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Nights at K. Pacho Cocina and Tequila

The sign outside K. Pacho Cocina and Tequila

The sign outside K. Pacho Cocina and Tequila in New Hyde Park. (Feb. 16, 2012) Credit: Ian J. Stark

Although the official "grand opening" isn’t until Feb. 24, business at K. Pacho Cocina and Tequila in New Hyde Park is definitely under way, and the nights have some real potential.

This space was formerly home to Two Steak and Sushi Den – a slick eatery of style whose cool, metallic look was similar to other venues where the mainstay is upscale sushi and Manhattan chic. Now that the main cuisine is more of a contemporary list of foods powered by Mexican inspiration, the decor has completely changed, so much so that the only remnant of Two is the contour of the building.

K. Pacho has been transformed into a regal-yet-earthy space, with exposed brick, burning candles and couches in place – all done so thoroughly it feels as if it has always looked this way, like an old building, now captivated by a lush restaurant and lounge. It has modern appeal: Although the tables appear to be made of reclaimed wood, they're actually made of marble, and there are six large flat-screen monitors to show sporting events and help enable a DJ’s work session, available on some nights.

Currently only open for dinner (closed Mondays), happy hour runs from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and features drink deals – the main being $5 “Killer” margaritas (normally $8). Served in good-sized glasses, the drinks are available with exotic fruit mixes like blood orange and lychee, or simpler tastes, coconut, mango, strawberry and plain.

Tequila is, of course, the alcoholic energy in a margarita, but those who enjoy drinking the agave-based spirit solo will find dozens of options, ranging from basic favorites like Jose Cuervo 1800 ($8) and Patron ($9) to more expensive options from DeLeón (Blanco, $15, Reposado, $18, and Anejo, $27) – not to mention “extra Anejo” (aged more than three years) selections running from a $17 Casa Nobel (single barrel) to the $50 Herradura Especiale Supreme, topping out at the $73 Patron Burdeos.

If, however, tequila is not your first choice, beer, wine and sangria can be had along with special cocktails. The mixed drinks continue the Mexican theme, with choices like the $10 "Sexy Mexi" (lunazul blanco, chambord, pear puree, cava), the $11 "Saintly" (avion blanco, lime juice, yellow chartreuse, muddled limes, lime juice) – with the top-dollar formulation combining sombra mezcal, lime juice and sangrita: the $12 "Smoky Mariah.”

As it was with Two, the ownership is the same, meaning Four Food Studio in Melville is still a sister to this house -- which has the same fashionable feel. The first patrons to visit have been varied in age, ranging between 25 and 55, all dressed neatly (but casually: lots of dress shirts, not so many blazers on guys; ladies in comfortable evening wear). Expect a DJ to spin music from between the 1970s to today, with many of the songs attached to videos playing on a monitor (and just like Four, guests are welcome to dance if they feel the urge).

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