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  • Populares offers contemporary twist to traditional Mexican fare in the East Village. (Photo: Populares)

    New York City has no shortage of Mexican restaurants, but the arrival of the new Populares Mexican Restaurant & Bar on Avenue B on the Lower East Side should spice up the competition.

    “We’re thrilled to introduce Populares to the East Village community,” says spokesman Mido Emad.

    “Our goal is to offer a dining experience that not only showcases the beloved flavors of Mexican cuisine but also transports our guests to a vibrant and inviting atmosphere that captures the essence of both Mexico and the East Village.”

    The modern boutique establishment –doors officially open, Wednesday, Mar. 13 — touts a “fresh perspective” on traditional Mexican cuisine.

    Dishes are infused with a contemporary twist in a retro-stylish decor according to the restaurant,

    Populares’ taqueria (taco bar) is a central feature in the dining room, seamlessly integrated with a bar area. Tacos are served throughout the evening.

    No other type of venue is like this in the downtown area where a truly dynamic and interactive dining experience is found.

    Populares promises to be a culinary destination as well in the East Village.

    Well known chef Niklas Lucich (Spice Market, Jean George – Bourchon, Thomas Keller), features a selection of popular Mexican dishes reimagined with a modern twist.

    The menu ranges from tacos and flavorful ceviches to innovative small plates and signature cocktails.

    Complementing the culinary offerings is an expertly crafted beverage program overseen by Fernando Louis (Casa Mezcal).

    The bar features handcrafted cocktails, artisanal spirits, and curated wine selections.

    High on the list for guests are classic margaritas with a twist, mezcal-infused creations, and an extensive tequila selection that celebrates Mexico’s rich spirit heritage.

    The menu also highlights draft and bottled beers, wines, and a carefully curated specialty cocktail menu with everything from classic margaritas to the tequila mixtures that will tantalize the senses.

    Wild Mushroom Tostada (Photo: Populares)

    Wild Mushroom Tostada (Photo: Populares)

    The restaurant boasts affordable dishes such as Flautas (queso chihuahua, potatos, sour cream, cotija, watercress and salsa verde), Mushroom Tostada (roasted shaitake, mushroom puree, pickled daikon radish and sesame) and Sope (lamb chorizo, tomato sauce, cilantro and sliced avocado).

    Albondigas (chipotle marinara, lamb and beef meatballs, cilantro), Paella Croquetas (octopus, paella, poblano crema), and Tuna Tostada (shashimi grade, soy brushed, salsa macha, guacamole, radish) are also featured dishes.

    Cucumber Margarita (Photo: Populares)

     Rounding out the menu are Tacos a la carte are made with ingredient bases of cauliflower, beef al pastor, lamb chorizo, baja fish, grilled shrimp, birria, duck carnitas and even lengua tinga. 

    Plato Fuertes are superb servings of Chile Relleno (poblano peppers vegan picadillo, rice, carrot, peas, chipotle marinara), Pato (duck breast, mole rojo, figs, sesame), Pulpo a la Parrilla (Octopus, Carrot, Mango, Habanero puree and chard tortilla powder), and Grilled Skirt Steak (patata brava, salsa verde).In addition to late-night taco offerings, the restaurant will also showcase in coming weeks happy hours, brunch and even party packages.

    Assisting in the operation of Populares is Director of Operations, Marcus Andrews, who is a seasoned restaurateur known for his experience with multiple hospitality ventures in New York City.

    For more information, please visit the Populares website