Chef Denisse Lina Chavez has started slinging her famous carnitas at El Atoradero, a Prospect Heights iteration of her now-shuttered Bronx restaurant Carnitas El Atoradero. The new restaurant at 708 Washington Ave. soft opened last week and currently has a daily rotating menu, which will be posted on the restaurant's Instagram regularly, says partner Noah Arenstein. "We’re trying out different stuff, seeing what people want," he says.
Chavez won acclaim for her restaurant Carnitas El Atoradero in the Bronx, with many of the city's critics and bloggers praising her tacos, mole poblano, and albondigas. It closed after a rent hike and popped up this summer at Vendy Plaza. The new location has been anticipated as a way to experience Chavez's commitment to authenticity. The chef has risked abduction to find the best chiles and spices for her dishes.
The new location still isn't staffed enough to provide all of Chavez's specialties daily, Arenstein says. They are also still working out some kinks with service, meaning the house-made tortillas may take some time if they run out during dinner, he adds. Currently, the limited menu features a guasmole verde de costillas — a rib dish with a bean sauce — and tacos with al pastor, chorizo, and chicken tinga. But by late January, expect to see more options, with more availability. "We’ll have a larger menu with a lot of the dishes that she became known for on the menu everyday," Arenstein says.