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Bartaco brings top-shelf tequila bar, tacos, even a master sommelier to Preston Center in Dallas

Five minutes after you meet Sabato Sagaria, you’ll be wondering if Bartaco has legs. Once you try his margaritas and tacos, you’ll be convinced it does.

Sagaria is president of Bartaco, a growing collection of casual tequila-bar-and-taco restaurants that recently opened in Dallas’ Preston Center development.

Sagaria definitely has a vision for the growing restaurant concept, and he’s dead-set on achieving it.

“The food here is made to be light and fresh,” says Sagaria of a menu that leads with empanadas, guacamole and tacos. “It’s food you want to eat on the beach, inspired by Latin American coastal cuisine.”

And all of it is made with quality ingredients and cooked with care, at least on my early visit. Soft, chewy corn tortilla tacos plumped up with grilled shrimp, slow-roasted pork belly crisped in the oven, even spicy cauliflower tacos. The margaritas are equally well-made, constructed from fresh squeezed limes and good tequila, but none of that will surprise you once you know Sagaria.

He’s also a master sommelier, and prior to joining Bartaco and its parent company, Irving-based Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, Sagaria oversaw operations for the restaurants in Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group in NYC.

“I want Bartaco to feel like being at your friends beach house,” says Sagaria, who took over Bartaco two years ago just as the growing division was entering the Dallas market.

Make an effort to check out Bartaco and meet Sagaria. If he has a beach house, you’ll want to be friends.

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