We all took note when WD-50 pastry chef Alex Stupak announced that after years of making a name for himself as one of the most innovative pastry chefs in the country at restaurants like Alinea in Chicago or Clio in Boston, he was finally striking out on his own with a restaurant in the West Village. It was when he announced that not only was the restaurant not going to be pastry-themed, but that it in fact was going to be a high-end Mexican taqueria, that we all started scratching our heads. The place is fittingly named Empellón (Spanish for "push" or "shove"), considering the giant stylistic leap he's taken.
While the East Village may be the more expected destination for a cocktail-lover's night out—it's got everything from classics PDT and Death + Co. to newcomers like Booker and Dax—the West Village has its fair share of great drinks, too. You might find fewer straight-up cocktail bars, but these days we're seeing good bar programs in all sorts of places: at restaurants, at Scotch bars and wine bars and pubs. Here are 10 great drinks in the West Village for your next night out.
In theory, the taco is a simple food: tortilla, filling, maybe some garnish, done. But there's an incredible variety of what you can stick in that tortilla well beyond the usual chicken-beef-pork. From eggs (beyond breakfast tacos) to off-off cuts (eyes, anyone?) to fried bugs, the taco comes in many flavors, and if you hunt around New York's taquerias and restaurants, you can find some examples well beyond the standards.