Amigo by Nai opens in the East Village

October 1, 2020, 7:33.04 pm ET  


Photos: Amigo by Nai                                                                                                  

Amigo by Nai is a new taqueria and cocktail experience now open in the East Village. It's a collaboration between Executive Chef/Owner Ruben Rodriguez of Nai Tapas and Juan “Billy” Acosta co-owner of Los Angeles’ famed Carnitas El Momo. The idea for Amigo was conceived after Chef Rodriguez found a space in the East Village just a few blocks away from Nai Tapas, noting that it would one day be home to a fine dining taqueria. A few months later, Rodriguez stumbled upon a video of Billy showcasing his tacos and speaking about his heritage and the tradition behind the famed carnitas recipes. That propelled Rodriguez to jump on a plane to Los Angeles to meet Billy and discuss a collaboration. From there, the Amigo vision began to take form.

The Amigo by Nai menu spotlights six tacos using custom corn tortillas produced by the French bakery Le Fournil NYC and feature Billy’s famous Carnitas with a choice of Maciza, pork butt with the bone in; Buche, pork stomach; Cueritos, pork skin, and Mixto, a mix of all those meats. A special collaboration taco from Acosta and Rodriguez is made with signature Amigo, pork belly, citrus gastrique and red salsa brava. Four other tacos are the invention of Chef Rodriguez, paying respect to his homeland by incorporating Spanish influences and ingredients into each option. Selections include the Costilla, baby back rib confit with green mojo and radish; Rabo, oxtail, red mojo and shishito peppers with an optional side of consommé; Gambas, shrimp, garlic sauce, aioli and red cabbage; and a vegetarian taco with the Coliflor, shawarma roasted cauliflower with avocado lime chimichurri and marcona almonds.

The beverage program, created by Beverage Director Niko Hagerty, features unique cocktail creations. They include Rosemary’s Baby with empress gin 1908, green chartreuse, tonic, lime; Ginger, infused rosemary in a smoked rosemary glass; Hunt for Red October with Michter’s bourbon, apple brandy, allspice, apple, lemon, honey and cinnamon; Love Potion with Vida Mezcal, umenoyado yuzushu, ginger, lime, raspberry and cava; Athena Goes To The Market with Green chili infused vodka, Greek feta washed singani 63, pistachio oil, fresh dill, lemon, ginger and celery salt.

The new art deco inspired space features Italian terrazzo bar, a wooden archway leading to an open kitchen and black high-top tables. Amigo by Nai will have 10 standing tables outside for an al fresco dining experience. The tables can accommodate between 4-6 people each.

DELIVERY & TAKEOUT: Tacos will be available by the pound at Amigo by Nai, which averages out to about 10-12 tacos. Amigo by Nai has also created four to-go cocktail bottles with options like Abuela Spiked My Lemonade (Hendrick’s gin, Thai basil, shiso, cucumber, elderflower, velvet falernum, agave and lime.

Amigo by Nai - 29 2nd Avenue, New York, NY (212) 933-448  www.amigonyc.com

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