METROWEST — A new business in MetroWest allows customers to explore traditional flavors from across the globe, whether they dine at the restaurant or take ingredients home to create in their own kitchens.
Itar Bistro and Market, which opened last week in Veranda Park, is a blend of fine dining, cafe and marketplace. Its menu can accommodate breakfast, lunch, dinner or a coffee break, and its shelves are stocked with imported specialty items, such as pastas and sauces.
Mariana Moya and her brother, Juan Carlos Salvisberg, came up with the concept for Itar Bistro together. Salvisberg wanted to open a market; Moya was thinking more along the lines of a restaurant. So they fused their ideas.
“I think it’s a great location, because nothing is like this in this area,” Moya said. “We want to be a destination. We want the people to come here and just connect.”
What makes Itar Bistro unique is its two cultural influences: The cuisines of Italy and Argentina. The siblings are from Venezuela, but their father’s side of the family is Argentinian. Their mother was a chef and often prepared Italian dishes.
“We had a restaurant business in Venezuela,” Moya said. “We grew up with that food.”
Moya graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Orlando, and she has experience as a chef and caterer. She was previously the bakery manager at The Fresh Market for nine years.
“After that, I said, ‘You know what? I’m ready to open my restaurant. Why should I have to continue to wait?’” Moya said.
Moya said it is clear Itar Bistro is not a steakhouse, but meats are its speciality. Customers can select items to go from the deli case or sit down for a high-quality steak dinner. All of the Argentina-cut steaks are prepared with a homemade chimichurri, a green sauce made with parsley, garlic, olive oil, oregano and white vinegar.
In addition to ribeye, New York strip, tenderloin and other steaks, Itar Bistro offers lamb, veal and homemade sausage.
For customers who wish to enjoy their meal in-house, the menu includes sandwiches, salads, pastas, appetizers and sides, grilled items such as fish and pork chops, and Moya’s recommendation: The Argentine mixed grill.
“It’s a small grill that we put on the table, and you can have different kinds of meat,” Moya said.
Moya also recommends the empanadas, which are filled with beef or spinach and ricotta. She makes them with puff pastry instead of a typical, heavier dough, and they are baked instead of fried.
Itar Bistro has a selection of 32 wines from Italy and another 32 wines from Argentina, as well as 27 different beers. Customers also can order coffee or espresso, accompanied by one of Moya’s homemade pastries, if they wish.
Moya hopes customers will go to Itar Bistro to enjoy the concept and one another’s company. From the decor to the background music, she has created an atmosphere that is intended to foster connection.
“We do tradition here,” Moya said. “I do what I’ve grown up with, and I want to share that with people. It’s simple, I have a lot of flavors, and it’s good.”
Contact Catherine Sinclair at [email protected].
IF YOU GO
ADDRESS: 7065 Westpoint Blvd., Orlando
PHONE: (407) 757-0553
HOURS: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays