You haven't experienced Southwestern cuisine until you've been to Agave, a delectable tequila bar and restaurant located in the West Village. The second you step through Agave's welcoming glass atrium, you're transported into a glowing, serene refuge perfect for warming up on a cold winter night. Relaxed and romantic, the ambiance is made with flickering candlelight, smooth adobe walls and latticed ceilings.I was only in New York for a short visit, but I found time to visit Agave on not one but two occasions. The first night I arrived this massive Fresh Strawberry Frozen Margarita was immediately placed in front of me. Unlike other frozen margarita's, the restaurant uses only top-shelf tequila to top off the season's best fresh fruit puree of your choice.
Fresh Strawberry Frozen Margarita
Although the restaurant is classified as Southwestern, the menu is diverse and full of both traditional and non-traditional dishes. I made sure to try one of each. My non-traditional choice: Corn Crusted Calamari Cracklins with Chipotle Mayo. I've never used corn as a breading, but I must say I'm definitely a new-found fan. It gave the calamari a great crunch without being soggy. The star of the dish, however, was the chipotle mayo. Just the right amount of creaminess and zest, I wanted to dip absolutely everything in this sauce.
Corn Crusted Calamari w/ Chipotle Mayo
My traditional choice? The Grilled Corn on the Cob. I may or may not have been inspired by Tyler Florence's grilled corn selection on Food Network's ultimate foodie drool fest, The Best Thing I Ever Ate. I don't know how I've never ordered this Mexican style grilled corn before, but I made sure to order it during both visits to Agave. The chipotle lemon butter and queso cotija made the corn melt the second it touched my tongue.
Grilled Corn & Guava Agave Margarita
When my waiter, Mike, suggest the Short Ribs of Angust Beef I was pretty skeptical. When he offered to buy my meal if I didn't like it, I was downright curious. This picture doesn't do the meal justice. Nestled on a bed of chili-corn mashed potatoes and topped with green beans and carrots, this hearty classic provided instant comfort. The meat was extra juicy and not stringy or chewy at all.
Short Ribs of Angus Beef
Out of all the margaritas and tequila flavors I tried, I enjoyed the Passion Fruit Margarita the most. Slightly sweet, rich and full flavored, this drink embodied all of the characteristics I prefer in tequila. The fish tacos weren't anything special. Next time, I think I'll pass in flavor of something less bland.
Passion Fruit Margarita & Fish Tacos
Each night I dined in I made it a point to try the most decadent desserts on the menu. The Xango, made with dulce de leche, crispy flour tortillas, vanilla ice cream and fried bananas, stole my tastebuds along with my heart. The varying textures and flavors made the dish playful, rich and fun to eat.
I fulfilled my chocolate craving on the second night with the Molten Center Chocolate Cake. This may look like your average molten cake from Chili's, but I promise you it's anything but. The banana praline ice cream was a perfect match, providing a hot and cold combination that left me wanting more. I would have licked the plate clean if it wasn't considered indecent.
Molten Center Chocolate Cake
Agave's staff is warm and welcoming whether you're a first-timer or a regular. I can't wait to go back and try every single thing on the menu—drinks and all.