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REVIEW: El Nivel

REVIEW: El Nivel

El Nivel Covent Garden
Consider yourself a cocktail connoisseur? You ain’t seen nothing yet – peddling only the finest agave spirits, one trip to El Nivel will readjust every notion you had about tequila and tapas.

A wall of rare and exclusive bottles greets you upon climbing the nondescript stairs leading to this self-proclaimed Agaveria, a collection so beautiful it seems a shame to drink the stuff. You’re soon persuaded by the skilled bartender, who’ll deftly whip up a vast range of inventive cocktails  – as long as it’s got tequila in it, made with the finest blue agave.

Mezcal Fix El Nivel

While you wait you can check out the traditional, rustic decor – white walls and curtains complement the odd painting but the place isn’t  reliant on gimmicks. It’s clear the owners are confident their menu will do the talking, but we thought an injection of just a little more personality might have been better – as it stands, it rather verges on plain.

Chicken tacos El Nivel

Visitors look out through high windows onto busy Maiden Lane with a certain air of nonchalance – everybody in here sought this place out through proper research or heard about it from an industry friend – and that’s the way it’ll stay, with any luck.

We were lucky to visit by invitation and sampled succulent Pequenos Mensajes del Cielo (Ginger and chilli chicken tacos), and the most exquisite Coctel de Marisco (Gambas, Queen scallops, avocado ‘Sangrita’ cocktail sauce and homemade crackers) alongside a Mezcal Fix (a potent blend of QuiQuiRiQui mezcal, roasted pineapple syrup, fresh lime, Cynar and saltwater spray).

Gambas El Nivel

All was utterly delicious and authentic, rounded off by a quick meeting with Jesse Estes, the bar’s manager and the man behind renowned  tequila brand Ocho. As the tequila trend in gains momentum, we expect El Nivel will soar – just get in there quick before Joe Public gets a whiff of it.

Amy @ FashionBite xx


Where: 28 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7JS


Amy Everett is FashionBite's food and travel editor, she also writes for national newspapers and magazines including the Guardian Travel, Stylist, Shortlist, Red, Cosmopolitan and more.

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