Stephen Starr to debut NYC sibling to Philly’s El Vez
Flashy cantina El Vez will serve Mexican plates and agave cocktails in the Financial District
Mon Apr 21 2014
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
EL VEZ interior
Stephen Starr knows a thing or two about importing a successful Philadelphia restaurant to New York City—he's done it twice before, first with Morimoto and then again with Buddakan. Now the industry titan adds a splashy Mexican crowd-pleaser to his list of transplants, expected to open April 30. Inspired by roadside cantinas, the 160-seat dining room is kitted out with circular banquettes, a photo booth and a grab-and-go burrito stand.
Carrying over Philly's El Vez chef David LaForce to the FiDi kitchen, the menu includes South of the Border specialties like shrimp-and-passion-fruit ceviche, chile en nogada (beef-and-almond-stuffed poblano peppers with walnut sauce) and mole three ways: negro with lamb, poblano with chicken and pipian-rojo with pork. Drinks spotlight agave spirits that range from the familiar (mescal, tequila) to the more exotic (moonshine-like raicilla).
The restaurant is just one of the projects Starr plans to add to his growing New York portfolio this year: The native Philadelphian is in talks for a carne-centric spot on the Bowery with Joe Carroll (St. Anselm), who Starr previously collaborated with on a City of Brotherly Love outpost of Brooklyn 'cue joint Fette Sau.
259 Vesey St at North End Ave (212-233-2500)
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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)