By Maureen Werther
Blue Agave Cantina opened in mid-March at 135 Crescent Ave., the site of the former Leon’s Restaurant.
Brad Smith is the new owner and Patrick Longton is the chef.
Native Saratogian Smith received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and his master’s degree from UNLV School of Hospitality. His credentials include managing some restaurants in Las Vegas, including Wynn, Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grille and three of Wolfgang Puck’s restaurants.
In 2011, Smith returned to Saratoga and worked for DZ Restaurants for a period of time, before becoming part owner in 2014 of the Mexican Connection. Blue Agave is his latest culinary adventure. He said he is excited about his collaboration with Longton.
Longton has an American/French culinary background, but when he and Smith got together to talk about Blue Agave, “It was like two musicians jamming and feeding off each other’s passions,” said Smith. The menu is “kind of like Bobby Flay meets Rick Bayless.”
Longton and Smith created a kid’s menu, including “deconstructed tacos.” Kids will get all the ingredients and be able to put together their own tacos. Longton will also offer mini-taco shells to fit in child-sized hands, along with his own Mexican style mini-mac and cheese.
After Leon’s closed in the last week of December, Smith and his team did extensive remodeling and re-branding, creating a different atmosphere. By the end of April, Smith said he plans to open an outdoor patio, including a bar that will seat 6-8 people and a dining area that will accommodate 40-50 guests. There will be live music.
Daily happy hour is from 3:30-6 p.m. Blue Agave is sponsoring a “Tequila of the month” feature, whereby people can visit Blue Agave on Facebook and vote for their favorite tequila each month. The restaurant has a preferred guest club membership, which is free to join. Members are eligible to earn rewards like free track season parking and other perks, based on the money they spend at Blue Agave.
Its phone number is 886-9534.