Rosie’s

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So, one of the cuisines I could eat just about everyday, is Mexican food. I love the flavors, the dishes, the drinks, all of it. Now, it’s appropriate to post this on Cinco de Mayo, but newly opened, Rosie’s in the East Village, is definitely a restaurant worth visiting on any day. 

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I actually remember this space when it was occupied by another restaurant, but everything from menu to aesthetic is different. Set in a dimly lit, casual, yet classy, setting, tables surround an island, rimmed by bar seats to watch cooking and tortilla making happen in front of your eyes. It’s like dinner and show all in one. 

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To drink, I ordered El Diablo (serrano-infused Galle 23 tequila, creme de cassis, housemade ginger soda, fresh lime). I really enjoyed this drink. You get hit with a really nice heat right off the start, with almost a bit of a smokiness that a Mezcal has. It’s slightly bitter, but has a little sweetness at the tail end, and definitely refreshing. 

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Then to start, of course, had to order Guacamole and Chips (onion, cilantro, radishes). I’m pretty much a chips and guac connoisseur (you can come over and check out my certificates and awards), and I have to say that I really loved theirs. The chips are perfectly crisp, with the right balance of salt, and the guac is fresh, flavorful, great consistency and texture, and I really enjoyed the julienne radishes on the top for a crispness and crunch.  

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There are entree portions, but many of the items are more small plates, or dishes to be shared, so I ordered a couple things to get a tasting. I ordered one of my most favorite dishes, octopus, and had their Ensalada De Pulpo (Veracruz-style octopus salad, avocado, olives, capers, mayonesa). Ok, so, I usually really don’t like mayo, but I was surprised at how much I loved it in this dish. You get that this is a Mexican restaurant, but you definitely see the Mediterranean influence here with the olives and capers, which is always a really nice contrast and balance for octopus, I think. The octopus itself was perfection, tender, a little char, and flavorful. If this came in a double portion (or, if I just ordered two of these), I would have been completely happy with this as a meal. But, I saved room to try more, which, you should probably do on your first visit anyway.

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Next, I had their Pescado Tacos (beer-battered merluza, chipotle-lime mayonesa). Loved these small but mighty tacos. The only thing I’ll say, is that they’re packed so fully, but only have one tortilla holding it all together, which, after much experience with soft shell tacos, know that they’re not always able to keep it all together. I did a pretty decent job, and I wouldn’t want them to not be piled so generously, but, perhaps a second tortilla on there would make it more secure. But, back to the flavor. The fish is light, and coated in a rich, crunchy batter, counteracted by a little pile of fresh slaw topped with a creamy, and slightly spicy, mayo.

The Shorts:
Name: Rosie’s
Location: 29 East 2nd Street, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? For sure, I loved the food and still thinking about that octopus salad.
Would I recommend it? Definitely. The drinks are great, the food is delicious and the staff and service was amazing. 

Agave

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Well, Cinco De Mayo might be over, but there will always be a time and place for Mexican/Southwestern food. It’s called all the time, and almost anywhere. And one of those places is at Agave in the West Village. 

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I was actually there for Cinco De Drinko Mayo, which sounds like an anxiety attack. But, surprisingly, once you get past the bar (which on any other day I’m sure is much more tame and civilized), and toward the back dining areas, you’ll step into dimly lit, cavernous rooms. I was really pleased that with all the craziness around us, the room was relaxed and the service was attentive. To start, I ordered the Acapulco Spice (house made jalapeño infused tequila, cointreau, fresh lime juice, jalapeños). I’m a spicy margarita enthusiast, and I really enjoyed this one. Great kick and not too sweet, which, I find, is the perfect combination if you’re trying to avoid a hangover. 

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Then, I ordered their Pescado Tacos (market fish special with charred pineapple pico, smoked paprika). I also happen to be a fish taco enthusiast (what can I say, I’m an enthusiastic person), and I enjoyed their version. What I did like here was the pineapple pico, it added a touch of sweetness that was really nice. Also, it was refreshing to have the fish as-is and not deep fried in a heavy batter, allowing the tacos to really exude more of a freshness. The one thing I would say, is they might want to double up on the tortillas. The ingredients are generously put onto each tortilla, which is great, but it weighs it down and about half way through they pretty much give out and break. 

The Shorts:
Name: Agave
Location: 140 Seventh Avenue South, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Yes, the drinks are great and the back dining rooms have a great atmosphere. 
Would I recommend it? Yes. When a Mexican restaurant can hold it together well and not lose their $#!& on the busiest Mexican drinking/dining day of the year, I’m a happy camper.