recently opened Beso, meaning “Kiss” in Spanish, is a pan-Latin American restaurant featuring dishes from Central and South America, Cuba and Mexico. It opened late last year, and it’s positioning itself to be a festive Summer hot spot offering live salsa music and dancing, comedy nights, a garden opening in late Spring or early Summer, and a brunch menu starting April 1st. Personally, I’m looking forward to their Tasty Tuesdays with seven dollar appetizers & cocktails. From their list of coctails, I ordered a Caiprinha de Tangerina, a drink made with muddled tangerines and brown sugar along with the Brazilian rum, cachaça. Bartender Roberto explains unlike other rums distilled from molasses, cachaça is distilled from sugarcane.

Beso's Dishes and Drinks

Images Above: 1. Bartender Roberto making Caipirinha Tangerina drink. | 2. Caipirinha Tangerina | 3. Plantain Relleno | 4. Homemade Tortilla Chips | 5. Tostadas served with refried black beans, queso freso and crema, topped with a choice of beef, chicken or bacalao | 6. Arepas with Chicken | 7. Mojito Dominicano

My favorite appetizer is Beso’s Crunchy Fish Tacos. This time, I ordered Plantain Relleno. It’s a sweet plantain stuffed with bacalao. Bacalao is salted and dried cod, a common ingredient found in Carribbean cuisines. For the main course, we ordered Beso Shrimp. A dish of guava-glazed shrimp served with coconut rice and sweet plantains. Towards the end of the meal, we ordered an additional appetizer, arepas, a South American corn cake with chicken. Guests have the option of having it with beef, chicken or bacalao. Donna Drakes, co-owner of Beso, highly recommends the escovitch whole fish of the day stuffed with crab meat and rice.

Edwin and Donna Drakes are first time restaurateurs and the owners of Beso. They saw a need for a Latin American restaurant in Bed-Stuy. Following their heart to make their dream come true has been an exciting experience. The result? They delivered an exciting new neighborhood restaurant and sealed it with a beso.

Beso is located on 370 Lewis Avenue (between Halsey St & Macon St), Brooklyn, NY 11233. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

One of the beautiful paintings in Beso

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