Guadalupe Inn is breathing new life into the former Kings County address at 1 Knickerbocker Avenue. The elegant new restaurant is the third well articulated Brooklyn eatery serving traditional Mexican fare overseen by Chef Ivan Garcia of Mesa Coyoacan and Zona Rosa.
Seriously, we couldn’t be happier Garcia and longtime friends and business partners Gerardo Zabelta and Jorge Boetta, plus a new fourth partner, Doug Easdon, have opened up shop in the neighborhood!
Here’s what to expect inside this lovely new place.
Like Mesa Coyoacan and Zona Rosa, Guadalupe is a neighborhood within Mexico City, though the name Guadalupe Inn also pays homage to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Garcia, a native of Mexico City, received a culinary degree from Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla in 2000 and moved to New York City the following year.
After five years at popular Italian eatery Baroncino where his dishes are still served to this day, Garcia opened Mesa Coyoacan, his first restaurant, in Williamsburg in 2008.
Take note, Bushwick: Guadalupe Inn’s comfortable aesthetic is a sophisticated departure from the the standard local options.
Envisioned by the owners and made a reality with the help of contractor Seth Wachtell, the interior is a chic, inviting space that can seat up to 80 patrons.
Raised, spacious leather booths and a dark walls gives Guadalupe Inn a sexy vibe perfect for a date night, a dinner out with parents, or a celebratory evening with friends.
The space also features a stage. Balancing the space as a venue and eatery called for a clever design, which Wachtell accomplished: it’s easy for patrons to turn their heads and see the show.
“We wanted to make sure that the stage was going to be part of the whole package, [and] the seating needed to support that,” explains Easdon.
Management plans to host local acts ranging from burlesque to drag, and so the stage is the finishing touch to the dining experience: a cherry on top, or shall we say lime!
AND FINALLY, THE FOOD:
Guadalupe Inn offers traditional Mexican food in a more modern format than Mesa Coyoacan and Zona Rosa. Garcia tells Bushwick Daily that with Guadalupe Inn, he has challenged himself presentationally as well as with the menu itself.
As always with Garcia’s restaurants, everything at Guadalupe Inn is made with organic ingredients and grass fed beef. This time, though, Garcia has introduced a totally gluten free menu. Both Mesa Coyoacan and Zona Rosa are close to being totally gluten free and the owners all agreed that it just made sense to check that final box.
The only dish that required reformatting to lose the gluten were the churros. From their point of view (and ours), the efforts are a great success: “I think that the churros are better gluten free,” smiles Easdon.
Dishes range in price from small plates starting at $9 to large plates, which are are enough to share between two to three people, for as much as $30.
Garcia thought up a unique construction for serving tacos al pastor: his version looks like a miniature trompo (vertical rotisserie) on the table.
“I was thinking how people could get the real tacos al pastor from the trompo,” says Garcia.
The Trompito al Pastor ($26) is impressive on both the plate and to the palate. It’s made with a guajillo chile, achiote, and pineapple marinated pork centerpiece and served with cilantro, radish, pineapple, lime wedges, warm corn spinach-cilantro tortillas, habanero-pineapple salsa, and spring onion, which combined makes a perfect taco.
Let those taste buds really savor the Tacos Estilo Baja ($14): Garcia’s beer-battered fish tacos feature cod topped with a cabbage, avocado and habanero puree, which makes for a nice, soft consistency.
The house tortillas are made daily by Garcia himself, who is proud to use blue corn from sustainable farming operation Masienda in his blue corn tortillas.
Definitely don’t ask for the check before enjoying an order of Churros rellenos de cajeta ($8) which are filled with goat milk caramel. Need we say more?
As far as the drink selection goes, beverage director Kirk Reilley has worked hard constructing a cocktail menu.
We tried the Fall Fashioned ($12): “It’s a take on the Oaxaca old fashioned, which normally has bitters, mezcal, and tequila reposado, but this one has the addition of Apple Jack, spiced pear liqueur, chile ancho liqueur, and barrel aged bitters,” he says. It is garnished appropriately (and adorably) with fresh sliced apple.
“I was originally making this with bourbon, but it just goes better with reposado,” Reilley adds. A clean, naturally sweetened drink, the Fall Fashioned is a great addition to those cold nights.
For now, the draft selection is Pacifico and Negro Modelo, at six bucks a pint, as Reilley is still carefully considering several more drafts.
Garcia is developing a brunch menu, but for now, Guadalupe Inn is open from 5 p.m. until midnight on weeknights and until and 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Enjoy an evening out at at Guadalupe Inn, Bushwick!
Featured image: Chef Garcia in his new kitchen. Alonzo Maciel for Bushwick Daily.