Where to Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar, a Fort Point follow-up to the Back Bay Mexican restaurant and nightspot.
What for Subterranean revelry. New menu items. A short walk down a long pier (the restaurant is located right on the water, where there will eventually be a patio).
The scene Head down a flight of stairs beside a brightly lit convenience store to find yourself strolling beside the channel. The cold wind blows over the quiet water. Then open the doors to Lolita and leave the calm behind. The rooms are dark and loud with laughter, packed with people. A young after-work crowd is gathered at the bar, winter coats piled on the floor. Couples tuck into tacos at intimate tables. Couches are filled with women looking artfully bored, nodding to the music; a Drake lookalike camps out by a street art-inspired mural. The restaurant goes on and on (it’s twice the size of the Back Bay branch), bar spilling into lounge spilling into dining room. Red chandeliers are overhead, stained glass windows hang above the bar, and the word “baños” is spelled out in red neon script. “Oh god, I feel like my mom,” says a 20-something as she lights up her phone to read the menu in the dark.
What you’re eating Hot queso dip, pumpkin-seed hummus with chiles and cotija cheese, grilled street corn. A spiced-up take on shrimp cocktail; a version of the chilindrina, a Mexican snack, made with tuna tartare. Guacamole spiked with lobster or bacon, or straight up. Tacos, nachos, and blue-corn quesadillas with various toppings. Plates that range from turkey taquitos to flaming chorizo to Mexican-style fried rice. For dessert: churros, tres leches, and chocolate flan.
Care for a drink? There’s wine if you like, but this is a tequila bar. Along with plenty of riffs on the margarita, you’ll find dozens of blanco, reposado, añejo, and extra añejo tequilas (available in flights, too), along with mezcal.
Overheard Tequila appreciation, margarita-related debate, bar banter. “It’s your lucky day,” a man tells a new arrival who manages to snag the rare bar stool. A customer sips her cocktail: “I love it,” she says. “We are very happy you love it!,” her server exclaims. “What was up with that?” a woman asks her friend after an iffy encounter with a fellow patron. “Something was up with that,” the friend confirms. Opinions differ on the best way to order a margarita. “I’m all into sea salt. I’m into that. I’m obsessed,” one person declaims. “You like the skinny one that doesn’t have all the sugar?,” says another in disbelief. “I like the sugar!” A date continues waterside after dinner: “It’s like its own city down here,” one lovebird marvels to another as they lean against the railing taking in the view.
253 Summer St., Fort Point, Boston, 617-369-0931, www.lolitatequilabars.comDevra First can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @devrafirst.