Ten years and a few months after opening El Vez at 13th and Sansom Streets in Philly, Stephen Starr has rolled out numero dos in New York. Dinner opening is Friday, April 25; lunch launches Monday the 28th.
Like his other 215-to-212 migrations (Buddakan and Morimoto), this El Vez bears little resemblance to the original. The NYC outpost, at 259 Vesey St. in New York's Financial District, is considerably larger and more rustic-looking, with plenty of private dining and outdoor seating. Starr and the Rockwell Group skipped the Tijuana low-rider bike over the bar, but imported the photo booth and jeweled tchotchkes.
The main dining room has wooden tables and colorful circular booths and banquettes lining the walls. Another room, billed as the Garage, has a hand-painted mural.
Starr's brain trust developed a menu of guacamoles, ceviches, fundidos, quesadillas, enchiladas and tacos. The bar offers 150 mezcals and tequilas plus other agave-based spirits like sotol, raicilla and bacanora.
Due to open in several weeks is a grab-and-go burrito bar with a separate entrance.