Recently Opened Restaurants
by Julie Besonen, 01/14/2015
Photo: Kate Glicksberg
- more in dining/
108 Stanton St., 212-254-4188, Lower East Side, Manhattan
For old-guard Lower East Siders, El Sombrero (aka The Hat) has been part of the landscape since the 1980s, trafficked more for frozen margaritas than its Tex-Mex grub. After seven months of renovation and a change in management—although the restaurant's spirited new boss, Jose Almonte Jr., is related to the original owners—El Sombrero reopened in November. The wood-clad space hasn't forgotten where it came from, sporting photos of its divey ancestry. One of the vintage frozen margarita machines has been repurposed to churn out tangy, not-too-sweet mojitos. Chef Ricardo Cardona consulted on the revamped menu of Pan-Latin food, which includes guacamole with tostones (fried plantains), ceviche, mofongo-crusted salmon with coconut, and Puerto Rican–style roast pork, rich and fork-tender. Tequila purists who spurn frozen drinks will find a decent selection and a generous pour.