Opened in September, the new Mezcalito on Polk Street may sound like just another agave spirits bar in a city with some pretty great ones. But this lofty wood-lined space is unusual for Polk Street and partners warm service from a tight team with Oaxacan chef Julio Aguilera and executive chef Matt D’Ambrosi’s top-notch food. Alongside a robust mezcal and tequila selection, bar manager Guadalupe Jaques turns out impeccable cocktails.
THE DRINK TO DRINK: The silky, tropical Maracuya Sour, inspired from the Peruvian pisco great, is a crowd-pleaser of Los Siete Misterios mezcal, maracuya (passion fruit) puree, vanilla agave, egg whites and Peychaud’s bitters. For elegant bite, try the Fresita De San Felipe, balancing the vinegar kick of a house-made strawberry jalapeño shrub with The Botanist gin, ginger syrup and lime.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Unfortunately, there are no reservations, and it has been popular since day one, so plan to wait or come early. There are great tacos every night, but chef D’Ambrosi plays with specials like fried oyster tacos on Taco Tuesdays.