Hecho en DUMBO (Lower East Side)

So Fashionista emails me at 3 about doing dinner.  Twist my arm. Please.  She wanted to try Danny Mena’s new contemporary take on traditional Mexican dishes in LES and she knew I was a sucker for tequila.  As I was waiting for her, I started off with a regular margarita per the uber-cute bartender’s suggestion.  Dimples + my best libation interests in mind = happy drinker.  He said the original is probably one of the best on the menu because it’s made with all fresh juices so you can know what a margarita should REALLY taste like.  It was refreshing, light, not overly sweet and exactly what I was in the mood for.  Thanks Dimples.

So Fashionista gets there and we decide on sitting all the way in the back at the kitchen counter.  It’s always a great experience watching your food being prepped and plated.  So while I was working on my margarita, she decided on trying the Margarita de Jamaica.  It was made with agua de jamaica which is a hibiscus infused juice.  I tried it and thought it was well made for sure, but I actually liked my margarita better.  I felt the Jamaica margarita was missing something…I little zing.  When you drank it, it fell flat on your palate.  In the meantime, I finished my first drink and had been eyeballing the Tequila con Sangrita at the bar so I had to have it.  Let me just say this is the one item from the entire evening that’s going to bring me back over and over.  Hell, while I’m sitting here and writing this I want one.  Right now.  This can’t-get-any-better drink is served in two snifters.  One is chilled Cazadores Resposado tequila and in the other is a eyeball-tingling traditional spicy tomato chaser.  It’s the perfect sipper for your dinner because of the latter complimenting really well the flavors typically found in Mexican cuisine.

Onto the meal.  We decided on the jicama salad, sopes de pollo, crepas de langosta and the burritas de res.  The jicama salad was exactly what it was supposed to be:  light, flavorful, pretty and prep your palate for the rest of your meal.  It was comprised of shredded jicama, pineapple pieces and avocado in a watercress dressing with a dusting of chili flakes.  Fantastic flavor.  Not one component overwhelmed the other…perfect teamwork!  Then we moved on the the chicken sopes.  These are a mini version of the a very traditional dish.  Thank goodness for my snifters because this one was bland.  There are little tortilla medallions served with chicken, black bean puree, crema fresca, shredded lettuce and cotija cheese.  Despite sounding out of this world, they were not impressive.  You bite into it and are sorely disappointed by the lack of kick.  Next was the miscroscopic crepas de langosta.  It’s fresh Maine lobster stuffed into an herb crepe and topped with a creamy chile pasilla sauce.  It was very good.  The flavors that needed to be there to carry the dish were there…namely the pasilla sauce.  The only problem was that for $20 it should have been more than three-bites big–mind you, I’m a petite gal with small bites!  Last up is the burritos de res made with shredded steak which has been braised in lime juice with caramelized onions.  Folks, that’s where the seasoning begins…and ends.  If it weren’t for our trusty house salsas they gave us with the sopes, we would have had one disappointing meal.  The burritos were dry (how the heck does that happen when something is braised?!) and flavorless.  Steer clear of that one.  Despite our 2 for 4 record with the dishes, we decided on having desert–if for nothing else but us still being hungry.  We opted for the trusty tres leches cake.  How can we go wrong with that one?  It was unconventional tres leches, but it was good: light, not overly sweet and a decent portion for two small appetites to share.

Would I come back here?  Sure.  The kitchen has promise, but if for nothing else, this place is a sure win with the drinks (dimples not taken into account I swear!).



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