Earlier this month, neighborhood favorite Hecho en Dumbo finally left Dumbo—and the restaurant space it shared—to open a new permanent home on the growing culinary scene that is The Bowery. They've turned the quaint Marion's Continental into a rather sceney bar with a pared down, windowless dining room and a chef's counter in the back. On the menu: plenty of fun cocktails and Mexico City-inspired fare including snacks for under $10, a large selection of queso fundidos, tacos, and larger entrees like mole and barbacoa. Some visitors are already blown away, while others wish they would have stayed put in Dumbo.
The Fine but Loud News: From the tipline: "The restaurant was a total scene when I went on a Friday night, so be prepared for a wait and a loud room. A host tried to seat my party of two at a five top that already had a couple at in, trying to sell it as a "communal table." No thanks. Once we got our real table, we had to scream the whole time to be heard, but the atmosphere is kind of fun—part minimalist chic/part scary windowless basement. Food was fine—not great, not terrible, but I'm not itching to try it again. Service was absentminded at best." [Eater Tipline]
The Ecstatic News: One Eater commenter is mightile impressed: "Just finished dinner- AMAZING. We had the opportunity to sit kitchen side and watch how seamless the execution was of every dish. My girlfriend and I watched the chef press dozens of dough into tortillas! All and all, a wonderful dining experience. I recommend the guacamole, dungeness crab over corn cakes, beef tacos and grilled shrimp." [Eater Comments]
The Disappointed News: Appetite for Ink has high hopes but is ultimately disappointed: "The red cabbage and carrot salad with pepitos that admittedly boasted a refreshing pop was the first to disappoint us in portion size – and lacked something to nibble on the side. We’d read online that portions were small but incorrectly figured the trade-off was spectacular flavor. Our next dish arrived in the form of three lonely two-inch tortillas with (literally) a condiment-sized remekin filled with room-temperature pablano and chihuaha sauce on the side...Our anticipated brunch failed to deliver what we were craving the most – the warm essence of Mexican culture – both literally and figuratively. After leaving $36 on the table (not including cocktails), we walked to our old favorite, Itzocan on East 9th Street between 1st and A." [AFI]
The Good News: The Food Doc is blown away: "I paid the restaurant a visit last week, and I truly enjoyed my experience...Tortillas and corn meal pancakes are made in-house using a authentic tortilladora and homemade dough: the results are light and fluffy, yet hearty enough to hold up their substantial fillings....I decided to go for the picaditas de jaiba: two stone ground yellow corn pancakes containing shredded Dungeness crabmeat, jalapeno oil and avocado slices. The crabmeat was fresh, cold and creamy, with a hint of heat from the oil, and was a nice contrast to the warm and crunchy pancakes. This was followed by the tacos de cochinita pibil...The meat was tender and savory, and the richness of the pork was slightly tempered by the red onions." [TFD]
The Bad News: For the most part, Yelpers love the place. But not this guy: "My wife and I tried it out and we wanted to love it...The decor is wonderful and the service was ok but a bit slow. But the food was very dissapointing. The shrimp were not fresh. The swordfish tacos tasted like a tuna melt on a small tortilla. The poblano tacos were bland. The almond cake was served with a half melted blob of chocolate ice cream...We'll try again in a few months." [Yelp]
The Good News: Another Yelper has a different take: "The space: great vibe, dimly lit, industrial yet cozy. The waitstaff: you must be hipster to work here. The food: outstanding - we had a Mexican in our group and our food received a enthusiastic two thumbs up from her. Make sure you try the picaditos de jaiba and the queso fundido with peppers. We ate all our food tapas style, sharing about seven plates among four of us, but I suppose you could also just order individually (though it wouldn't be as much fun). Next time I go back, which will be soon, I am not going to order anything and just ask for the chef's selection of plates. I know I won't be disappointed." [Yelp]
The Meh News: Lunch thinks it's just ok: "While everything was fresh, it was also a bit dry. Good thing that the trio of salsas were indeed delicious - it almost seemed like the food was the accompaniment. Maybe the problem is that the food is no longer 'hecho in Dumbo'..." [Lunch]