Bodega Negra Makes U.S. Debut
New York’s Dream Downtown luxury hotel is the new home of Bodega Negra, an offshoot of the popular London restaurant known for its menu of upscale Mexican fare. TAO/Strategic Group worked alongside nightlife legend Serge Becker and his partners, celebrated UK restaurant operator Will Ricker and entrepreneur Ed Spencer Churchill, to bring this concept across the pond.
"The U.S. location of Bodega Negra offers the same fun and upbeat dining experience found in the UK's La Bodega Negra," says Becker. "The concept, which very much embraces and reflects the ethos of the Mexican fiesta, aims to remind guests to celebrate life through good food, drink and music and most of all great friendships, at low and high tide."
Michael Armstrong, formerly of Portland’s Café Azul, serves as executive chef. "I'm thrilled to return to Mexican cuisine; the flavors and ingredients are something I've been passionate about since the beginning of my career when I was cooking at Cafe Azul in Portland," says Armstrong. "While I brought back a few tricks and popular dishes after working with the chefs at La Bodega Negra in London, about 60% of the menu is unique to this location. We're lucky to have access to some of the freshest ingredients here in New York City and we're not taking that for granted."
Chef Armstrong draws inspiration from the various regions of Mexico, with an emphasis on Southern Mexico, to create a menu that invites sharing and consists of a selection of starters, tostaditas, ceviches, salads, tacos, entrees and sides. New signature dishes unique to the restaurant include the Bodega Guacamole, served with fresh jicama slices for dipping in addition to house-made tortilla chips; Roasted Chile Relleno, quinoa, zucchini, mushroom, corn, onion, Chihuahua cheese, pasilla chile sauce; and Crispy Pork Belly, manchamanteles sauce, pineapple-plantain salsa.