December 4, 2018
Restaurant Row

Tequila tops menu at new eatery on Temple

Te Amo Tequila on Temple St.

When it came time to open a second restaurant in New Haven, Sonia Salazar had only to think of her favorite beverage to come up with a concept. "It's one of my favorite drinks," Salazar said — and Te Amo Tequila ("I Love Tequila") at 182 Temple St. was born. The new eatery opened in mid-November and hosted a grand opening the day after Thanksgiving.

"It's something I wanted for a long time," said Salazar, who opened the popular Barracuda Bistro & Bar at 1180 Chapel St. four years ago. When opening a second restaurant, she kept to her formula at Barracuda of a simple, small menu and accessible drinks.

"We want it to be simple, affordable and comfortable," Salazar said of Te Amo Tequila. In a storefront occupied by a series of restaurants over the years, the new eatery already draws a crowd for happy hour, 3 to 7 p.m. daily. Inside, the space is arranged for casual gatherings.

The menu focuses on tacos with fresh ingredients and unusual salsas using fresh mango, pineapple and jicama. Mango chutney and hollandaise sauce are the condiments of choice for more edgy tacos, centered around fillings like duck confit and lobster.

Other popular items include three kinds of nachos featuring house-made corn tortillas and an array of proteins. Vegan and vegetarian options are plentiful. Even the most basic menu items are enlivened by fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs. "We want people to know about fresh flavors," Salazar said.

As for its namesake beverage, Te Amo Tequila offers a range of tequilas, either straight or in cocktails like the spicy mango margarita and Te Amo sunrise. Mezcal and other spirits are also available, along with beer and wine.

For Salazar, operating two restaurants and employing nearly 40 people in New Haven has her running at high gear. "It's a lot of work but it's a dream come true," she said.

Contact Liese Klein at

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