New Details on The Painted Burro, Taking Over the Gargoyles Space Early Next Year


Painted Burro

A teaser of the decor at The Painted Burro. (Photo courtesy of The Painted Burro/Facebook)

While some may still be mourning the loss of Davis Square stalwart Gargoyles on the Square, we have to admit we are looking forward to its successor, The Painted Burro. We spoke earlier with Posto chef/owner Joe Cassinelli, who’s behind the new restaurant, to get the lowdown on the concept.

The cuisine will focus on the Oaxacan region of Mexico. “I like to tell people that I think about it as a smaller version of Italy,” Cassinelli says. “Things are great from all different regions—it has the mountains and livestock [as well as] fish and ceviches.” To that end, expect a selection of meat dishes, mole-based offerings, ceviches, and tacos with fillings like tongue and carnitas. Desserts will include avocado and corn ice creams and paletas, or Mexican popsicles, while on the beverage side expect the requisite stacked tequila list, and a selection of margaritas, micheladas and horchata.

Those familiar with Cassinelli’s thoughtful Italian fare will find similar touches at The Painted Burro—masa for tortillas will be made daily, while produce will be sourced locally. The vibe will be upscale yet casual—“It’s not going to be fine dining, but it’s not going to be a ‘joint,'” Cassinelli says. He’s hoping to collaborate with a Mexican street artist for the décor.

While Cassinelli’s plans sound great, we had to ask: why go the Mexican route, when so many have opened in town recently? “It’s a business plan I have had for many years, before Posto,” he says. “If you offer a quality product at a quality price, and you are consistent and people have a good time, it is what it is. And you know what? Mexican food is fun. It’s a fun environment, [with] great music, drinks and culture. In this economy, what’s wrong with that?” Point taken.

Cassinelli hopes that The Painted Burro will open in early 2012, and we will keep you posted as things progress.

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