Few things can make a cocktail experience more festive as sipping directly from a piece of fruit, namely a pineapple in the case of Julian Medina's new Tacuba restaurant in Hell's Kitchen. Piña Para la Niña ($20) fills the hollowed out fruit with Jose Cuervo Tradicional, pineapple puree, agave nectar and fresh lime juice, a double drink for two that'll be a soother on the sticky summer days that lie in our future. That alongside a couple of cool ceviches and we'll all be living our best lives.
Medina opened his other Tacuba in Astoria in 2014 and also runs the delicious Toloache empire in addition to two Yerba Buena restaurants and nacho destination Coppelia. The busy chef and his partners debuted their newest Tacuba last week on restaurant-dense 9th Avenue between 53rd and 54th, offering Mexican dishes in a cantina-style, which are well-suited to accompany drinking.
The chef's Quesadilla de Flor ($13) offering employs burrata and manchego cheeses topped with a fresh salad of zucchini flowers and greens, with other light dishes including an Aquachile ($15) of lobster, shrimp, jalapeno, avocado, red onion and cilantro in a cucumber-lime agua. More stomach-filling dishes include the chef's Chile Relleno ($16) stuffed with quinoa, mushrooms and kale in a habanero salsa and Icelandic Cod ($22) on a bed of spring peas, fava beans and corn, topped with a cilantro gremolata. There are also a selection of tacos.
802 9th Avenue, 212-245-4500; website