We were lucky enough to score the only available table in this authentically bright and buzzing taqueria. The rest of the tiny taco joint was busting with hungry locals lined along the counter and partaking in spicy snacks. The friendly staff manage to maintain their cool through the mayhem to cook and serve a selection of tacos, tostados and Mexican beer. In short: Candelaria is delivering fun, festive and freakin’ good food.
After appeasing our appetites, we squeezed through the throngs to the unmarked door at the back: the door of juxtaposition. Here patrons pass from the fast and festive dining area into a nocturnal cocktail hideaway for sophisticated lounge lovers. At first glance of the menu (at 11 to 12 Euros/cocktail), you already know that there is serious cocktail intent behind it with special creations featured from the likes of Toby Cecchini and Joaquin Simo of NYC’s Death & Co.
Being familiar with both Josh Fontaine (previously of Curio Parlor) and Carina Soto Velasquez (previously of Experimental Cocktail Club), I skipped my usual martini to experience something that they hadn’t mixed for me previously. Carina graciously indulged us with a requested round of tall and tasty margaritas (even though they are not on the menu or normally available in the taqueria.) My second sampling was La Gueppe Verte (pepper infused tequila, cucumber, coriander, agave, lavender and lime.) I loved it. The balance of the pepper heat and cucumber refreshment was spot on. If it hadn’t been so busy, I may have showed less restraint and stayed on to try some of their other ten promising cocktails on offer. But we’d already had a full evening of food, beers and spirits, so I called it a night but was already planning a return for some serious cocktail exploration at the bar.
52 rue du Saintonge, 75003, 01 42 74 41 28