An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Nov 1, 2013
07:45 AM
The Connecticut Table

Celebrate the Day of the Dead at Bodega Taco Bar in Fairfield, Darien

Celebrate the Day of the Dead at Bodega Taco Bar in Fairfield, Darien

Halloween? That’s yesterday’s news. Next up, Saturday, Nov. 2, is the Day of the Dead (Dia de Muertos) celebration at Bodega Taco Bar in Fairfield and Darien.

Day of the Dead, a distinctly Mexican holiday, is one of the biggest holidays of the year in Mexico and has spread to other countries around the world. The timing is similar to Halloween (it commences at midnight Oct. 31st), as is its abundant imagery of skulls and skeletons, but Day of the Dead is a time to honor and celebrate the departed, not to fear them.

Families set up elaborate altars in their homes, visit cemeteries to tidy up the graves of relatives, and gather to feast on traditional foods. Indeed, “Why should the dead be deprived of tacos and tamales?” asks Bodega owner Mario Fontana.

“Day of the Dead is a way to express the flavors of the season and have a little fun. It gives us a chance to celebrate a true Mexican holiday in an authentic way,” says Fontana. “Our makeshift altar will be festooned with photos of the recently deceased... James Gandolfini, Tom Clancy, Cory Monteith, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Annette Funicello, Margaret Thatcher, Hugo Chavez. . . .”

 "Ofrenda" (offerings) to the dearly departed—and the hungry living—will include "Bloody" Beet Salad with toasted goat cheese; Arroz con Pollo "Negro” (black rice, poblano, sesame, potato); Morcilla (Blood) Sausage Coca (flatbread) with roasted squash; Pumpkin Taquitos with Oaxaca cheese and pasilla glaze; and Mexican Chocolate Tres Leches Skull Cake.

Another emblem of the celebration seen on altars all over Mexico—the marigold—will be evoked with Marigold Ponche, made with Espolon Tequila, bitters, pomegranate and lime juice.

This will be a lot of fun,” says Fontana. “There will lunch-time face painting and tattoos for the kids, and we'll have sugar skulls made in-house for decorating. For grown-ups there'll be special cocktails and a great band in Darien, starting at 9, to wrap up the celebration.

“It’s a unique alternative to your traditional Halloween.”

Saturday, Nov. 2, Lunch/Dinner/Late Night.

Bodega Taco Bar, 1700 Post Rd., Fairfield, and 980 Post Rd., Darien, bodegatacobar.com

Celebrate the Day of the Dead at Bodega Taco Bar in Fairfield, Darien

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