By Florence Fabricant – February 13, 2012, 11:49 am
Roberto Santibañez is replicating Fonda, his three-year old Mexican restaurant in Park Slope, Brooklyn, in an East Village space that is about 50 percent larger, with 60 seats and a menu of well-crafted, richly flavored regional dishes, including Yucatean shrimp, a Guajillo-style burger and chicken from the north with Chihuahua cheese. Crowd-pleasers like taquitos, flautas, braised pork in adobo sauce, and enchiladas suizas are also featured.
Mr. Santibañez said that the Manhattan restaurant, which is to open Feb. 21, will have more bar food and brunch dishes. “In Brooklyn, this is a neighborhood place, a hangout, and I hope it will be the same in Manhattan,” he said. His commute, on the F train, will be an easy one, too, but he is also depending on cooks who have been with him for years.
“For Mexican food, your prep cooks are the most important,” he said. “They’re the ones who mix the moles and pipians and those are not last-minute sauces. They take time.” He also plans to feature more mezcals at the bar. He serves only two in Brooklyn, but he thinks that his Manhattan clientele might be more interested in trying them
Fonda, 40 Avenue B (Third Street), (212) 677-4069.
Urban Daddy – February 17, 2012
Happy early birthday, George Washington. Now there was a guy who loved spicy guacamole and hibiscus-infused margaritas. Wait. It may have been wooden teeth and chopping down cherry trees. Regardless, we’re sure if he were alive today, he’d want you to have these enchiladas.
Meet Fonda, a Mexican restaurant on Avenue B that has everything you’d want out of a Mexican restaurant on Avenue B. Good queso. Authentic mole. And a big wood bar full of powerful tequila elixirs. And it opens Tuesday. This place comes to the East Village courtesy of Park Slope (yes, the Yucatán Peninsula of West Brooklyn) and a Latin-blooded chef (the former Rosa Mexicano culinary director) who’s all about the three B’s. Braised meats. Bold salsas. And absolutely no mariachi Bands.
Not that you need an excuse to frequent an establishment that serves slow-stewed duck on soft, warm tortillas, but taking a date here would be a nice idea. See about reserving the lone booth in the house. It’s up front in the red-painted dining room and right next to the bar. Which is key, considering what we’re about to tell you.
These guys do margaritas right. Fresh fruits (guava, mango, pineapple), a touch of orange liqueur and a heavy slug of silver tequila. Just the way G.W. liked it.
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