Pelea Mexicana quietly opened in Tribeca last week, which means the restaurant connected to the Hilton Garden Inn has now gone from Italian (Trigo) to French (Bar Artisanal) to Spanish (Bar Artisanal Restaurant & Tapas Bar) to Mexican. The chef taking over Terrance Brennan’s onetime kitchen is Richard Caruso, and you can see touches of his former employer Rosa Mexicano in crossover dishes like a trio of lobster tacos.
If tacos priced from $15 to $19 (and flavored margaritas in the same price range) are more than you want to pay, then you probably won’t be getting your own tequila locker (to house your pick of the 100-plus bottles in the “library”), and you may instead want to drop in during happy hour (Monday through Friday, 5 till 7 p.m.) when select frozens are $8, unlimited tacos are $15, and aperitivos are $4. The airy room looks pretty much the same as it did when it was Bar Artisanal (shown above), though a mural by “Page Six” alum Fernando Gil has been added, and what used to be the cheese counter is now a bar at which you can watch fresh tortillas being made. The menu below is currently being served Sunday through Wednesday from 5 p.m. till 10 p.m., and Thursday through Saturday till midnight.
Pelea Mexicana, 33 Sixth Ave., nr. West Broadway; 212-925-1600