Though the culinary focus at Olé Olé Restaurant is largely Mexican, the restaurant's chefs also draw inspiration from cuisines across North America, Europe, and Asia. North America, Europe, and Asia. Mexican favorites such as tacos, enchiladas, and fajitas rest side-by-side with creative dishes like Adobe Pork and creamy Italian pastas.
To complement these diverse offerings, the eatery's bartenders dole out frosty Mexican beers, international wines, and specialty drinks including fruity sangria and tart pomegranate margaritas. Tabletops as colorful as these cocktails decorate the festive space, which also features artwork from local artists and festive music creating an ideal backdrop.
Guests at Bhojan⎯Hindi for "homestyle meal"⎯share platters of Gujarati and Punjabi cuisine, famed for its emphasis on vegan and vegetarian dishes. Stuffed with lentil dals and chickpea fritters, the menu has been praised by the Village Voice for its authenticity: "There are several Gujarati snacks here that can be found only at a handful of other New York restaurants," the reviewer noted. Patrons can dip puffy fresh breads into paneer- and eggplant-based entrees, or snack on small plates and chaat—traditional street-cart fare. And besides catering to vegetarian and health-conscious diets, the menu is also completely kosher, bringing together more culinary traditions than a U.N. potluck dinner.
The cuisine may be homestyle, but the decor is anything but. Spherical pendant lamps dangle from a ceiling lined with shiny copper woks, giving the dining room a modern vibe. In keeping with its upscale appearance, Bhojan's 2010 opening was high-profile enough to be noted by the New York Times and Grub Street.
"Near-perfect" are the words that one Metromix writer used to describe the chicken enchiladas at Hacienda Azteca, a Mexican eatery with white tablecloths and wood floors. Enchiladas aren't the only specialty, though; cooks also marinate red snapper for ceviche, flavor grilled steak with brandy sauce, and stuff vegetarian quesadillas with zucchini, cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli. After dinner, they step out of the kitchen to prepare desserts at diners' tables: ice cream with Kahlua-sauteed bananas is just one option.
The chefs at Tequila Sunrise assemble a prix fixe dinner menu that whisks taste buds away on a Mexican holiday. From the comfort of the spacious 200-seat dining room or an underwater castle, tablemates sample appetizers such as cheese-covered nachos or chicken and black bean empanadas. Baja fish tacos regale orders of classic ground beef or chicken tacos with tales of the high seas, while melted queso blanco hibernates beneath chiles rellenos. The sweet flavors of flan or fried ice cream seal the meal, as strolling mariachis accompany the sounds of clinking cutlery on Friday and Saturday nights.
When naming their restaurant, the Iglesias family wanted find a moniker that reflected their bold take on traditional Mexican cuisine. What they found was “adelitas,” a historical term used to describe females who served as soldiers, cooks, and nurses during the Mexican Revolution.
Though their menu brims with innovative dishes such as fried pork chops marinated in tamarind sauce, they also serve traditional plates such as carnitas Don Julio. The roasted pork dish is served with tortillas and a secret sauce whose recipe is protected by a force field surrounding the kitchen.
Press the menu against your forehead to summon a yet-to-be unearthed layer of deliciousness beneath the dull, boring surface of any day. Try the queso fundido (melted jack cheese blended with spicy Mexican sausage, $8) to fire up the stomach furnace, and then keep it fueled with the fajitas de camarón, made from eight marinated jumbo shrimp willingly grilled in a bed of onions and mixed peppers ($18). Other plates of mouth magic include the specialty langosta al ajillo (lobster tails in a garlic, wine, and butter sauce, $22) and the more traditional enchiladas del norte (three corn tortillas filled with chicken and topped with mole sauce and melted cheese, $14).