click to enlarge Chilaquiles

Jonathan Boncek

Chilaquiles

Like a virtual trip to a seaside Mexican outpost, Pancito & Lefty is both a lively mezcal-focused bar and a serious restaurant. For those imbibing, there’s beer, wine, and a variety of mezcal-infused cocktails, along with opportunities for tequila and mezcal tastings. The food itself is purposefully authentic, with such touches as guacamole topped with “sal de chapulin” — or grasshopper salt, a traditional prehispanic seasoning — and chilaquiles verde, a typically homey comfort food, adorned with an over-easy duck egg and slices of fresh avocado. And despite any misgivings, consider leaping at any opportunity to try the restaurants lengua, or cow tongue. In this chef’s hands, the meat is beautifully prepared, and perfectly charred and tender, with none of the liver-y flavor that usually puts people off. Expect loud, South-of-the-border music along with spicy flavors. —Vanessa Wolf (Dish, Summer 2018)

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Hours: Lunch, Dinner (daily)

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