Best Hip Restaurants
Eat! See! And Be Seen! We hit the streets to find the hippest scenes for late summer nights of dining, drinking, and whatever-ing.
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Lolita Cocina is all about theatrics, hence the grapefruit/mint granite's being served over dry ice.
Lolita Cocina and Tequila Bar
230 Mill St, Greenwich, CT (203) 813-3555
This bi-level sexpot of a restaurant would be right at home in a Robert Rodriguez film; it boasts a sultry, Mexi-Gothic interior complete with santas and flickering red votive candles. Outdoors, in a secret garden tucked off the bustle of Mill Street, a silent loop of Mexican films plays, all flashing eyes and spinning spurs. The message is clear: Lolita is a great backdrop for committing crimes and falling in love.
But unlike other snazzy restaurants, Lolita’s theatricality doesn’t end at décor. Look for grin-inducing welcomes of grapefruit/mint granité over dry ice. As spooky smoke pours over the table and onto the laps of diners, a waiter splashes the goblet with fragrant silver tequila. It’s a drop-dead entrance—and a hint of what’s to come.
Former El Teddy’s staffer Juan Manuel Reyes brings New American trendiness to the often modest Mexican genre. Look for carefully-plated pile-ups of grilled ahi with tomatillo relish and garlic/sweet corn tamales, or the popular ‘caballero’ ribeye with poblanos rajas and roasted cilantro potatoes. Desserts are ideal for sharing, like the orgiastic “bananarama,” a jaw-dropping kitchen-sink affair that boasts deep-fried banana-cheesecake burritos with chocolate ice cream, butterscotch sauce, and pecan brittle. Take it from us, you’ll want a crowd for this sucker—though be sure to save room for gratis clouds of pillowy cotton candy strewn with Pop Rocks.
Lolita’s inviting tequila menu is arranged by age and taste profile, while pretty (and potent) margaritas are always shaken with crisp, fresh fruit juices. And don’t miss Lolita’s fabulous michelada with Modelo Negro beer, Worcestershire sauce, and Lolita hot sauce—perfect for late-night crimes in the garden or in Lolita’s clubby lounge.
You could always count the porkpie hats in attendance, but we devised a system to rate our hippest restaurants.
|Food for sharing||*||**||****||***||***||–||****||****|
|Clubby, sofa-filled lounge||–||***||–||****||**||****||****|
|Private garden |
(offering illicit smoking)
|Nubile, scantily-clad patrons||–||****||–||****||****||****||****||***|
Julia Sexton is Westchester Magazine's restaurant critic, food writer, and CRMA Award-winning blogger who once prowled the cool city streets, hand-rolled American Spirit between black-varnished fingertips. Nowadays, she spends her time chained to her laptop, silently rejoicing that she could never afford that full-sleeve tattoo.
Cool Leftovers: check out more photos from this month’s cool restaurants in our web-exclusive gallery below.