Restaurant

Mexico’s Most Famous Chef Opens An All-Day Café In New York

Enrique Olvera’s cooking gains accessibility at the casual Atla.

The dining room at ATLA.

Enrique Olvera may be famous for changing people’s perception of Mexican cuisine with his fine dining restaurants Pujol in Mexico City and Cosme in New York, but his newest venture is rather humble. (Most dishes are under $20.) On a sunny corner in New York City’s NoHo neighborhood, Atla is a pared-down café serving the kind of simple, healthy food Mexicans eat every day, such as nopal tostadas and quinoa with pico de gallo and mint. “I wanted to have a neighborhood place that felt easy, where people could gather around,” he says. “More of a patio than a restaurant.” He tapped longtime collaborator Alonso de Garay, who worked with interior designer Micaela De Bernardi on the space: an airy, clean-lined refuge that incorporates subtle Mexican touches. “We worked with materials that are representative of the Mexican architecture of the ’50s, like the terrazzo and wood used in Acapulco’s houses,” de Garay says, explaining the virtues of the unfussy aesthetic. “ It’s welcoming and friendly, not elitist.”

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