Danny Mena and Ethan Smith, the team that brought delicious, authentic Mexico City–style cooking to the Dumbo General Store, relocate to the old Marion’s space next Friday, and it goes without saying that all across Dumbo, gloom and despair reign. Why did the pair abandon a devoted clientele for the Bowery’s burgeoning restaurant row? “We outgrew the space,” says chef Mena of the cramped kitchen he shared with the DGS’s daytime operation, a wine-and-panini bar of sorts. “It was a hassle: two different teams fighting each other, with no centralized management. We had to completely rearrange the kitchen every night, and we’d only have two hours to prep. It became painful to work there.” Still, it was a loyal team Hecho that scoured Dumbo for a suitable replacement space, to no avail, and now, as they say, Brooklyn’s loss is Manhattan’s gain. (As a tribute to their Kings County roots, they’re keeping the name.)
When Mena and Smith fling open the doors to their new digs, it will be to reveal some newly exposed brick, a ceiling covered with reclaimed barnwood from Montreal, and 68 seats including a few that overlook an open kitchen they can call their own. Lots of ingredients, from hand-pressed tortillas to queso Oaxaca, will be made in-house. An intriguing Mexican brunch menu that goes into effect mid-March will be served every day until 4 p.m., chilaquiles included. And, as in Brooklyn, a dinner menu of antojitos will be supplemented with more elaborate small plates, like guinea hen confit in a mole made from chiles grown by Mena’s mother in South Carolina. For more of what’s in store, view our slideshow and preview the menu.
354 Bowery, nr. 4th St. 212-937-4245