The Citiblog

Rooftop Destination elNico Arrives In Williamsburg
May 10, 2023, 11:41.29 pm ET


Photos: Alice Gao (Interiors)

Located atop the Penny Williamsburg, elNico is a vibrant rooftop bar and restaurant from the Sydell Group, creators of NoMad, Freehand, and LINE brands.

Photos: Eric Medsker (Food & Beverage)

elNico offers a modern approach to classic Mexican fare alongside seasonal, ingredient-driven cocktails and sweeping views of the Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines. The name is derived from ancient Greek and Italian roots meaning “victory for the people,” paying homage to the multi-cultural heritage that is reflected in elNico’s culinary team.

Photo: Chef Fernanda Serrano (Eric Medsker)

Leading that team is Chef Fernanda Serrano, formerly of The NoMad London. At 30 years old, this marks Serrano’s first time having full creative control over a kitchen, guided by her past experiences at New York’s Cosme, Mexico City’s Pujol and at the three-Michelin-starred restaurants El Celler de Can Roca in Spain, Schloss Schauenstein by Andreas Caminada in Switzerland, and Osteria Francescana by Massimo Bottura in Italy. A native of Mexico City, Serrano’s menu is a journey through her life, featuring casual, yet elegant colorful dishes that are rooted in her Mexican heritage along with elements of her worldly travels and Latin diaspora.

The menu is composed of small sharable plates and large format dishes from the “family” section showcasing local ingredients. Highlights include the Caviar Sope with salsa cruda and crème fraiche; a vegan Pink Mole with beet, tahini, fennel, kumquat, and pine nut; and a Tlayuda, an iconic Mexican street food with tzatziki, market veggies, pomegranate, and sumac.

For the table, Pulpo Pibil is fried octopus with toum, xnipec, potato chips and tortillas and Carne Asada, skirt steak with spring onion, garlic, shishito, bone marrow, chimichurri, guasacaca and tortillas. Desserts are kept light and refreshing, like the Sando 43, an espresso cookie and licor 43 ice cream sandwich or try Fresas con Crema made with fresh strawberries, pink peppercorn and whipped mascarpone.

The bar boasts a large selection of Agave spirits. Look for playful seasonal interpretations on classic drinks such as the Rhubarb Margarita with Ocho Blanco Tequila, rhubarb, Aperol, yuzu, and lime; and Turn the Beet Around with Paranubes Rum, Patron Silver, lime, yellow beet, pineapple, and vanilla. Non-alcoholic offerings play off childhood favorites like Agua Fresca, Horchata, and a Batido, among others.

Sydell CEO and Founder, Andrew Zobler said, “Penny Williamsburg is named after my pet chihuahua, who is a force of nature in a little body,” adding, “Penny Hotel and elNico, the new rooftop restaurant, may not be the biggest or flashiest, but they are full of spirit and heart and character way beyond their size. This is the most intimate and personal of Sydell’s work to date, a reflection of our passion for art and the ability of the creative spirit to enliven a space.”

elNico is located on the roof of The Penny Williamsburg at, 288 N 8th St, Brooklyn NY. For more information, visit