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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – With some 5500 square feet of dining and party space, Bar Rita is a mix of creative design and fabulous food.

The new and funky Mexican eatery can clearly be seen off Andrews Avenue in Fort Lauderdale.

Boasting two floors, Bar Rita is a dream realized for Executive Chef and partner Andrew Balick, whose also head chef of Tap 42 restaurants.

His dream…to open a modern Mexican eatery with a vibe all its own.

“We wanted to do something a little different. We wanted a fun place where anyone could come, whether its brunch, dinner or happy hour, and have some great food. You’re certainly going to find some traditional stuff and non-traditional stuff. Our approach is fun, great food and great drinks,” said Balick.

Guests will have an eyeful of the creative and artsy touches at this high energy restaurant that’s fast becoming a hotspot for foodies and partiers alike.

“At every turn there’s something to see, something to look at, and I think it rivals the food and beverage scene. It’s a bar scene as well at night. There are two bars and we have handcrafted cocktails by our in-house mixologist. She does a great job with those. You can traditional Margarita’s or a funky Old Fashioned, like you have,” said Balick, pointing to CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo’s drink.

Back in the kitchen, Chef Andrew prepares what has already become a fan favorite, the truffle street corn guacamole.

It’s handmade guacamole combined with charred corn, truffle crema, cotija cheese and Chile-lime.

“It’s the perfect texture and perfect bite. It’s a fancy guacamole,” said Petrillo.

“Yes, it has truffle!” laughed Balick.

Next the crispy Baja fish tacos.

It’s Mahi Mahi, chipotle sauce and Pico de Gallo served with rice and black beans.

“Fish tacos are usually flimsy. This is hearty with tons of flavor and heat too. These are amazing!” said Petrillo.

“Yeah the chipotle gives it heat but that’s what your Margaritas are for,” said Chef.

And finally, Rita’s Fajitas! This is a steak, shrimp and chicken combo. It’s seasoned and flame grilled, and the steak is filet mignon.

“What happens with fajitas, they get dry. This is super moist. I love this shrimp, steak, chicken combo,” Petrillo said.

Bar Rita, where food and atmosphere come together for quite the foodie fiesta in Fort Lauderdale!

Bar Rita is open 7 days a week for dinner. Lunch is on Fridays and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.

For more info visit http://www.barritaftl.com.

Lisa Petrillo

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