Lately Brandon Pettit's Delancey Instagram feed has been rife with teases: photos of tiki torches, tortilla testing sessions, and some lamb barbacoa tacos. And Pettit’s response to my email plea for info further stoked my excitement about the forthcoming taco and tiki Tuesdays happening next door at Essex.
One night a week, Delancey’s ever-so-charming sibling cocktail bar will shed its regular menu, replacing it with tiki cocktails and five types of tacos, each displaying the obsessive level of detail that keeps Delancey packed night after night.
Meats and vegetables all get fired in the wood-burning oven; two types of hot sauce and a lineup of salsas are made in house. Tortillas, says Pettit, will be made to order from fresh masa. Except the fish tacos—those get served in flour tortillas, also made in the kitchen.
The still-evolving taco lineup includes al pastor, braised tongue with pickled onion, and cactus cooked over coals and kept company by asparagus and the sheepy, salty flavor of some lightly charred ricotta salata. Thus far taco plates run $9 apiece. For dessert: dulce de leche ice cream.
The cocktail lineup will be a mix of tiki standards and tiki-ish house creations. After two Tuesday night trial runs, Essex’s taco and tiki nights begin for real May 27.
Meanwhile, Delancey plays a starring (and titular) role in Molly Wizenberg's new memoir. Here's an excerpt describing the night the pizzeria made the leap from abstract idea to an actual plan.