Quiote rides again
Owned by chef Martin Stayer and beverage expert Sara Stayer, the husband-and-wife duo behind Nobie’s and The Toasted Coconut, Quiote takes its name from the stalk that emerges from an agave plant when it reaches maturity. The dimly lit space offers a menu of nine dishes that mostly utilize raw or cold seafood. They’re paired with a menu of seven cocktails (plus a Michelada) that utilize Mexican spirits.
Some will recall that Quiote operated for approximately six weeks in early 2020, but the pandemic made the intimate, 14-seat space non-viable. Staffing shortages and other challenges prevented its reopening until now, but the Stayers found two talented collaborators in chef Madalyn Lester (Theodore Rex, Nancy’s Hustle) and head bartender Elena Vann, who has been part of Toasted Coconut since it opened.
“We’re having a lot of fun with it so far,” Martin Stayer tells CultureMap. “It’s been great working with Madalyn and Elena. I see it getting better as we iron out the details.”
Stayer’s menu includes raw or roasted oysters, steak tartare with salsa macha, Vuelve a la vida with shrimp and scallop, and pozole verde. Lester’s initial contribution is a roasted sweet potato tostada that uses a tortilla she makes in-house. Vann’s cocktail offerings include the expect margarita and paloma riffs, but she’s also sourced a Mexican gin for an herb-forward martini that pairs well with the bar’s dishes.
“The food menu is a little less traditional than before,” Stayer says. “I looked at other regions that inspire me as far as cold seafood goes. It’s still Mexican-focused, but we’re adding Japanese and Peruvian influences.”
Other details remain the same. Candles provide much of the light in the dimly lit room. A turntable still blasts loud rock & roll from the late ’60s and early ’70s — think artists like Cream, Jimi Hendrix, and AC/DC.
Just like Toasted Coconut, Quiote will take reservations via the Resy app. Walk-ins will be welcome when space is available. It will operate Thursday through Sunday.
“We definitely have that speakeasy feel,” Stayer says. “There’s a kind of secret door. I want to keep that intimate ambiance: just to more people.”