Dos Caminos, one of New York City's original Mexican restaurants, has opened its fifth New York City outpost at West New York—Times Square. The flagship location reflects a new direction for the restaurant's parent group, BR Guest Hospitality.
Located in the space that formerly housed The Whiskey Bar, the new Dos Caminos will take over part of Blue Fin, BR Guest Hospitality's seafood restaurant, which will also undergo extensive renovations and re-open in October. The 6,700-square foot, 250-seat Dos Caminos was designed by Brooklyn based company, hOmE, who also designed New York restaurants Rebelleand Telepan, among others.
"The new Dos Caminos in Times Square will be the flagship location for the brand and is going to signal an entirely new direction for BR Guest Hospitality. The restaurant will have a completely new look and feel including the design, refreshed menus, crafted cocktails, and a real move toward more local and organic ingredients. The overall vibe will be one of an 'urban escape,'" says James Gersten, president and CEO of BR Guest Hospitality.
Dos Caminos Times Square is rustic yet modern in style, while maintaining the other Dos Caminos outposts' lively and festive spirit. Drawing inspiration from the architecture of celebrated Mexican architects Luis Barragan and Felix Candela, the Laz Pozas sculpture in Mexico, textile art, and Brazilian beach homes, the designers at hOmE integrated custom elements including lighting made with blackened steel, woven cane and opal glass, custom tables crafted from white oak and caramel leather, as well as sapele and leather banquettes.
One of the main features of the new restaurant is a 40-seat mezcal and margarita bar on the street level, along with a custom agave plant-inspired glass and steel back bar. The main, subterranean dining room seats up to 80 people and integrates raw, reclaimed woods, hand-finished concrete, and other materials with a rustic, authentic feel. The subterranean level also features a margarita and guacamole bar, DJ booth, lounge, and a private dining room that seats 45.
Leading the kitchen is Dos Caminos Corporate Executive Chef Ivy Stark, a two-time cookbook author for the brand and a member of the BR Guest Hospitality team since 2002. Chef Stark's menu is a refreshed version of the other Dos Caminos locations and will feature smaller plates with a focus on lighter, more health-conscious fare. With new dishes including the tortilla-less Naked Tacos, which include a choice of grilled chicken, steak, shrimp, fish or vegetables over a warm quinoa pilaf, pinto beans, corn and poblano salad, and avocado salsita, Chef Stark has drawn inspiration from her extensive travels through Mexico, and also seeks to implement healthier Mexican dishes, which have been validated by SPE Certified, a third-party consultancy dedicated to health and wellbeing. Chef Stark will also grind her own nixtamal for handmade tortillas, using Masienda corn, which is an heirloom variety from Mexico.
"I look forward to continue showcasing authentic Mexican cuisine at the new Dos Caminos Times Square. From making my own tortillas in-house with fresh nixtamal, to being able to use great purveyors like beans from Rancho Gordo, eggs from Sullivan County Farms and produce from Satur Farms, we are placing much more emphasis on seasonal, local Mexican dishes that I'm excited to share with Times Square diners at this new location," Chef Stark says.
The cocktail program at Dos Caminos includes an expanded menu of cocktails by BR Guest Hospitality's beverage director Richard Breitkreutz and cocktail architect, Yusef Austin, as well as a selection of 120 premium tequila varieties and over 10 mezcal varieties.