Before you go to a restaurant, what do you want — or need — to know most? In our series, The Rundown, we’re sharing all the essentials about newly opened (as well as some of your favorite) restaurants.
This time, we’re taking a look at Bosco, a new cocktail bar and restaurant from Tara Rose vets Kevin Doherty and Stephen “Stevie” Wynne where the drinks and the food take inspiration from Ireland, Mexico, and Latin America. Here’s everything you need to know before you go.
1. Bosco is an Irish bar and Latin American restaurant with an Italian name.
Bosco was not a name that Doherty came by easily. “Someone told me once, you need two reasons behind the name of a restaurant or bar,” he says. “Tara Rose, for example, is named for Rose Hill [where the restaurant is located in Manhattan] and the most famous hill in Ireland, the Hill of Tara.”
Settling on the name Bosco proved to be more complex. Local research revealed that Bleecker Street had once been home to a popular deli named Mario Bosco Co., and that conjured up some childhood memories, in particular, for Doherty. “Bosco is an Irish TV puppet — anyone who is Irish and hears the name Bosco will immediately think of that puppet.” With two solid reasons behind the name, he did some further digging and came across well-known Mexican artist, Bosco Sodi. It was an aha moment and thus, the name was born. “Bosco connected all three histories — American, Irish and Mexican — in one.”
2. Expect full-blown Irish hospitality as soon as you step inside.
You’re certain to receive a warm Irish welcome when you arrive; the front-of-house team is almost 100% Irish. What not to expect? Dart boards and shamrocks. “This is more akin to an Irish gastropub,” says Doherty, “where the food is valued as much as the drinks.”
In other words, it’s a neighborhood bar, but seriously stepped up. “You can expect 10 people standing around the bar drinking craft cocktails and beer, and another group at a table just eating great Mexican food,” says Doherty. “This is meant to be a casual place,” he adds. “We aren’t rushing anyone out, and there isn’t any pretention.”
3. It serves seriously solid Latin American and Mexican street food.
The combination of an Irish cocktail bar with exceptional Latin American-inspired food might be a bit unexpected, but that’s the point. Says Doherty, “This isn’t fusion food; there will be no corned beef and cabbage tacos at Bosco.”
Doherty was connected to chef Alan Delgado through a friend and says he knew within 10 seconds that Delgado was the ideal chef to develop the menu. Previously, Delgado worked at Michelin-starred Oxomoco and at the now-closed Xilonen. At Bosco, the consulting chef focuses on Latin American and Mexican dishes he grew up eating. Expect dishes like shrimp ceviche tostadas, loaded guacamole with chicharrones and bacon, and aguachile verde with snapper. A trio of salsas ranging in heat will be made daily. “Everything will be made fresh, ” says Doherty. “One of my rules is that we don’t have a freezer, so we have to stick to keeping it fresh.”
One standout dish not to miss? The queso fundido, made with three types of cheese, chorizo, and peppers, and served fondue-style. “You spoon the warm fundido into the corn tortillas, almost like a deconstructed quesadilla,” says Doherty. “It’s one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten.”
4. Irish cocktails and spirits have a starring role on the bar menu.
Wynne is an award-winning mixologist and the bar menu features plenty of creative cocktails, as well as twists on the classics. Expect crystal-clear block ice in your drinks, and housemade touches like syrups made of hemp orgeat and lime oleo saccharum.
One highlight is the Below 14th, a refreshing tropical margarita. “It’s a tequila highball with a tiki twist. We blend fresh pineapple and cinnamon to a syrup, then add lime soda,” Wynne says. “It actually tastes a little like a Cinnabon roll.” Another drink, called Mo Chara (meaning “my friend” in Gaelic) uses a whiskey called Lost Irish. The whiskey, and the cocktail, are a tribute to the Irish immigrants who came to the U.S. and never returned to Ireland. It’s made with whiskey, ginger, and fresh lime.
Another nod to Ireland? “We have Guinness on tap, as well as Irish whiskey, vodka, and gin. Who knew Ireland had gin?” says Doherty. “It’s fecking delicious!” And of course, in keeping with the convivial high-low vibe, there will be Budweiser, too.
Bosco’s space was also designed around the bar, with plenty of high booths that make it easy to see your cocktails being made from almost any seat in the restaurant. And if you’d prefer to be seated outdoors, you’re in luck: there’s enough outdoor seating for up to 60 diners.
5. Stop by for the live music, too.
Greenwich Village has no shortage of music venues, and Bosco intends to be a part of that scene. DJs spin in-house on the weekends, with more nights to be added to the schedule on the horizon. The music is often a mix of 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s tunes, with classics such as Abba and current sounds from the likes of Harry Styles. “We’re playing the songs that make you sing and dance, when the time is right and the mood strikes,” says Doherty.
In order to be good neighbors, Doherty and Wynne also did some renovations to the space. “We lowered the ceiling by over two feet and sound-proofed it, installed high-end soundproof windows, and bought speakers that won’t go above a certain base level,” Doherty says.
Bosco is open Sunday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Happy hour is Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., and all day on Sunday.