New Bolero restaurant serves Latin flavors in Midtown

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

When restaurateur Vince Vazquez opened Vicente’s Cuban Cuisine downtown more than a decade ago, he brought something different — a taste of Havana — to diners in Detroit.

Now he’s doing it again with Bolero Latin Cuisine, a new tapas bar and restaurant in Midtown serving the flavors of Latin America, including Argentina, Peru and Brazil.

Bolero opened this week at 51 W. Forest in a space formerly occupied by casual coney restaurant Mid City Grill. It’s been renovated for more of an upscale dining experience.

Robert Caceres, general manager for both restaurants, says that while Vicente’s is like a party with music and dancing, Bolero is “the complete opposite.”

“(Bolero) is more dining — not really fine dining — but we want to give an ambiance that’s different than over there,” he said. “We’re going to offer (food) that you can’t even find at Vicente’s.”

Caceres, who had been with Vicente’s since it opened in 2005, found this location while attending Wayne State University last year. He talked to the owner of Mid City, who was looking to sell, and presented the idea of a second restaurant to Vazquez and executive chef Roberto Caceres, Robert’s father.

“It’s a great spot, there’s parking, it’s right on Woodward,” said Cacerers, who said they could have opened a month earlier, but wanted to make some finishing touches.

At Bolero, chef Caceres — who has studied cooking in Spain and has worked in kitchens in Miami, as well as in Metro Detroit — will offer paella and tapas as they do at Vicente’s, but with many differences. The empanadas at Bolero, for instance, are made with duck meat instead of beef or chicken. Some of the other tapas offerings include deep-fried green plantains, wine-steamed mussels, corn tamales and tequeños, which are Venezuelan dough-wrapped cheese sticks that are fried.

The new spot serves three styles of Peruvian ceviche, which Caceres says varies from the ceviche Metro Detroiters may be used to eating because of ingredients like Peruvian peppers and ginger.

Bolero has a full bar with beer, wine and cocktails, including regional favorites like Cuban mojitos, Peruvian pisco sour and Brazilian caipirinhas.

Call Bolero at (313) 800-5059. Reservations are accepted, and the restaurant also offers valet on busy nights.

Twitter: @melodybaetens