Diablo Royale Este, the sexy sibling to West Village Tex-Mex cantina Diablo Royale, appropriately opened last week on Cinco de Mayo. And this younger chiquita, she is a beaut, drowned in candles and bordello reds, with a downstairs lounge and a garden out back for pig roasts.
The first reports mentioned unbridled revelry fit to upset any community board meeting, but perhaps that was just opening night. Most agree that the digs are lovely, but there are some food and service issues to hammer out. To the early word:
The "Crowded" News: EV Grieve posts a reader's thoughts on opening night: "Went by at midnight. The place was a zoo. No bouncer. Just a lot of people and noise. So much for good neighbors." [EVG]
The "Mexican Food for White People" News: BlackBook's short recap reads like Ruth Reichl's Twitter feed: "Gringo faves: cheesy enchiladas, smoky fajitas, hot sauces "tried at guest's own risk." In the garden, spit-roasted suckling pig for ten." [BB]
The Brief but Good News: From the Eater comments: "Went to the opening night with 4 friends and got there right before the mad rush, place was packed food was good music was awsome!" [Eater Comments]
The Bad News: Yelper Lily F. claims to have had "one of the most awful dining experiences", saying: "It took 30 minutes for our guacamole to come out (only after asking about it) and it was quite a small serving, which was disappointing. After having our guacamole at 10:15pm, we were expecting our entrees to come out shortly after. Our server was nowhere to be found and I had to complain to the manager before our entrees FINALLY came out at 11pm (2 hours after we had sat down). The tacos were freezing cold (not even room temperature) and our server then apologized to us for the kitchen being backed up. It was completely unacceptable, especially since we had been waiting for our food for so long". [Yelp]
The Mostly Okay News:Another Yelper who goes on a slower night and only tries the cocktails is much more forgiving: "I ordered the Ginger Margarita. It's made with ginger-infused tequila, and has a hint of vanilla. It was a bit too sweet for me, but I suspected it might be. Next I had the Blood Orange Margarita. This one was more my speed. It was still sweet (bf didn't like it, but he was drinking Corallejo Blanco neat and Modelo Especial) but a good margarita. The ginger margarita was $11, and the blood orange one was $10. The Corallejo was $9, and kind of a wimpy pour, and the Modelo was $6 on draft. They were supposed to have cans upstairs, but they were out, so the bartender went downstairs where they have it on draft, which he didn't have to do, so that was nice....I give their decorating sense an A+...The bartender was a little unfriendly, which is irritating when you're patronizing a brand new place on a dead night." [Yelp]
The Twitterific News: User @kikaeats likes the vibe but disses the food: "EV's Diablo Royale Este - saloon needs to find its groove fast. Such potential shattered by cold, tasteless Mexican fare.", while Restaurant recommendation rabble-rousers @EateryExpert enjoyed themselves on Cinco de Mayo: "Diablo Royale Este - 167 Ave. A for cinco de mayo last night was a blast! Still feeling those margaritas!!". [Twitter]