James O’Hanlon, whose family owns Agave restaurant and bar in the West Village, has morphed the NYC gastropub concept from whiskey to tequila at this Upper East Side boîte. A stuccoed interior and oversize Art Deco mirrors create an off-the-beaten-path vibe (despite the Second Avenue location), featuring two bars and long leather banquettes. The signature Daisy cocktail features black-pepper-infused tequila, elderflower liqueur and lime marmalade. The South of the Bourbon includes bourbon, allspice dram, an apple cider reduction and a splash of smoky mezcal. Brunch and dinner include unusual crossover dishes like Chorizo Costeño (octopus sausage with pineapple marmalade) and Duck Mini Wellingtons with truffle porcini, along with more traditional tacos, sliders and quesadillas. THE DRINK TO DRINK: The Sotolita features sotol (an agave spirit from northern Mexico), elderflower liqueur, raspberry liqueur and fresh thyme. KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Margarita means “daisy” in Spanish, and the Daisy is a 19th-century cocktail that some consider a precursor to the Sidecar and Margarita.
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