Great Mexican joints

In anticipation of Cinco de Mayo, we check out five new places that are breathing life into New York’s South of the Border dining and drinking scene.

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  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Carrots with mole at Empellón Cocina

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Queso fundido with lobster at Empellón Cocina

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Squid and potatoes with black mole at Empellón Cocina

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Masa crisps with shrimp and sea urchin mousse at Empellón Cocina

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Carrots with mole at Empellón Cocina

The regional mash-up | The Mexico City cantina | The subterranean pulque den
The anti-taqueria | The farm-to-table restaurante

The anti-taqueria:
Empellón Cocina

The backstory: Chef Alex Stupak jarred the food establishment last year when he left a decorated pastry career to open Empellón Taqueria with his wife, Lauren Resler. The West Village joint was shaky at first, but it gained its footing (and a Food & Drink nom for Stupak as Chef of the Year) before its first anniversary. For his sophomore project, which opened in February, the risk-taking toque pulled another ballsy move, opening a tacoless Mexican restaurant and rejecting the country’s most beloved snack for less familiar culinary territory.

What to order: At this East Village restaurant, Stupak’s sophisticated menu offers an impressionistic take on Mexico’s traditional eats, with small plates that showcase classic ingredients in outré compositions. In an one architectural dish, sweet, slow-cooked ruby-red shrimp ($18) are sandwiched with rich uni mousse between upright crisps of nutty masa, and are enlivened with paper-thin slices of jalapeño. In another, tender hunks of lobster are covered in creamy melted Tetilla cheese laced with kol, a Yucatan-style white sauce akin to béchamel, and offset with zippy dollops of habanero-spiked tomato sauce ($19). There’s no reason to miss tacos while digging into a dish of improbably tender rabbit ($27), which is stuffed with meaty shiitakes, bacon and floral poblano peppers and cooked sous vide. The plate takes its cues from Southern biscuits and gravy, with a bright sauce made from cream, cilantro, parsley and a Toluca-style chorizo that gets its green hue from poblanos.

105 First Ave between 6th and 7th Sts (212-780-0999)

Users say

3 comments
jade
jade

Compadres resturants. Few in ashtubula ohio. One in grove city pa. Meadville pa and new castle pa few others

özden aloba
özden aloba

Hay?rl? olsun,bol ?ans dilerim,hepinize sevgiler..