Locals may have embraced southside casa Fonda Windsor with open arms despite its temporary status as a dry zone, but last week heralded the end of prohibition with the venue’s upstairs bar, Ático, opening for business.
Just like Fonda, which literally translates to ‘small house’, Ático’s title isn’t all that cryptic. Indeed, the bar sits in a converted attic above the main dining hall. Hidden from view at street level, the intimate, moody space offsets the lofty, light-filled restaurant downstairs.
An inventive bar snacks menu by head chef Ravi Presser, coupled with an expanded drinks list courtesy of ex-Der Raum bartender Josh Hoff and Mamasita alumnus Matt Clarebrough make for quite the fiesta. Alongside Mexican bottled beers, wines and 100 per cent agave tequilas (made from the pure plant minus the added sugar responsible for that distinctive tequila hangover), the cocktail is king here.
“In keeping with our emphasis on in-house production, the ingredients used in our cocktails are exceptionally high-quality and not processed,” says owner Tim McDonald. “Instead of post mix and soda water we’re using fresh nectar, mint and high quality herbs and spices to draw out the taste of top-notch spirits. To encourage people to opt for a cocktail over a beer, all of them leave you with change from a lobster.”
Try the tequila-based Mexi Rosa Frozen Margarita with grapefruit, lime and vanilla, or a nostalgic Old Fashioned comprised of just three ingredients: Gran Centenario Reposado tequila, agave and whiskey barrel-aged bitters. For real purists, there are Anejo year-aged tequilas, made for sipping and savouring.
Whatever your poison, if it’s a drink you need after a particularly fiery taco, you’ll find it upstairs in Windsor’s newest hiding place.