El Nivel is located in the heart of Covent Garden tucked away on Maiden Lane above it’s sister bar La Perla. The kitchen is run by Mauricio Rico, a Mexican chef from Mexico City who brings authenticity to the dishes served in this cosy restaurant.
The restaurant itself is relatively small with some 25 covers and a good sized bar which displays a treasure trove of mezcal, tequila and Mexican beers. The staff are very knowledgeable and will guide you through the range of Mezcal and Tequila. Not only this, but the cocktail menu, composed primarily of Mezcal and Tequila cocktails, is varied ,innovative, and fairly priced.
The food itself is delicious, authentic and exquisitely presented, highlighting chef Rico’s passion and attention to detail. We decided to order a range of small dishes to share rather than one main course thus being able to sample more dishes. This is typical Mexican dining. The tostadas de Atun “Luzia” were crunchy and with a lovely maize flavour that complemented the outstanding fresh tuna. The “Enogada” flautas with goat’s cheese and a blue cheese sauce was an interesting twist on a Mexican street food classic. The final dish of note were the “Tortas ahogadas” or drowned tortas. The different coloured buns were a sight for the eyes while the pork belly filling and chile de arbol sauce were a match made in heaven.
All in all El Nivel is an authentic yet modern restaurant well worth the visit. Tucked away in Covent Garden’s back streets it is outstanding for the range of food and drink along with the friendly and knowledgeable staff.
A few dishes from the evening:
Visit El Nivel’s website here