Recently Opened Restaurants
by Julie Besonen, 01/20/2016
Courtesy, El Atoradero
El Atoradero Brooklyn
708 Washington Ave., 718-399-8226, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
El Atoradero is not just another Mexican cantina. Chef Denisse Lina Chavez, from Puebla, gained a passionate following and critical praise at her bodega and adjacent taqueria in the Bronx. Then her landlord hiked the rent—but the Bronx's loss is Brooklyn's gain. The small, Prospect Heights space is more polished than her old joint yet still feels homespun. An old-fashioned diner bell clangs when dishes are ready. Mole poblano exudes so many layers of flavor, spice and sneaky heat it tastes cooked for hours, if not days. Blue corn enchiladas—four of them—come filled with cheese or chicken and steeped in a dark, glossy sauce. They're well worth the $17–19 price. For something simpler and cheaper, opt for $5 guacamole and chips and $4 tacos topped with various proteins, diced white onion and cilantro and accompanied by three excellent, house-made salsas. Chavez changes the menu frequently, but favorites like nachos, quesadillas and fat cemitas will most likely always be on hand. A full liquor license is pending, meaning tequila and mezcal lovers will have to be content for now with wine and beer.