Time Out says
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It’s a surprising scene: a burlesque dancer—clad in sequins, tassels and not much else—lifts her leg until a stiletto heel grazes the top of her ear to the sounds of a live jazz trio. No more than a foot away, groups of men in Buddy Holly glasses and women in Stevie Nicks shawls feast on corn-masa tamales fitted with bone marrow ($11), and dark-plum mole studded with grilled octopus ($18).
Guadalupe Inn is not what you’d expect from the area—a stretch of Knickerbocker Avenue that’s littered with auto garages and minimarts—and it’s not what you’d typically expect from a New York Mexican restaurant. There’s, thankfully, no jalapeño-shaped string-light kitsch. Instead, glass chandeliers and a rotating disco ball provide a sultry amount of illumination. Curved banquettes the color of salsa verde are angled toward a velvet-curtained stage, where performances range from traditional mariachi bands to bawdy drag comics.
The swank supper-club feel is a decided distinction not only from the city’s fellow South of the Border ambassadors but also from the team’s own portfolio of cantinas: Mexico City natives Jorge Boetto, Gerardo Zabaleta and chef Ivan Garcia are also behind Williamsburg’s rustic Mesa Coyoacán and Zona Rosa, which doles dishes out of an Airstream-trailer kitchen.
If only Garcia’s modern Mexican plates matched the room’s flashy elegance. The earthy nuttiness of masa tostadas are overpowered by the fishy funk of tuna and an acrid nest of pickled cabbage ($12), and an aguachile of octopus and shrimp ($15), though lively in a jalapeño citrus, is rubbery by the time it hits the table. Of the mains, baby lamb chops are juicy, though scant on meat, and brightened by a mint–pine-nut salsa ($24), and a plantain-wrapped whole fish (branzino on a recent night) is flaky and tender, if less boldly seasoned than you’d expect from a garlic mojo marinade ($30).
The al pastor pork ($28), served as a mini trompo of guajillo-marinated meat with a board of grilled pineapple, cilantro and tortillas for making tableside tacos, is the head-turning star dish, but the pig is unforgivably dry; not even copious dips into a trio of salsas can rescue it. Guadalupe Inn has plenty of splash, sure, but it could use a little substance, too.
1 Knickerbocker Ave
|Cross street:||at Johnson Ave|
|Transport:||Subway- L train to Morgan; plenty of parking spaces;|
|Price:||Average main course: $20|
|Opening hours:||Mondays: Closed; Tue-Thurs: 5pm-1am; Fri: 5p-2a; Sat: noon–2am; Sun: noon-midnight; Kitchen closes at 11pm on weekdays & midnight on weekends|
|Do you own this business?|