Restaurant moguls Heather and Christopher Tierney have dappled a quiet Chinatown corner with a pair of elegant venues inspired by radically disparate influences—Apothéke's low-lit cocktail den transports guests to a Parisian apothecary with artful, almost remedial libations, and Pulqueria's brass-topped tables, wood and stone bar, and intricate tiling cocoon diners in an Aztecan aesthetic. Today's Reserve selection invites you and a guest to journey from 19th-century Europe to an ancient Mexican marketplace in a single evening. The dining experience includes:
- Two pre- or post-dinner cocktails at Apothéke
- Four-course tasting menu for two at Pulqueria:
- Two orders of guacamole classico or sikil pak
- Two orders of esquites or sopa Azteca
- Two orders of pollo mole tostada or mushroom quesadillas
- Four tacos with choice of verduras, pescado zarandeado, tinga, or carnitas
No elaborate sign invites guests into the opium-den-turned-cocktail-bar, yet behind Apothéke's 200-year-old doors lies a stunning absinthe-parlor atmosphere, where master mixologists pour jewel-colored liquids into ornate crystal glasses. Duos sit on sofas lining the weathered brick and Venetian plaster walls while sipping farm-to-bar aperitifs, such as the Bees Knees—a blend of vodka, bee pollen, and agave nectar with pink guava and a goji-berry reduction—or the aphrodisiac-infused Deal Closer. Beneath the building's original tin ceiling, a glowing marble bar plays the stage for Apothéke's bar chefs as they muddle premium spirits with organic produce plucked from local greenmarkets or the bar's rooftop herb garden.
Exiting onto Doyers Street, pairs duck into an unmarked entrance and downstairs to take a seat between the woven-reed ceiling and ceramic-tile floor of Pulqueria. Named after Mexican purveyors of pulque—a pre-Columbian beverage made from fermented agave—Pulqueria presents a menu inspired by the marketplace and street food of chef Nacxitl Gaxiola's native Mexico City. Around brass-topped tables, diners dip house-made tortilla chips into a choice of guacamole classico or sikil pak, a Mayan pumpkin-seed dip that a New York Times dining brief dubbed "rugged and unabashedly umami." A snack or soup course follows, and then guests select either a tostada with shredded chicken simmered in a poblano mole sauce or mushroom quesadillas with queso oaxaca. To bring the feast to a close, chefs prepare the diners' choice of four types of tacos, including options prepared with tilapia and fire-roasted pico de gallo, grilled cactus and poblano peppers, shredded chicken, and pork confit. After pushing away plates, visitors can while away the twilight hours listening to tunes spun by a DJ on turntables salvaged from an ancient Aztec discotheque.