L at Bedford Ave.; J, M, Z at Marcy Ave.
While Felipe Mendez’s other Williamsburg Mexican restaurant, La Superior, is designed to be a funky, down-home taqueria, his new Cantina Royal is “somewhere between street food and high-end,” he tells Grub Street. “Cantinas in Mexico are more like a place to sit with friends and hang out and drink and get tapas-style food.” Signature bites include colimeño," a filet mignon tostada with melty Monterrey jack and a house made tomatillo salsa. Even if you’re just dropping by for a cocktail, like one of Mendez’s signature margaritas, or maybe a “tequila martini,” there are complimentary housemade salsas ranging from mild to spicy to smoky for anyone who nabs one of the 42 seats. To position the venue as “a place to have fun,” Mendez created a combination gallery-performance-lounge space in back, where he hopes to screen films and hold dance parties