Depending on how good your recent New York restaurant history is, you probably know that Daniel Boulud’s DBGB Kitchen & Bar went dark in 2017. You may not know that the space that housed it on Bowery between First and Houston recently reopened under new management. The new tenant answers to the name IXTA Cocina Mexicana + Mezcal Bar.
True to its name, the menu at IXTA is informed by tradition but is also tinged by modernity. The birria, for example, is made with braised goat meat as orthodoxy dictates but is served with a guacamole mousse. If you can buttonhole between 9 and a dozen friends whose appestat is tuned to the same frequency as yours, you qualify for the whole roast suckling pig, though the house requires 72 hours advance notice.
Some dishes take a side trip into other cultures. Witness a whole branzino whose flavor is enhanced by, among other things, the salty Japanese condiment furikake. IXTA Cocina Mexicana + Mezcal Bar, 299 Bowery (bet. First and Houston Sts.), 917-732-IXTA (4982).