Tucked beneath Jajaja Mexicana is downtown's chillest new hang - a delicious slice of Mexico City cool with its heels dug deep into the West Village.
With a cave-like atmosphere with carefully salvaged vintage wallpaper and orange-hued cinematic lighting, Bar Nena is slinging up serious vibes alongside an exciting list of cocktails featuring fermented and agave spirits that are sure to be slide you into the night.
Co Owner Koorosh Bakhtiar, a California native who also runs the restaurant upstairs, has no doubt spent most of his recent nights chained to the bar's floor, perfecting every inch of the spot's and overall experience. So, just what is it that stands out as his current favorites on the menu?
"Our curated cocktail program is incredibly fun and creative, so choosing a favorite is a tough decision, as we offer a diverse range of options. We have refreshing cocktails infused with jackfruit and tepache, as well as savory ones with notes of mole and maize (corn). At this time of the year, when it's cold, my personal favorite has to be our take on the popular Mexican cocktail, the Carajito. Our version features espresso, Ancho Reyes and Licor 43, which imparts a delightful oak flavor due to the Anejo aging process. It finishes with just a touch of heat, not too much, just enough to warm you during this time of year.
"My favorite food item would undoubtedly be our Sandiá Ceviche Tostones. Every component of this dish is crafted in-house with utmost care. We start with the tostones, which are made from smashed plantains. Our Sandiá, or watermelon, is marinated and roasted with nori, imparting a unique flavor profile. The dish is then elegantly topped with thinly sliced red onion and a sprinkle of our signature spice blend. This combination creates a perfectly balanced savory dish, ideal for sharing and pairing with any one of our cocktails."
As for when Koorosh would recommend popping by for a particularly fun time, "the best time to visit Bar Nena is on a Friday between 9-10pm because the energy begins to transition and the vibe changes. It becomes more lively and exciting."
[Photos courtesy Bar Nena]