Mariscos El Submarino is a fun and casual counter-service joint in Jackson Heights that opened in 2020 with a mustachioed cartoon mascot and a killer bowl of aguachile, the Sinaloa specialty that’s like ceviche, but with more zing. It’s a terrific little spot that quickly gained a cult following, and a rave review in the Times in the fall of 2021 that brought in even more crowds.
So when co-owners chef Alonso Guzman and Amy Hernandez announced they were coming to Greenpoint this year, we were stoked about getting El Submarino II in North Brooklyn, especially if they could somehow bring those Jackson Heights prices with them.
Ah, but the couple had something different, and more ambitious, in mind. Welcome, Mitica, a full-service restaurant that took over the Anella space on Franklin Street, with some 80 seats in the wood-paneled dining room, the spacious covered backyard patio, and at the bar.
Yes, there are several good cured-seafood dishes on the menu here, but Mitica also boasts a couple of hefty meat monsters, including an $85 tomahawk steak. We are definitely not in Submarino territory anymore.
“It’s a Mexican restaurant, but not like traditional Mexican,” Guzman tells Brooklyn Magazine. “We’re bringing all the Mexican flavors [from El Submarino], but we use different techniques here. Like we have risotto, and mashed potatoes. It’s something different. In the beginning we thought about opening an El Submarino here, but me and my wife both agreed that we can maybe do something else, something more, for Brooklyn.”
First, the swimmers. Mitica’s aguachile negro features four raw marinated shrimp sitting up between slices of charred avocado, everything soaking in a puddle of Guzman’s dark, fiery sauce. This is a signature dish at Submarino, and Guzman assured us that the flavors are the same (I remembered it being spicier), but the portion size, and meticulous plating, are much more refined here in Greenpoint.
My favorite fish dish was the Mitica makabra, a crisp tostada piled high with chopped chunks of tuna, octopus, and shrimp, everything drizzled with a lively chiltepin sauce.
The base for the lobster-topped taco “gobernador” is a chewy carrot tortilla.
The bean-stuffed tlacoyo is also quite chewy, with ricotta cheese and a pile of pickled nopal, or cactus, on top.
I haven’t tried that tomahawk steak, but both of Guzman’s other meaty dishes are delicious. The fatty, funky duck breast is laid out on a bed of well-seasoned, bright green pipian risotto, and functions as a classic entree-type dish.
The spectacular chamorro, on the other hand, is too rich not to share, just a huge hunk of pork shank sticky with charred fat and adobada sauce.
There’s a full bar at Mitica, with a menu of $15 cocktails — the mezcal “cucumber cooler” is an early hit — a few bottled beers from which to choose and Greenpoint ale on tap. The music is Mexican bangers, and the outdoor dining area is the place to be.
“This is such a nice neighborhood,” says Guzman, “with very nice people. It’s all a new adventure for me. I really enjoy it.”
Mitica is located at 222 Franklin Street, right near Green Street, and is currently open on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m., on Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11, and on Sunday from 5 to 9:30.