Festive is the apt word to describe the 200-seat Rio Bravo Tacos & Tequila, a family-run Mexican restaurant with an expansive bar, and colorful furnishings, murals, and Mexican tile work. Yes, there are tacos (11 selections including tempura fish and pork carnitas, all served on gluten-free yellow corn tortillas). And yes, there are tequilas—more than 120, in fact, from which you can build your own Margarita. First, choose the grade (blanco, reposado, or añejo) and brand of tequila. Then, pick the juice (pineapple, cranberry, orange, lime, or lemon); liqueur (Cointreau, peach schnapps, or any of 13 others). Finally, would you prefer salt, sugar, or a naked rim? Of course, you can always order one of the preset Margaritas, like the Torrero with Don Julio reposado and 100-year-old Grand Marnier that comes with flames leaping from a hollowed-out lime.
The Torrero Margarita has a flaming, hollowed-out lime.
Brothers/owners Edgar and Hector Brambila consider their menu Mexican, and it is, mostly. But look closely and you’ll find a smattering of Tex-Mex offerings—that Texas spinoff of traditional Mexican cuisine that uses typically non-South of the Rio Grande ingredients such as beef, cheddar, cumin, and black beans. Dishes in this category include queso dip (a cheese dip with roasted green chilies), Texas-style nachos, and gringo beef tacos.
Rio Bravo’s interior is not short on color.
In addition to the requisite tableside guacamole, fajitas, and enchiladas, there are distinctive dishes like achiote- and lemon-seared salmon with roasted pineapple and chicken fried steak tacos with caramelized onion.
The 6,000-square-foot Rio Bravo, in the space that once housed Globe Bar and Grill, is the third location for the brothers (the other two are in Fairfield and Westport, Connecticut).
Rio Bravo Tacos & Tequila
1879 Palmer Ave
â€‹(914) 341-1546; riobravotacosandtequila.com