Great Mexican joints

In anticipation of Cinco de Mayo, we check out five new places that are breathing life into New York’s South of the Border dining and drinking scene.

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  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Carne asada tortita at Salon Hecho

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Carnitas tortita at Salon Hecho

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Esmeralda (gin, mescal, lime, basil, cucumber) at Salon Hecho

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Salon Hecho

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Salon Hecho

Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Carne asada tortita at Salon Hecho

The regional mash-up | The Mexico City cantina | The subterranean pulque den
The anti-taqueria | The farm-to-table restaurante

The Mexico City cantina:
Salón Hecho

The backstory: The crew behind Hecho en Dumbo burst onto the scene in 2007 with a pop-up housed in the Dumbo General Store, repping the contemporary Mexico City dining scene with accomplished fare and a raucous vibe. When they transplanted the operation to their own space in Manhattan, they had to leave behind the live bands that accompanied dinner on the weekends. But the plan always was to add musical offerings back into the mix, and last October they opened this annex to do just that. Evoking the hip taverns of urban Mexico, Salón Hecho features indie Latin acts, street-food snacks, and tequila and mescal cocktails to complement the full-service mother ship next door. On Thursdays, live musicians, like bluesy norteño crooner Juan Cirerol, take the stage, while local DJs, such as Ursula 1000, spin upbeat Latin disco on the weekends. On other nights, you can find a quiet respite from East Village mayhem at the pretty 50-seat space, which is decked out with colorful work from Mexican graffiti artist Saner and vintage photos of early-20th-century revolutionaries.

What to order: Skip the expensive curados (two-to-four-ounce bottles of infused mescals), which clock in between $17 and $43, and opt for a refreshing michelada ($6) or cocktail. The Esmeralda ($14), a balanced gateway tipple for mescal novices, tempers the smoky, pungent spirit with herbaceous gin and zippy lime juice, plus fragrant basil and sweet cucumber. Chef Danny Mena’s six-item menu offers upmarket takes on Mexico City drunk food. For the Hot Dog Callejero ($4), Mena deep-fries a juicy bacon-wrapped Pat LaFrieda dog, slicks it with a chili aioli, and tops it with fresh chopped tomato and onion. Of the three tasty tortitas (two mini torta sliders for $8), we especially liked the carne asada: tender strips of grilled boneless short rib stuffed in a buttery, toasted brioche bun with creamy bits of avocado, pickled jalapeños and salty queso fresco.

356 Bowery between Great Jones and E 4th Sts (212-937-4245)

Users say

3 comments
jade
jade

Compadres resturants. Few in ashtubula ohio. One in grove city pa. Meadville pa and new castle pa few others

özden aloba
özden aloba

Hay?rl? olsun,bol ?ans dilerim,hepinize sevgiler..