When asked about the name, Sonia Salazar, owner and chef of Barracuda, explained that she wanted a name that was bold and aggressive enough to stand out in New Haven’s bustling restaurant scene. “There are a lot of sharks in the area,” she joked, “So we are the barracuda.”
Barracuda brunch. First, there are the Bloody Mary’s. A perfect hangover cure made from a 100 year old family recipe, Barracuda’s Bloody Mary’s are refreshingly spicy. If you’re feeling rowdy, Barracuda offers bottomless Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas with brunch. But be warned: these drinks are very yummy and very strong. If you don’t think you’re up for a drunk brunch, you can also purchase them individually. Second, the live music. Ranging from flamenco to jazz guitar, Barracuda brings in local artists to spice up the restaurant’s already great ambiance. We learned that jazz guitar is another great hangover cure. Third, the charming owner and friendly wait-staff. Sonia is a charming hostess with a huge smile, vivid stories and inspiring words of wisdom.
Finally, the food. From the guava crêpes to the lobster benedict to the yucca fries, Barracuda does brunch food flawlessly with its own special flair. Barracuda’s menu features a blend between classic American cuisine, sprinkled with Colombian flavors. Like Colombian cuisine, the brunch menu relies heavily on seafood — one of their specialities is lobster benedict. The spicy aromas and sauces of Colombian cuisine lend some powerful and unique flavors to otherwise traditional American brunch dishes. Crepes become guava crepes, with a kick of bourbon. Scrambled eggs with toast are transformed into the Colombian breakfast — perfectly crispy arepas replacing buttered toast, chorizo instead of sausage links, yucca fries instead of french fries, and a bonus of fresh avocado. Everything is perfectly cooked, and remarkably for brunch food, not too greasy. There are also plenty of gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options. Brunch at Barracuda is a unique and vibrant adventure.
Barracuda opened in New Haven just over a year ago, but already has a loyal following of New Haven locals and travelers from all around Connecticut. Salazar is one of few female restaurant owners in New Haven, and is an inspiration to every young female restaurateur. The fun, confident energy behind Barracuda, as well as the fantastically executed food is exactly what the New Haven brunch scene was missing. In addition to brunch, Barracuda serves dinner and two happy hours: a regular early evening happy hour as well as a reverse happy hour late on weekday evenings (with $5 mojitos!). The establishment is small and always bustling. Salazar hoped that Barracuda could compete with the other “sharks” of the New Haven food scene, and she has more than succeeded.