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AMIGO BY NAI Opens in the East Village

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AMIGO BY NAI Opens in the East Village

Amigo by Nai is the newest taqueria and cocktail experience that opened in the East Village on October 1st. A serendipitous collaboration between Executive Chef/Owner Ruben Rodriguez of Nai Tapas and Juan "Billy" Acosta co-owner of Los Angeles' famed Carnitas El Momo, the idea for Amigo was conceived after Chef Rodriguez found a space in the East Village just a few blocks away from Nai Tapas, noting that it would one day be home to a fine dining taqueria. Just a few months later, Rodriguez stumbled upon a video of Billy showcasing his tacos and speaking about his heritage and the tradition behind the famed carnitas recipes. That one video propelled Rodriguez to jump on a plane to Los Angeles to meet Billy and discuss a collaboration. From there, the Amigo vision began to take form and Billy signed on to bring his signature carnitas tacos, which have amassed impressive acclaim, to New York City with plans to roll out the concept to Madrid, L.A. and across the U.S.

The Amigo by Nai menu, which spotlights six expertly crafted tacos using custom corn tortillas produced by the French bakery Le Fournil NYC, will feature Billy's famous Carnitas with a choice of Maciza, pork butt with the bone in; Buche, pork stomach; Cueritos, pork skin, and Mixto, a mix of all those meats. A special collaboration taco from Acosta and Rodriguez is spotlighted with the signature Amigo, pork belly, citrus gastrique and red salsa brava.

The four other taco creations are the invention of Chef Rodriguez, paying respect to his homeland by incorporating Spanish influences and ingredients into each option. Selections include the Costilla, baby back rib confit with green mojo and radish and Rabo, oxtail, red mojo and shiso peppers with an optional side of consommé.

To complement the menu, Beverage Director Niko Hagerty has 11 different cocktails such as Rosemary's Baby with empress gin 1908, green chartreuse, tonic, lime. Ginger, infused rosemary in a smoked rosemary glass.

The design of Amigo by Nai is art deco inspired with a large neon pink Amigo sign to greet customers as they walk into the space. The interior is forest green with a beautiful imported Italian terrazzo bar. A slated wooden archway gives view to the open kitchen taqueria, where black high-top tables are set up for standing room only. A menu will be projected on the wall to let guests know when tacos are sold out.

For an al fresco experience 10 standing tables will be available outside to accommodate 4-6 people each.

Tacos will be available by the pound at Amigo by Nai, which averages out to about 10-12 tacos. Amigo by Nai has also created four to-go cocktail bottles.

Amigo by Nai is located at 29 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003. For more information, visit their web site at Follow them on Instagram @amigonyc

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Amigo by Nai

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