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A round plate with pink steak and greens.
The tomahawk steak at Mitica.

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Mitica Isn’t a Steakhouse. Its $85 Steak Might Make You Wish It Were.

The follow-up to the popular Mariscos El Submarino seafood shop is more comfortable on land than at sea

When the owners of El Submarino, Alonso Guzman and Amy Hernandez, announced they were opening a fancier spot in Greenpoint, I was skeptical: While their first restaurant, a small stand-up cafe in Jackson Heights, specializes in ceviches and aguachiles (with a smirking submarine for a logo), the new place seemed like a more serious sit-down temple of fine dining. Why change what works?

A dark hallway on the left, illuminated art on the wall on the right.
This way to the garden.
A white-walled garden with many occupied tables.
The backyard garden provides the best seating.

No more takeout ceviche, at least not at Mitica. In the run-up to its opening at 222 Franklin Street, near Green Street, in May, Eater called it a Mexican steakhouse — which seemed to suggest more than one steak. But would the new menu retain spectacular dishes like the soy-sauced black shrimp aguachile that had helped define El Submarino?

Mitica (“mythical” in Spanish) occupies a space that was once Anella, a 13-year Greenpoint veteran. Its pair of adjacent storefronts remain, one now a serious-looking bar with stark wall art that shows a gaucho fighting the devil; the other a plain dining room with a view of the kitchen. Mitica inherited the backyard, with tables under a vine-draped trellis.

As I discovered, there are only three dishes on the brief nine-item menu — which offers no categories that might indicate size — that qualify as main courses, a change from the menu of nearly 30 items in several sizes at El Submarino, which included ceviches, tacos, tostadas, seafood cocktails, and aguachiles.

The aguachile negro is one of the few dishes carried over from El Submarino to Mitica, though here instead of a massive $19 serving with a deliciously drinkable marinade it’s a smaller $23 appetizer-size dish in which halved shrimp are plated horizontally into a cylinder with cucumber, herbs, and charred avocado.

Another starter, the guacamole, is minimalist in that it’s not bombed with granulated garlic or splatted with tomatoes. Instead, it’s the pure and simple ripe green fruit with a drizzle of lime juice and salt shake. Fresh herbs scatter the serving, including one that looks like dill but is really cilantro. What makes this some of the best guac in town is the crisp blue tortillas that come sticking out of it like the feathers of a peacock. Cool dip, warm cracker, perfect summer evening.

A bowl with shrimp and cucumbers stacked sideways in black fluid.
The compact new aguachile negro.
A mortar with black fluid and opaque shrimp.
El Submarino’s aguachile negro.

The multi-seafood tostada fancifully called makabra (“macabre”) at Mitica is fabulous, another throwback to El Submarino, though a further antojito falls short. The version of the Sinaloan classic taco gobernador flaunts lobster instead of shrimp, which is laid on top of a folded carrot tortilla rather than placed inside, to no good purpose. It’s flashy without being particularly tasty, and also hard to eat.

Another creative dish features a plank of trout that serves as a cracker, topped with smoked fennel, tiny spiced potatoes, and little dabs of something like a cross between crema and aioli; it’s is one of the best things I’ve eaten lately. The price ($29) suggests this might be an entree, but it’s not nearly big enough. Two entree-size dishes, a mushy green risotto with delicious slices of pink duck on top ($35), and a pork shank served with mashed potatoes, are fine, though you’ll wish you had lots more mashed potatoes.

A thin piece of trout with a bunch of stuff on top of it.
Mitica’s crisp trout cracker.
A round ridged platter with red gravy and a humongous shank.
Big eaters will appreciate the pork shank.

Then there’s that steak. It’s a tomahawk ($85) served medium rare with a giant bone hanging precariously off the plate. The meat comes thickly sliced on the side and flavorful as hell, the flavor boosted with a trickle of reddish-brown sauce. The steak is surrounded with grilled turnips and chiles to be enjoyed in alternate bites with the steak, and a galaxy of greens and herbs. Served with fresh tortillas, this dish absolutely redefines what a steakhouse can be. But a single spot-on steak doesn’t make Mitica a steakhouse — though maybe it will make you wish it were.

A glass with red liquid and wedge of watermelon sticking out the top.
The watermelon-laced mezcal cocktail red sunset would make a lovey dessert.


222 Franklin Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222 (347) 384-2422
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