Leyenda

Bars, Cocktail bars Carroll Gardens
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)
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 (Filip Wolak)
1/5
Filip Wolak

Tia Mia at Leyenda

 (Filip Wolak)
2/5
Filip Wolak

Hail Mary at Leyenda

 (Filip Wolak)
3/5
Filip Wolak

Goat tacos at Leyenda

 (Filip Wolak)
4/5
Filip Wolak

Leyenda

 (Filip Wolak)
5/5
Filip Wolak

Leyenda

True to her name, Ivy Mix stirs an incredible cocktail, especially in the company of Julie Reiner. The drink pros made quite the formidable pair at the Clover Club, Reiner’s Cobble Hill cocktail institution where Mix served as head bartender, but they’re testing if lightning strikes twice at this Pan-Latin follow-up. (Spoiler: It does.) In a mystic-cool space fitting for such bartender worship—rigged with Indio candles, cathedral-pew booths and a golden tin ceiling imprinted with crosses—Mix takes the reins on the cocktail menu and proves she’s worthy of the title leyenda (Spanish for legend).

ORDER THIS: South of the Border cocktails that go well beyond tequila. Pulling from her time spent living and working in Guatemala, Argentina and Peru, Mix pours the pisco-charged Hey Suze ($12), which soothes gin, absinthe and the biting Peruvian liquor with sweet, subtle sugar snap peas, and the Maiden Name ($12), which plays up sugary cachaça with a warming fusion of coconut, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Groups are well suited to pitchers like the pineapple-and-grapefruit ¡Oye Rubia! ($38), splashed with fino sherry, sauvignon blanc and blanco tequila.

GOOD FOR: An alfresco evening. Grab one of Mix’s more tropically minded numbers—like the Mia Tia ($13), a riff on a mai tai made with mescal, rum, lime, orgeat and curaçao—and head for the breezy, tree-filled, salsa-soundtracked patio out back. You’ll feel less like you’re in central Brooklyn and more like you’re in Central America.

THE CLINCHER: Rounding out the fierce female-driven team is former Sueños toque Sue Torres, who turns out characteristically fiery Latin eats to complement Mix’s cocktails. Of note are the goat-picadillo tacos ($16) with braised, gently gamy meat loaded into a corn tortilla with black currants, briny olives and a bright squeeze of lime juice, and a refreshing ceviche ($13) of ahi tuna and watermelon, fragrant with cucumber and citrus in a grapefruit-forward dressing. Larger appetites should opt for Grandma Torres’s pernil and mofongo ($15), starring a 48-hour braised pork shoulder that shreds with the single swipe of a fork and is served piping hot beside garlicky smashed green plantains. The only thing more scorching at Leyenda is the crew behind it.

By: Ariel Kanter

Posted:

Venue name: Leyenda
Contact:
Address: 221 Smith St
Brooklyn
11201
Cross street: between Baltic and Butler Sts
Opening hours: Mon–Thu 5pm–2am; Fri, Sat 5pm–3am; Sun 5pm–1am
Transport: Subway: A, C, G to Hoyt–Schermerhorn; F, G to Bergen St
Price: Average cocktail: $13. AmEx, MC, V
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Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

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LiveReviews|3
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Sadie
tastemaker

I am a HUGE fan of Leyenda given that it's almost impossible to find cocktail happy hours anywhere in Brooklyn. They have a great deal- craft cocktails under $10 for happy hour! But all of their cocktails are delicious. I am a fan of mezcal lately and they do not disappoint. I've had the food here as well and could not complain! Definitely a great spot to stop at if you're on Smith street and looking for a drink!

Carrollsfeet
tastemaker

In a Smith Street space that is plagued with turnover, Leyenda appears to be here to stay...and for good reason.


The atmosphere is charming with several different seating arrangements to satisfy whatever you're feeling.  A fireside bench, barstools by the window, a hightop table or the bar.  Candles occupy the walls which also have a few different textures, adding to the coziness of the space.


The menu is limited and is mostly small plates but they're satisfying enough.  What they lack in Comida, they make up for in Cocteles.  The Lil Smokey is delicious but a bit on the small side so if you want a Mezcal drink that is a little more spirit-forward, the Capataz is a better choice.  

Christa Sully
tastemaker

For whatever reason, Smith Street hasn't been too hot these days, especially with Char No. 4 closing (though some stalwarts--Clover Club, Cafe Luluc--stand by), so Leyenda is a very happy edition to the area.


Strong, well-made cocktails, fun vibe, good small bites and a killer bartender/owner (Ivy Mix) and you can't go wrong. Worth a trip if you're in the area or going to Brooklyn Bridge Park.