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Mesa Verde

Offering a wide selection of tequila to relieve you after that climb at Curtin House.
By Amy Collins
June 27, 2013
By Amy Collins
June 27, 2013

There is always one of two things that stick with you after a visit to Curtin House on Swanston Street — those stairs, or the inevitable hangover the next morning. By the time you get up a few flights — even before Rooftop — the drinks are well deserved. Found on level six, Mesa Verde is an open, wooden room filled with personality. And, with the loud PAM staff uniforms, personality is obvious. Think the complete opposite of a cocktail bartender's uniform. There are no vests or suspenders in sight.

A Mexican influence is heavy on the food and drinks front. A seriously curated wall of tequila is what you'll find behind the bar as you peruse the menu where you'll find that cocktails relu heavily on the Mexican spirit. For those in the mood for a cocktail try the margarita de la casa ($19) a classic mix of tequila, lime and agave or one of the concoctions inspired by Mexican figures like Frida Kahlo, El Santo and even El Chupacabra. If you're a group in the mood to party, go for a cocktail to share like the house sangria ($58, serves four), with red wine, curacao, orange and jalapeno, or the cana con mango ($38, serves two), with rum, cognac, mango, orgeat and lime all served in a flaming volcano.

Cocktails aren't the only ones invited to the party. The taps pour a rotating roster of independent brews, while the wine list features a list of predominantly Australian wines, bar the Champagne and sparkling lists.

To accompany the liquids, there is a pretty extensive food menu to sit alongside the drinks list. Keeping in theme, snack on things like Victoria-grown corn tortilla chips with guac ($12) or the market fish ceviche, habanero negro, compressed cucumber and coconut ($19). For something more substantial try the tacos ($7) with fillings like pork belly al guajillo with grilled pineapple, grilled achiote chicken thigh with pineapple mole and queso Oaxaca or caramelised mushrooms with salsa quemada. Sweet tooths will be happy to know there is a dessert menu. You can top off the evening with horchata ice cream with corn meringue, dulce de leche and soft chocolate ($14), churros and mezcal hot chocolate sauce ($10) or hibiscus-mezcal sorbet ($5). And if deciding is not really your thing, you can opt for the chef's selection at $55 a head with a drinks pairing for an additional $40 each.

Mesa Verde is adding something a little different to the already full Curtin House. It earns its place as a stopover to one of the many other venues, or as a destination in itself.

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