Fans of tacos both basic and extraordinary have many, many options to choose from—the great Mexican push shows no signs of slowing down. Add Tijuana Picnic to that list tomorrow night, when the new eatery from Acme's Jon Neidich and Jean-Marc Houmard opens on Essex Street. The duo—along with executive chef Alex Lopez—have been dangling the restaurant for some time now, promising a fresh take on Mexican cuisines served in a swanky, lounge-like atmosphere. From early photos and the menu, it looks like they're making good on that.
There's a bit of a '70s thing going on, from designer Robert McKinley, and the bi-level space is gleaming, with Mexican tiles reflecting light off converted tequila bottles and onto the walls and tables. The plates flying out of the kitchen will be adorned with smaller bites, skewers, apps and tacos, though a few larger entrees are also available. Elote Asado ($5) comes slathered in a cricket aioli with coffee-chipotle powder and Cotija cheese; mako shark is skewered in the Tiburon dish ($12), with a spicy green yuzu kosho.
If those are all a bit much for your palate, try the Falda soft tacos ($10) stuffed with skirt steak, spicy aioli and pickled vegetables.
151 Essex Street, (212) 219-2000; website