La Esquina - Upstairs Brasserie vs Not-So-Secret Downstairs
I've read that the menu at both the upstairs brasserie and the reserve-three-weeks-in-advance downstairs dining areas at La Esquine on Kenmare Street are the same.
I'm just wondering if this is actually true or not. Are there any added benefits to securing a dining reservation downstairs, other than feeling exclusive?
Not the same at all - you can view the menus on the website. The upstairs is fairly traditional, straightforward (but quite solid) Mexican - their brunch is especially good. Downstairs it's fancified a little, quite good if not as exciting as, say, Empellon - caveat that I haven't been downstairs since Chef Nawab left. Don't know what the new guy is doing, if he's even changed the menu yet, or what. Could be better / worse, couldn't say. (The upstairs menu doesn't really change with the chefs...)
The Chile Relleno is available on both floors, yet for some reason costs $4 more if you eat it downstairs. Never had them back-to-back but it didn't appear there was any difference between them - kind of lame of them to do that, in my opinion. At least dress it up some fancier cheese or something to warrant the price difference...