0 Love It
Midtown East
As Mexican cuisine gets more and more haute, it’s refreshing to find Zarela as warm, friendly and, above all, delicious as it was when it introduced New Yorkers to “real Mexican food” over twenty years ago. Folk-art decor, tissue-paper cutouts and a knowledgeable, attentive staff create a festive yet relaxed vibe that complements such dishes as chile relleno stuffed with “poor man’s picadillo” —an expert combo of flavor and punch; sweetly sticky plantains served with Oaxacan mole; or one of the city’s best cochinito pibil, Yucatán slow-cooked pork marinated with achiote and oranges. Daily specials, like a meaty grilled octopus spiked with jalapeño and garlic, point to an assured hand in the kitchen; thank goodness some things never change.
Venue name: Zarela
Address: 953 Second Ave
New York
Cross street: between 50th and 51st Sts
Opening hours: Mon–Thu noon–3pm, 5–11pm; Fri noon–3pm, 5–11:30pm; Sat 5–11:30pm; Sun 5–10pm
Transport: Subway: E, V to Lexington Ave–53rd St; 6 to 51st St
Price: Average main course: $18; $42 prix-fixe dinner; $29.95 prix-fixe lunch. AmEx, DC, MC, V
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