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Good News, Bad News: Mayahuel

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Joining the ranks of high end watering holes peppering the East Village, we now have Mayahuel, the much hyped three week-old tequila and mezcal based cocktail bar on East 6th St., co-owned by mixologist Phil Ward, a Death & Co. alum, and restaurateur Ravi DeRossi. It's a pretty sweet space, with tiles imported from Mexico, a long bar, and an upstairs red-it lounge. Strangely enough, getting in hasn't been impossible. So far, the early word skews positive:

The Good News: NYC Food Guy is blown away by the pork belly, even suggesting it rivals that of David Chang: "Pork belly, with its crispy edges hugging ribbons of melt-in-your-mouth fat and juicy meat, may be my new favorite food. And other than Mayahuel’s salsa verde, their Cochinita, braised pork belly with papaya mango mustard ($10) was by far my favorite dish of the evening. It was everything you would want from pork belly: crispy, fatty, juicy. And when combined with the sweet papaya mango mustard, the result is a candied slice of fatty deliciousness that elicits only a Homer Simpson 'Mmmmmmmm'.” [NYC Food Guy]

In Praise of the Booze: One eGulletter is anything but disappointed with the cocktails: "Phil's menu is spectacular - tequila and mezcal are prominently featured in both shaken and stirred cocktails, along with a few punches, tea infusions, and beer cocktails. Tequila is taken to a whole new level here - if tequila still means "way too many shitty margaritas in Cancun on college spring break" to you, well, it's time to move on. You've come to the right place, and you're in very good hands." [eG]

More Encouraging News: One Yelper who wandered in by accident was pleasantly surprised: "Our waitress listened intently to our likes and dislikes and matched us with appropriate drinks. A Gin Fizz type thing for her, and a Manhattan type thing for me. Hers was sweet and refreshing, while mine was a little to bitter for my taste, but still good. Nearly everything is priced at $13, and they are about the same size as the drinks at Death & Co. or PDT. You get what you pay for I suppose, and I admit these are more thoughtful than your average cocktail." [Yelp]

The So-So News: Another Yelper likes everything but the drinks: "The 'Cabeza Pequeno' blew past tart into a bitter aftertaste not justified by its thick texture and by the time I came around to a floral sweet sangria ('La Vida en Bosado' if I recall) my palate was so abused I found it hard to appreciate. Had I ordered the sangria first, it would have been delicious - so I know they *can do it*... it's as though the recipes aim for "unexpected flavors" at the expense of good sense and balance." [Yelp]

Even More Good News: Boozy NYC weighs in on the cocktail selection: "The Lapsong Punch (lapsong suchong infused 'tea-killa,' lemon, grapefruit and whiskey barrel bitters) is a great drink to start off, nicely balanced, light and citrusy-smoky.The Smoked Palomino (amontillado sherry, mezcal, grapefruit, lime, salted rim) was delicious, unique and a rare find: a good sherry drink. The Pequeno Cabeza (blanco, grapefruit infused vermouth, amaro and maraschino) was an inventive take on the Manhattan." [Boozy NYC]

The Ok News: The early word at the Village Voice is good but not great: "I'd go back here again, particularly with a friend visiting from out of town: the drinks are well-conceived, and the setting is a kind of south of the border fantasia that manages to be interesting and fun, not cheesy. On the other hand, I don't think I'd stand in line to get in. Go at a non-peak time to enjoy it." [Fork in the Road]

The Bad News: Of course, someone is disappointed: "My drink tasted like cough syrup and the place didn't even have water to serve. Crazy, I know." [Yelp]
— Luciana Giangrandi & Bailly Roesch

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