By Cassidy Kotyla
[Editor’s Note: Reviews represent the opinion of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinion of the We-Ha.com team as a whole.]
Besito Mexican Restaurant, West Hartford
Food – 4.7/5
Ambiance – 4.6/5
Wait Time – 5/5
Overall – 4.77/5
Stepping through the doors of Besito Mexican Restaurant, I knew I was to be transported into a world of luxury. From the outside, the welcoming dog bowl and treats plus the happy hour sign invites you in, drawing you away from the hustle and bustle of West Hartford center and inside a spacious restaurant known for its Mexican cuisine and drinks.
Having only been here once before (back when the restaurant first opened, I might add), I decided to bring my trusty sidekick – the one and only, ever-so-famous Chantal Kotyla. For clarification, I brought this wonderful woman (aka my mom) along as my date, first and foremost because she is of age to try alcoholic beverages. She’s also known as the “savior” of St. Thomas The Apostle Church on Farmington Ave. Yes, ladies and gentleman, she’s the reason for your amazing decorations every Christmas and Easter.
Sitting down at a table covered by a crisp white cloth, the waitress greeted us and started us off with drinks, a basket of tortilla chips and their signature salsa, medium-spice table side guacamole ($11.95) fit for at least two people, a Besito Patron Margarita ($11) and a “Jarritto” Mandarin Mexican Soda ($3.25). Needless to say, we were almost full by the time entrees arrived.
The margarita, as Chantal says, was something to write home about. Though she wondered why they don’t rim with sugar or salt like other establishments, the “house” margarita left her smiling from ear to ear. The Patron Margarita is served on the rocks and paired with pomegranate and tangerine juices, and a twist of lime.
The best entree tried by far was the “Arranchera” ($29.95), which was described as “grilled skirt steak ancho adobo marinated with arugula, roasted corn, queso fresco, and a pomegranate vinaigrette.” Not only would I have this again, but if I could I would consider purchasing the recipe for future use.
Another dish that I found delicious was the “Camarones Street Taco,” found on Besito’s lunch menu. As a crispy shrimp taco, I was brought back to the days in which I visited Bushnell Park’s food trucks. The smell of fried food matched with salsa chipotle cream and queso fresco added a gourmet touch to your traditional tacos. The dish is on the smaller side with three small tacos in total, but it’s a must when visiting the restaurant.
One aspect of the restaurant that stood out to me the most was the atmosphere. Coming for lunch, the establishment is open wide, therefore letting you marvel at the beauty that the establishment offers. With a large painting of a horse hanging above the majority of the tables, you can instantly feel the Spanish vibe running within. The decor and accent colors of the furniture echo that of Northern Spain. The elegance of Besito makes you feel like a queen, even though you’re only there for a short period of time.
One thing is for sure when you choose to visit Besito – you’ll leave with a full stomach. With the drinks, table side guacamole, and an entree, there’s no way you’ll have room for dessert. However, if you do, they have a plethora of options to choose from. My personal favorite would have been the Mexican Chocolate Pudding, in which the secret ingredient, which is cinnamon, is added to perfect the great taste of chocolate pudding.
I would most definitely recommend Besito to anybody, regardless of age or background. Though the restaurant has some pricey menu options, it’s at a normal rate in comparison to other restaurants nearby and it offers many choices. With an extremely attentive staff and management, there’s nothing bad I could say. You must try it out!
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Cassidy Kotyla is a college senior studying journalism, communication and film studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. As a West Hartford native of nearly 20 years, she enjoys learning about the happenings and new businesses emerging in the area. She has been a film and food critic for The Massachusetts Daily Collegian in the past. To contact her, please email [email protected].