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  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out Latin/Mexican Tribeca Moderate Good

There are some restaurants that just breed fun. They have a laid back vibe, an easiness that invites laughter, an energy that strips off the heaviness of your day. These places aren’t meant to be taken seriously—they want to make you forget your troubles and smile, not think about the world and frown. It’s been my experience that many such restaurants share one thing in common—a key instrument of joy, a vision in silver. Yes, you guessed it. The frozen margarita machine. Just try not to have a good time when frozen ‘ritas are on tap. It’s impossible.

There is a frozen margarita machine at Centrico, the latest project from restaurateur Drew Nieporent and his Myriad Restaurant Group, located in the space that was most recently (and for almost 10 years) Layla. And there is fun to be had in the form of thick, frozen margaritas (and tequila cocktails), and a menu of modern Mexican eats from chef Aaron Sanchez.

We gathered at Centrico last week to celebrate my dear and amazing friend Susie’s birthday last week, and started out our night as any evening at a Mexican cantina should—sucking down several rounds of thick frozen margaritas. These are fantastic—limey and tart, with a slight initial brain freeze quality. (Brains need to be frozen once in a while. It’s good for them.)

Centrico is a departure for Drew and his crew in a way. He may be all about fine dining at Montrachet, Tribeca Grill, and Nobu, but here at Centrico, things are a lot more lose. It does not scream three stars. It says neighborhood joint. Come in for a cold beer and a taco. Have a margarita with a friend. Unwind after work. Repeat.

In keeping with this Mexican chill out vibe, the place has a casual, minimalist air, with copper topped tables, weathered terra cotta walls, and mile high windows that give the large room a clean cantina feel. Unfortunately though, the design is almost too underdone. The room feels almost unfinished, like something else needs to be in there to bring all the pieces together. In fact, the design of the room is the weakest link in the restaurant. It actually takes points away from some very fine cooking.

You may know Aaron, a handsome devil with serious amounts of charm, from Paladar, his juicy Latin American place on Ludlow Street. For Centrico, he is focusing on his roots in Mexico, serving a nicely edited menu that focuses on modern Mexican recipes (from vari ... [more, click below]

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Other restaurants in Tribeca :
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