Southwestern cuisine in a cool, dark, adobe-like setting for dinner and a vibrant, albeit less than authentic, bottomless booze menu for brunch.
While there never seems to be a dearth of Mexican in the West Village, the food at Agave is effectively Mexican by way of Arizona, resulting in guacamole with some untraditional touches like doses of cumin and jalapeno. The menu continues with some wild interpretations of classic dishes, resulting in uniquely fresh Pescado tacos with market fish, charred pineapple pico de gallo, and smoked paprika, and the short rib tacos with a rich mole sauce. While the quesadillas and the braised Duck Enchiladas with a sweet corn queso fundido, tres salsas, and borracho black bleans are also standouts on the menu, much of Agave's success can be attributed to its long list of cocktails and margaritas.
For $12, the Agave Margarita Tradicional can be served with mango, pomegranate, prickly pear, or blood orange juice, while for $13, the Oaxaca Margarita promises an incredibly smoky mezcal with fresh lime juice and sal de gusano, an extraordinary toasted sea salt made with ground agave worms and chile costeno.
The result is that a dinner at Agave seems like a secretive, almost ominously good meal in the Southwest, but brunch is likely more popular, with the $28 prix-fixe menu that comes with a two-hour bottomless choice of mimosas, wine, or the Tradicional margarita. Despite this easy trick to bring in guests, Agave still manages to evoke a Southwestern adventure unique and fitting to the West Village.