The danger of daily specials is that it’s easy to opt away, lose sight of the expiration dates, and end up not saving much of anything. A while back, a friend and I opted in on a Thrillist special which gave you unlimited drinks when visiting Diablo Royale Este in the East Village (the East side outpost of the West Village’s location). Only rules were it had to be after 7pm, you could only at stay until 10pm, it only included certain drinks, and Cinco de Mayo was excluded (naturally). We were worried about needing a reservation, but we were fine on a Monday night. We watched the crowd come and go during the peak dinner hours but it was never crazy crowded. We could see the patio area in the back – it was a tad too chilly that evening, but it was quite a nice set-up. Goodness, we’re close to those warm days staying, now aren’t we? For drinks, we opted to give their Luci a try, which was 3/4 sparkling wine and 1/4 frozen house margarita – and 100% good.
I was torn as to what to try for dinner. Intrigued, I was eying the croque monseiur chimichanga. Where else have you seen that? It was ham, chihuahua and gruyere cheese, with a roasted poblano sauce. I was deciding between that and my staple – chicken mole enchiladas – and ultimately went with the chicken mole enchiladas based on the recommendation of our server. Not a fan of beans, I asked that he replace them with a salad. I was initially disappointed when he brought me my salad and omitted the rice. However the salad? Amazing! Perfect balance to the enchiladas. It was a chopped salad – fresh and with a light house made vinaigrette. I’m used to Mex/Tex-Mex restauraunts treating a side salad as a waste of effort and that was far from the case here. Not to slight the enchiladas now. They were just the right amount of spicy (I recognize mole isn’t for everyone – I just happen to love it, and Diable Royale Este did it quite nicely – not too heavy).
The service was outstanding – they just kept letting us stay and we had to finally wave them over when we were ready to head out. The ambiance was nice – candles throughout, with pervasive red tones against the wood. The chandelier over the bar area was particularly interesting. Sort of made me think of the Bourgeois Pig, not too far around the corner down on East 7th. I still say I’ve yet to find that magic Mexican restaurant, but Diablo Royale Este? Not bad, I say. Not bad at all.
Diablo Royale Este – 167 Ave A (at East 11th St) – 212.388.9673