Screwball movies and sunny music have long served as diversions during troubled times. And if Brooklyn’s current profusion of mezcal bars is proposed as additional salve, well, we’ll take that too.
As opposed to La Milgrosa’s recently debuted speakeasy, El Atoradero’s agave den is out well in the open—in fact, it occupies its very own building, directly next to the restaurant. Christened Madre Mezcaleria, the Crown Heights newcomer will eventually house up to 125 bottles—one of the most sizable collections in the city—from Nuestra Soledad “San Baltazar” Espadin on the low end (with menu-scrawled tasting notes of buttercream frosting, ash and ice wine), to Espiritu Lauro Tepextate (reminiscent of toasted marshmallow, sulfur and collard greens) on the high.
Though the nuanced shots require little embellishment (beyond chasers of oranges, chile salt and crickets) there’s a succinct selection of composed cocktails as well, including Mezcaltinis, Manhattans and Margaritas. And in an effort not to steal El Atoradero’s thunder, food offerings are equally concise, comprising whatever can be scooped on their infamous, house-nixtamilized blue corn tortillas. Chunky chips ring saucers of salsa borracha and black bean dip, crisp flags wave from cups of roasted corn salad and fish ceviche, and curved tostadas support strands of chicken tinga or tuna.
So in an effort to find serenity whenever and wherever we can, we’ll likely forgo the movies, and stick with cobalt tortillas and periodic doses of mezcal.
706 Washington Ave., Crown Heights
Photos by Chris Trigaux