Gaucho Boteco rides into downtown Stamford dining scene
STAMFORD — Eduardo Campos has finally wrangled the downtown dining hotspot he wanted for a cowboy-themed restaurant.
Campos opened Gaucho Boteco last week at 78 West Park Place. The restaurant pays homage to the Gaucho horsemen who roamed the plains of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay in the 18th and 19th centuries. The restaurant succeeds Mason/Dixon Smokehouse, which operated for a few months before Campos bought the business.
“Me and my wife started thinking about where would be a good place here in Stamford,” Campos said in an interview Thursday at the restaurant. “We loved this spot because it’s very centrally located. … I was after this space for about a year.”
Gaucho Boteco’s menu features wood-fired grill offerings, including mixes of steaks, ribs and sausages that are sourced within the U.S., but cooked in Argentine and Brazilian styles. Other dishes feature pasta and seafood such as ceviche.
Boteco refers to establishments of the same name that pervade in Brazil where patrons drink and socialize. The drinks list includes wines such as Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet and several flavors of Caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail.
Campos’ restaurant covers about 3,000 square feet. Its interior features flourishes such as a portrait of an Argentine Gaucho and cowhide murals. It seats about 100 inside, supplemented by patio dining on West Park Place.
Gaucho Boteco’s arrival comes in time to serve the masses of concertgoers who will descend upon neighboring Columbus Park for the Alive@Five concert series starting July 6. The dining establishment plans to stage its own live shows, including flamenco performances on Saturday nights.
Campos, 42, owned and operated a Gaucho restaurant in Port Chester, N.Y., from 1999 to 2014. He sees the new Gaucho as a more upscale successor.
Hailing from Rye, N.Y., and now living in Greenwich with his wife, Natalia, Campos found inspiration for his Gaucho eateries while living in Montevideo, Uruguay, in the late 1990s.
“I fell in love with that whole Gaucho theme and concept,” he said.
Gaucho employs an international cast of about 15, including chef Cedric Juguet, of France, and Uruguay native Roberto Garcia as the grill man. Evoking the Gaucho wardrobe, the waiters wear red neckerchiefs.
The restaurant is open 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday; 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday; and noon to 11 p.m. Sunday. It is closed Tuesday.
Mason/Dixon Smokehouse lasted only three months after its November opening, following the closing of the former Gastro Bar in the same space. The turnover does not concern Campos, who said he sees Gaucho thriving alongside the other establishments in the restaurant row surrounding Columbus Park.
Other recent arrivals around the park include Peruvian restaurant Fiesta on Main, at 249 Main St., and Chutni Biryani & Noodle Bar at 211 Main St.
“The restaurants draw more people and bring more people here,” Campos said. “We were always positive that when we opened this business, with hard work and dedication, everything turns out for the best.”
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