Barcocina will open Friday in an impressively renovated space in the Brown's Wharf complex.
The team behind Barcocina, who also operate the neighboring Bond Street Social, have focused their top-to-bottom renovation efforts on reorienting the interior toward the harbor, something that the space's former tenants -- most recently Shuckers, which closed last summer -- did not do.
The most notable improvement is the installation of garage-style doors on the wall leading from the main dining and bar area to the 92-seat outdoor patio. And the patio itself has been raised to sit level with the dining area.
The cuisine at Barcocina is Mexican-inspired, but it's not calling itself a Mexican restaurant.
The menu from executive chef Marc Dixon, formerly of Bistro Blanc, starts with a selection of salsas, dips and variations on guacamole -- the house guacamole is flavored with fresh basil and roasted garlic.
Appetizers are things like a chipotle-spiced crab cake and a duck confit empanada. Tacos are filled with chef-driven combinations like braised pork shoulder with charred apple salsa and seared tuna with pickled green papaya, yuzu crema, onion sprouts and salsa verde. Entrees include a seared striped bass with roasted corn, grilled cactus and jicama "succotash" and citrus-grilled lamb loin chops with tomato-cumin braised green lentils.
The restaurant has seating for 135 in the main dining room, which forms a wedge around the central 45-seat bar.
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Barcocina, which will be open for dinner daily and for brunch on weekends, is at 1629 Thames St. For information call 410-563-1500 or go to barcocina.com.