Cafecito Bogotá is a Colombian joint on Manhattan Ave between Huron and Greene that if you’ve ever passed you’ve probably admired how cute it looks. I checked it out a few months ago for brunch and I seriously have no idea why I haven’t been back. The food was great, the service was perfect and the decor was lively. All in all, a top notch experience. And recently they even added booze to the menu. It just seems to be the place I keep (regrettably) forgetting about.

But not anymore. Cafecito Bogotá is introducing a new wine and tapas bar to their setup and the owner sent me a press release with all the 411.

Are[Ta]PasTM: Andean Beauties Turned Brooklyn Revolutionaries

“No tiene sustancia” was what Cafecito Bogotá´s (C/Btá) owners Oscar and Hernando Varela sometimes heard from Mom when referring to bland-tasting food in their family’s kitchen back in Bogotá. So it came naturally that their first food enterprise was to embody the “must-have-substance” concept from their upbringing: Food and its surroundings must have “sustancia” evidenced by great flavors shared in a charming place full of meaningful character. Hailing from world-renowned, top caviar importing house, Petrossian where he worked as a 5-year Assistant Manager, Oscar has teamed-up with Hernando, a Chemical Engineer who has taken it upon himself to evolve and expand Colombian cuisine and New Yorkers’ palate through an additional café venture. C/Btá, established in 2006 in fabulous Greenpoint-Brooklyn, has now gone from a neighborhood coffee-house to NY´s first-and-only, 100% Colombian Salón de Are[Ta]pasTM y Vino and signature brunch café.

Arepas are sleek beauties native to the northern Andes of South America. These traditional food items are wheat-free, round flat breads made with the finest, ground white Hominy corn, and then, slowly-grilled and fashionably-dressed with captivating food creations that result in delectable, Brooklyn-hip meals. Are[Ta]pasTM are mini arepas —full of ¡sabor!— topped with sensational, gourmet choices that are reminiscent of exotic produce and flavors from Colombia’s main regions and beyond: Bogotá and Medellín represent the Andes, Cartagena embodies the Caribbean coast, Llanera stands for the oriental plains, Caleña plus Chocó evoke the Pacific coast and Caviar Millonaria personalizes New York. Vegetarian Boyacá and Puntaverde also nicely enhance the menu.

This fine variety of Colombian Are[ta]pasTM is paired by an eclectic, hand-picked selection of Ibero-american wines and beers imported from Latin America and the Iberian peninsula. Argentine Malbecs and Syrahs, Chilean Carmeneres and Sauvignons, Spanish Riojas and Verdejos, and Portuguese Red and White Ports compete for patrons’attention which, at times, get diverted by the menu´s exclusive beer choices that include Colombian Águila, Peruvian Cusqueña, Brazilian Brahma, Dominican Presidente among many others.

In line with Brooklyn’s character, C/Btá’s warm and elegant décor is an overt political statement of the Latin America reality portrayed through a Colombian lens. Antique posters of 1940’s Bogotá City and vintage photographs of the tumultuous and most significant political event in Colombia’s modern history, Jorge Eliécer Gaitán´s assasination and El Bogotazo decorate the ample space throughout. Additionally, a chic découpage crafted with Colombian-imported newspapers beautifully clothes a back anchoring service bar, and makes a bold testament of the owners’ independent ideals incorporated during childhood.

Through its innovative food and great ambiance, C/Btá’s Salón de Are[Ta]pasTM y Vino effortlessly achieves the owners’ cherished “must-have-substance” concept, and presents fine diners with glorified choices of one of Colombia’s preeminent food.
For more information, please contact Hernando Varela at CafecitoBogota@yahoo.com or 718.569.0077
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