Gran Electrica, a Michelin bib gourmand-selected Mexican restaurant known for its convivial atmosphere in Brooklyn, New York, is ready to make its debut in a quieter locale: Downtown Napa. The restaurant will open — softly, so be gentle — at 1313 Main Street there (in the former 1313 Main) on Tuesday, March 27, where it’s touting homemade ingredients like its own tortillas, crema, chorizo, and queso fresco.
Partners Elise Rosenberg, Emelie Khilstrom, and Tamer Hamawi — now a Napa resident — opened Gran Electrica in DUMBO, Brooklyn to much buzz in 2012. At their Napa digs, they’ll serve more of the regional Mexican cuisine that’s earned acclaim back east, with chef Ignacio Beltran (Ad Hoc, the Restaurant at Meadowood) in charge of the kitchen.
Dishes from Beltran are to include campechana (a mixture of poached suripera shrimp and octopus in chile morita-tomato broth with avocado, cucumber, red onion, and cilantro), lengua tacos (with Five Dot Ranch beef tongue), and mixiote (a traditional central Mexican pit-barbecued meat dish that Gran Electrica will make with Bassian farm’s chicken, tomato, chiles, and nopales wrapped in banana leaf).
Rosenberg is behind the wine list, which will feature old world selections alongside new-school natural wines from California and emerging natural wine producers in Mexico. As in DUMBO, the presence of tequila and mescal will help fuel the atmosphere, with margaritas in concoctions including one with Pueblo Viejo Blanco, Combier, lime, cucumber, cilantro, and salt, and another with beet juice.
In kinship with Gran Electrica’s Brooklyn flagship, the new Gran Electrica in Napa will boast a sizable patio — but in contrast, that space will be open year-round, because this is California.