SHAW: Espita Mezcaleria - First Look - First Thoughts - OPENS March 8th

I had the good fortune to be able to 'check out' Espita Mezcaleria, the new restaurant located at 9th & N Streets NW, this morning. I live locally so this had added importance to me personally, as well as my love for Shaw. I will say right off - I will be going back, and often.
Photo:Rey Lopez          Josh Phillips
The Restaurant

First impressions are always so important, Partner and Master Mezcalier Josh Phillips met me as soon as I arrived and it is immediately apparent that his heart and soul are in this venture. As is usually true with committed people, Josh has hit this one out of the ballpark. The restaurants ambiance, a kinda rustic/industrial combo feel, has light from every angle provided by large windows, the tables are not to close together, the restaurant seats 62, and the bar, which seats 16 (plus 10 bar-stools facing 9th Street) is located behind a head high chair back so noise from the bar is minimal for dinners. The art work - I am doing a separate article on this - is colorful, as you would expect for a Mexican theme, large & a little quirky were created by Yescka, an internationally renowned Oaxacan street artist and founder of the political art collection ASARO (Assembly of Revolutionary Artists of Oaxaca) and Cesar Chavez.
Philadelphia Street Artist, Sandra Phillips, who did all the wild exterior paintings that we became so accustomed to during the restaurants build-out, has added some of her figures in both bathrooms, and if you are observant there a little surprises scattered around.

And What You Have Been Waiting For:
Espita Mezcaleria will open its doors on Tuesday March 8th at 4pm
The hours for the near future will be 4pm till 1 am Sunday through Thursday and 4pm till 2am Friday and Saturday.
The kitchen will close at 10pm, but Josh tells me that their will be a bar menu of light fare after 10pm.
Plans for Lunch and Brunch are in the works and should be offered in 2 or 3 weeks from now
There will be exterior seating available in early April. A full blown (44 seat) enclosed sidewalk cafe is planned for later.
Ibirria De Short Ribs
The Food

WOW! I was served by Executive Chef Alexis Samayoa who chose the Ibirria De Short Ribs. Two Masa Tartlet's piled with Beef, Salsa Rosa, Onion and Upland Crest. Not being a food critic my review is short - OMG delicious, and a plate of Lamb Barbacoa, 3 Taco's piled with Lamb, Chipotle Tomatillo, Knob Onion, Cilantro, Queso Fresco, with a balance between heat and spicy that is just perfect for any dinner.
Photo: Rey Lopez      Exec Chef Alexis Samayoa
Beverage Director Megan Barnes coupled all that with a Mezcal cocktail that infused coffee and citrus, and by the time I had finished I was in heaven. Well maybe not the usual kind of food review, but truthful to my sensibility.

Lamb Barbacoa
I did forgo the Mezcal tasting, at 10.30am I am not at my alcohol best, but Megan explained that the Mezcal is served in 3 ways, single ounce, double (2) ounce and six ounce (to share), which is good to know for amateur Mezcal drinkers (like me). The bar has 2 Draft Beer taps and 4 Draft Cocktail taps, and some of the coolest ice outside of Columbia Room.
It seems that everyone is an expert, and very experienced in their specialty and Josh has put together the total package at Espita Mezcaleria with their help. For us the client, Espita Mezcalaria will provide a modest priced Tacos and Beer all the way up to a fairly expensive dinner - our choice
Espita Mezcalaria is located at 9th and N Street's NW in Shaw

For reservations or additional information, visit