Dios mio. The Mexican craze continues and three new neighborhood joints open all dolled up (and there's nothing new to report on Nobu 57).
Behold, the Eater Dish for the week of Monday, July 25, 2005:
(1) The fixation with Mexican-influenced venues continues. In the last several weeks, La Esquina, Mercadito Grove, Diablo Royale, Centrico, and Maremma have opened. Whereas Maremma hogged the spotlight last week, by the end of this week it's going to be La Esquina's party. Thrillist, then Daily Candy ignited this fire, but from NY Metro's new Cheap Eats to Strong, everyone's talking about Serge Backer's (Bowery Bar, MK) new counter-service taqueria/tequila-dominated speakeasy. Do note here that given the coverage thus far and Backer's CV, the scene quotient here will be high.
2) Cercle Rouge, named after Melville's 1970 Le Cercle Rouge and being described as modern interpretation of a French-American bistro', that would be Balthazar knock-off to you, is slated to open this week in Tribeca. David "Lutèce's final chef" Féau is in the kitchen. Though we can be fairly certain that there won't be sidewalk tables here, expect Georges Forgeois, who also owns Cafe Noir to have the place packed in no time. (241 W. Broadway, 212-226-6252).
3) The LES gets a serious neighborhood fish joint of its very own with the arrival of Tides and Mary's Fish Camp graduate Judy Seto in the kitchen. Is there anything left to say about lobster rolls? We shall see. (102 Norfolk St at Delancey St. 212-254-8855)
Note well, eaters: NY bar and restaurant openings are nothing if not chronically delayed, so do call ahead before heading to anything brand new.