New York City has seen a very much welcome overhaul of its Mexican offerings over the past few months. Leading the revolution is: Tijuana Picnic.
This retro-kitted Lower East Side eatery is made up of the same crew behind Acme, Jon Neidich and Jean-Marc Houmard together with Indochine’s Huy Chi Le.
Chef Alex Lopez joins the stellar line up in the kitchen and shows off his high-quality and non-traditional flavors of Mexican cuisine with a playful Asian approach. On the menu, find Grilled Corn with cricket aioli and coffee-chipotle powder alongside Red Snapper Ceviche with citrus, avocado and red Thai chilli; Mezcal-marinated Shrimp Tacos with red cabbage & purple potatoes, Pickled pigs feet with jalapenos and fermented black beans sauce or Duck and foie gras empanadas.
And with a cocktail list to boot headed by Jim Kearns (New York bartending hero of The Happiest Hour and formerly of the NoMad Hotel) the tequila and mezcal focused drinks are a fun and unconventional twist and are not to be missed: the Mi Casa Margarita (mezcal, blanco tequila, lime, agave and smoked salt rim) or the Smokin’ Maid (mezcal, cucumber, mint, lime, agave), best sipped in the disco-esque downstairs bar, Tico’s.
The fun and casual fair is paired with the Mexico City in the 70’s inspired laid-back interiors. Mexican-style handmade tiles in yellow and green line the walls, tequila bottles repurposed as table lamps and picnic tables lining in the center making for a homely but chic bodega feel.
And Tico’s, the Tulum dance party-like bar is a go to spot for after. The downstairs bar features a late night menu and an impressively extensive selection of 70 tequilas and 30 mezcals, Retro tunes played by DJs. So much tequila, so little time.
Written by Tal Dekel-Daks