Cozy West Village “gift” of refined Mexican cuisine

By Maryse Chevriere

At this warm West Village haunt, owner Jorge Guzman and chef Mario Hernandez make good on the promise of a “gift” inherent in the restaurant’s name. Here, the classic flavors of Mexican cuisine are focused through a lens of refined elegance without losing any of the fiery spice and rustic comfort. Plates come out of the kitchen with a punch of personality, like the smoky guacamole rojo, garnished with a puff-crackly chicharon, or the juicy, make-you-wish-it-was-still-summer baja style fish tacos. There’s much to be desired, too, in the way of seasonally inspired offerings—the ceviche de Otoño, for example, pairs fresh, lime-cured tuna with the earthy sweetness of diced beets. And be sure to look out for an upcoming addition to the vegetal-inspired cocktail menu mixing tequila with agave-roasted sweet potato juice.

the crowd

An eclectic mix of chattering girlfriends, intimate couples, and local regulars casually regaling over a cocktail and bite at the bar.

... on the side

on the stereo
A well-curated playlist of sultry, jazzy, make-you-want-to-shake-your-hips kind of music.

eye for design
A glistening library of tequila bottles and a collection of sugar skull–dominated knickknacks adorning the wall’s floating shelves gives character to this cozy, dimly lit den.

decibels
Medium

hours

Mon–Wed 4 PM–11 PM; Thu–Fri 4 PM–midnight; Sat 11 AM–midnight; Sun 11 AM–11 PM

price range

$8 (sopa del dia) $24 (carne asada)
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