Temerario opened on the corner of 8th Avenue and 20th Street in New York City with its brightly colored wall mural depicting portraits of Mexican strength and determination by renowned street artist Dasic Fernandez.
Temerario, which is the Spanish word used to “name those brave ones who are not afraid of anything, and who risk and bet their lives for their cause, give everything and never stop fighting,” proffers an authentic but more upscale Mexican menu that pays homage to the street food that has always been a huge part of daily Mexican life. The concept is brought to market by the Jorge Guzman Hospitality Group and the team behind Ofrenda, Black Ant, Gardënia, and the new Euro-Latin Café Bamba. Eating street food in Mexico is an expression of the culture and history of the people, and with that in mind, Chef Mario Hernandez, who grew up in Cuernavaca, Mexico, has kept the Temerario menu “real” with Pa La Tropa (small sharable plates), Del Tianguis (greenmarket vegetables and salads), La Canalla (street-style tacos and masa), Marisqueria (seafood), and Los Grandes, Carnal. Signature dishes include: Elote Fries fried baby corn, cotija cheese, chipotle aioli; Tacos Arabe-Poblano marinated pork Puebla style, za’atar bread, chipotle meco-pilancillo salsa; Tostada de Sabina smoked marlin, tomatillo morita salsa, cow’s feet; and Chicharron de Carrito tuna, chorizo, avocado aioli, chile de arbol; and the El Temerario (La Negra) Burger chile ash brioche, short ribs, Negro Modelo morita glaze, manzano cream and crispy fries.
Owners Jorge Guzman and Cliff Fried, along with mixologist Christopher Reyes, will continue to bring small-batch agave spirits, house-made syrups, and fresh jugo (fruit juices) to the beverage program at Temerario. Specialty cocktails include Chelsea Affair mescal, lillet rouge, lemon juice, blueberries, pine tree syrup, angostura bitters; Esqueleto Verde avocado, lime juice, orgeat almond syrup, mescal, and jasmine green tea with a smoked salt rim; and One Night in Tijuana mescal, house-made ginger beer, lime juice, guava fruit puree, agave syrup and cucumber. The wine list includes American and international bottles, and the beer selections are mostly Mexican cervezas.
Upon entering Temerario, the vibe is both energetic and laid-back, with high blue-toned ceilings, bright splashes of traditional Mexican colors on the tables and bar (red, yellow, orange), and the Temerario logo painted graffiti-style on the exposed brick wall. Moving toward the back of the restaurant is another striking wall mural, this one of a fighting Luchador, “a symbol for the rough, organic nature of Mexican culture fused with the strong sense of pride, strength and determination of the Mexican people,” says New York City painter and street artist Danielle Mastrion. With a disc jockey booth on the second floor mezzanine, there are also plans to add a nightlife element. The dining area seats 65, plus 16 at the bar, and outdoor seating for 40 (opening in spring).