US citizens generally dictate things from overseas be "Americanized" before they'll accept it, from turning Ringu into The Ring, to turning the Red Baron into a frozen pizza! Opting for something that needs no translation, the guy behind The Pan-American.
Inspired by the wide-ranging cultural/culinary influences of his parents, the Agua Dulce dude dedicated his latest endeavor to exclusively continental flavors, serving tastes from "Havana to New Orleans" and "the Yukon to the Yucatan" in a Miami Vice-steezed space rocking tropical wooden shutters in a Caribbean aqua hue, a sparkling tiled bar, and a magenta & lime LED-lit wall sporting Braille-like bumps, which begs the question: who cares how Braille is lit?
Incorporating different regional flavors into each dish, apps kick off with white northern/turtle bean soup w/ pickled red onion & Canadian bacon, mint-/thyme-seasoned lamb meatballs with chipotle yogurt dip, and mint-horseradish Mojito-sauced Gigante shrimp that're grilled then chilled (so feel free to season 'em with some Guantam-Old Bay). Mains follow suit, with lunchtime sandos including a lime-herb mayo'd take on the BLT that replaces the B with chicken cracklings, pickled okra shrimp po' boys, and a Kentucky bourbon ham/roasted pork Cuban Club; dinner, meanwhile, involves blue-corn-crusted monkfish tacos, buttermilk battered fried chicken w/ saffron-scented chorizo rice, and a bone-in Tomahawk rib-eye sided with scalped scalloped vegetables.
Should you need brunching options, they're covering the bases with Caribbean squash pancakes w/ VT maple syrup and Canadian bacon, and the oxtail & jalapeno-cheese cornbread Pan-American Benedict, which counter-intuitively betrayed its muffins because they were English.
Soft opens this week: 202 Mott St, btwn Spring and Kenmare; Nolita; 212.925.9225