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Fonda on 7th Ave in the Slope

I believe the restaurant used to be Little D's, but does anyone have the scoop (kind of cuisine, opening?) on Fonda -7th and 15th?

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  1. I heard from the Little D staff before they closed that the new place was supposed to be "upscale Mexican." Whether that means something closer to Toloache or Hell's Kitchen, or whether that was accurate at all, remains to be seen.

    1. Does it have any relation to the owner of ZuZu's petals?

      1. I just got back to the city and walked past to see a packed house eating at Fonda last night. No menu posted on the window, but the place was mobbed, so somebody must have been there and hopefully can give us a few hints...

        1 Reply
        1. re: cjd260

          More than likely it was a soft opening "friends and family" event. While someone who attended might well post I'll be more interested to hear from people without a direct connection to the restaurant. That should happen in the next few weeks.

        2. I live around the corner and I ate there on their soft opening on Tuesday night and Saturday night. I can unequivocally say that this is a hot restaurant. I was not really expecting much, but I have been floored by a few of the dishes. One that comes to mind isthe Marco Pollo, a spicy melt off the bone chicken dish, as well as the chorizo appetizer. We also shared the guacamole and I had the skirt steak, both of which were definitely superb.

          What I really liked though is that it is not the basic Mexican, but they dress it up and make it interesting and new. The prices are certainly reasonable for the quality and the location, and I would definitely see myself going there again.

          As for atmosphere, it is a mixed crowd of a few families, a few couples, and other assorted folks from the neighnborhood. Cool little bar scene also happening, all under control by Karen who runs the bar area and pours generous drinks. Roberto is the chef / owner and he was ever present as well asking everyone how their meals where and just being a personable and aware of his customers. Overall, the service was quite good for a restaurant that just opened this week.

          1. We ate there tonight and were really pleased. Very excited to have this new addition to the neighborhood, as we live in Windsor Terrace its quite close. Service was very attentive and friendly, and without a hitch, which was impressive given that its their first week and they were mobbed (by 6:30 or so quite full!) Traditional margaritas were excellent, maybe the best we've had in Brooklyn. Menu is small but interesting creative takes on some traditional dishes.

            For apps we passed on the guacamole as we really wanted to try some of the more unusual dishes. Seemed like just about every other table was having the guac though! We had a plate (can't recall what it was called) which was tortillas filled with duck under a really delicious (and very spicy) mole...not your typical chocolate mole but a much lighter, mole ammarillo (actually more orange than yellow, not sure which chilis were in it). Excellent! Also had the grilled chorizo which was really a queso fundido with chorizo, came with mini tortillas and a great salsa verde. Off to a good start! Spouse had shrimp tortilla with hazelnut mole---very unusual, the mole was excellent although he thought the shrimp themselves (small salad-size shrimps) while plentiful, were a bit bland. There was a taste in the mole we couldn't identify, a talk with the chef/owner Roberto informed us it was vanilla---really a unique flavor. I had the pork adobo which was nice big moist chunks of pork in yet another great sauce, over black beans. They really do know their sauces/moles here! Everything was great and we pretty much licked the plates clean.

            Finally, we over-stuffed ourselves with the mexican bittersweet brownie with cajeta and "burnt tequila whipped cream". Well, neither of us could taste any tequila, burnt or otherwise, in the whipped cream but it still was yummy and very rich. The brownies were moist, full of chocolate chunks and pumpkin seeds. All in all a very satisfying meal and everything reasonably priced, I think this place will be a regular stop, if it doesn't become so crowded that we can't get in. Certainly better than any of the other "upscale" Mexican places in the area (Barrio, Alma.)

            3 Replies
            1. re: jinx

              I agree with jinx. Went there last night and at 7.30 it was pretty hopping for a brand-new place. Word is out that it's good (and cheaper than Barrio); once they close that back patio for the winter, it'll be tough to get a table.
              And I'll be back. Guac was fine, much helped by the little corn tortillas that came as well as yummy salty chips and especially an excellent smoky tomatillo hot sauce. I had the hazelnut mole enchiladas and found them interesting and good. The shrimp were salty & tasty. My companions liked their cod, and LOVED the Mexican-infused burger.
              Agree fully on the brownies--we got it because of the burnt tequila whipped cream & couldn't taste it at all, but it was a good dessert anyway. The tamarind margaritas were also excellent.
              Nice place, friendly service, good vibe, good food, good prices. I wish it were closer to my house!

              1. re: chowbie

                It's hopping because of the good food plus the fact that this is the 1st solo venture for a pretty well known chef. http://tastingtable.com/ecs/1165.htm?... Folks I know in Texas really like him. I'm hoping to get there before he gets too crowded and no one goes anymore :-)

                1. re: Steve R

                  Good luck with that! We just left Fonda and there were at least a dozen people waiting outside the restaurant. On a Thursday. This is not normal for South Slope.

            2. Not to rain on the parade of all who found Fonda wonderful, I have to say I was underwhelmed. I will admit to having some bias, as I am Mexican and grew up eating wonderful food at home... Last night we had the Flautas for the app which we found to be extremely salty. The red and green sauces were ok, but honestly couldn't taste much beyond the salt and some heat. The skirt steak was ok, cooked well, served over a light tomato cream sauce and folded tortillas and a sprinkling of cheese. I guess it was supposed to be a deconstructed enchilada? It was ok, but certainly not worth a trip back for. My boyfriend had the Marco Pollo, which was a reasonably tender chicken leg/thigh in an achiote spiced sauce with tomato which was supposed to be used to make tacos (tortillas provided) this was a nice sauce similar to the arroz con pollo I make at home. The rice and beans were middling as well, and served lukewarm. The rice was studded with cilantro and onion which was fine, sort of like Chipotle. The beans had a smokey chile in them but I found them to be fairly bland, except for the salt. For me with Mexican food you can tell a cook by how well they make their beans. Overall the prices were not bad, $50 for two entrees, one app and a margarita (which was really good) also the service was excellent. But honestly after all the talking up about this place I expected better than mediocre. I might be persuaded to go back and try the mole, but I'll cook at home otherwise.