"For too long, Mexican food meant cheap and cheerful, but also low in quality," says Gran Eléctrica principal Tamer Hamawi. And for Hamawi and partners Elise Rosenberg and Emelie Kihlstrom, who'd already found success with Brooklyn Heights eatery Colonie, a seasonal American restaurant built on carefully curated ingredients, that left a gap for a street-style Mexican place that didn't sacrifice good sourcing. The team put together plans for Gran Eléctrica, a lively labyrinth that introduced itself to DUMBO in the spring of 2012. The neighborhood was fast filling with young professionals, families, and tech firms, all of whom flocked to this place for fancy margaritas, especially when they could nab a seat in the expansive outdoor garden. During the warm months, there are few places in the city better than said patio, which is hung with glittering lights, made intimate by lush plant life, and in possession of a view of the Brooklyn Bridge. Take a seat and order yourself some fish tacos, a massive chile relleno, some carne asada, and, for dessert, an order of churros, and get busy drinking your way through the mezcal list, where you'll find a number of selections from unusual, small-batch mezcaleros. Come to think of it, those drinks will warm you during the cold months, too, when you're tucked away in a cozy corner of this dining room, letting chile-infused dishes from executive chef Rob Stauning's menu burn your belly and toast you from within.
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