Tarascas' margaritas have legions of loyal fans, and for good reason. The fresh, delicious, strong concoctions come to your table by way of a fleet-footed server, who also drops off chips and a mole-like salsa to soak up some of the tequila. It's the perfect way to start a meal at this restaurant, named for a fountain in the Mexican state of Michoacan that pictures three women holding a tray of food aloft (this symbol of fertility and pride is also painted on one of the walls).
A sophisticated Mexican and Caribbean restaurant, Tarascas diverges from the normal fare (though you can still get traditional burritos, nachos and quesadillas) in favor of more eclectic offerings. Some favorites include broiled filet of salmon or broiled chicken breast smothered with red pepper sauce, pimento chicken and puntas al albani (sauteed steak tips with bacon and peppers).
You will rarely wait very long for a table at this busy and popular spot, as the speedy wait staff move things along without hurrying anyone (of course, it could be the margaritas that make the wait seem short). Not a fan of tequila? Try the tasty sangria or tangy mojitos instead. Or, if you live in the neighborhood, you can get Tarascas delivery and make your own drinks at home.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Beth Dugan