At Lolita, Serving Mexican in Midtown, Agave and Sugar Cane Drinks Rule



The name couldn’t be more innocent or less Nabokovian. Lola, the 2½ -year-old daughter of Jillian Lockhart, an owner, was the inspiration. This unusual two-story lounge and restaurant has a distinctive point of view when it comes to drinks. The bar, shelves and lockers throughout the place have restricted the spirits offerings mostly to those that are made from agave, like tequila and mezcal from Mexico, and sugar cane, mainly rums produced globally. Cachaça, another sugar cane spirit, is included. Marshall Minaya, a partner and the beverage director, and the head bartender, Carlos Kennedy-Lopez, worked to develop drinks to showcase the various spirits. The food is Mexican, by the chef Carmelo Calixto, and offers many of the usual suspects: guacamole, empanadas, tacos, enchiladas and carne asada. The bar area at the entrance is framed by glowing arches, a design statement that we also saw recently at Coqodaq. The ground-floor level is more of a lounge than the upstairs, where there are tables and another bar. Throughout, the space is enriched by a deeply vibrant palette. This place occupies the building that also houses the group’s Madame George, a subterranean lounge, and Valerie, a bar and restaurant. Each has a separate entrance at the same address.

45 West 45th Street, 212-389-0050,


Frog Club

This hugely delayed successor to the venerable Chumley’s has opened. It was originally to be called Froggy’s, but Liz Johnson, an owner, who is also an owner of the highly rated Horses in Los Angeles, changed the name. Will Aghajanian, her husband, is her restaurant partner. Mr. Aghajanian said he was deeply involved in designing and executing the restaurant’s décor and that until the legal proceedings for the couple’s divorce have been decided, says he remains a partner in the restaurant. Ms. Johnson, who is the chef, could not be reached for comment, but she made a YouTube video about the opening and showed several dishes, including a spinach soufflé.

86 Bedford Street (Barrow Street),

Crave Sushi

As at their Crave Fishbar restaurants, Brian Owens and the executive chef Todd Mitgang are maintaining their mission to concentrate on domestic and sustainable seafood at their first sushi bar. Appetizers, nigiri, sashimi, maki and hot main dishes feature locally raised barramundi and steelhead instead of fish flown in from Tokyo’s market. Weathered metal and wood are enlivened with some decorative Japanese touches in the 66-seat room that includes a six-seat sushi counter.

947 Second Avenue (50th Street), 646-927-2927,

Another Country

Cocktails in a moody, cozy space with a mortadella sandwich or fried chicken alongside define this new spot nudging Union Square. There’s a fine collection of vinyl for the playlist.

10 East 16th Street, no phone,

Shaken Not Stirred

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