Insects for dinner! The Ofrenda crew is launching new restaurant the Black Ant

Modern Latin eatery the Black Ant will offer grasshopper tlayudas and ant-salted cocktails in the East Village

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Buñuelos de pato from The Black Ant

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Ceviche de jurel from The Black Ant

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Tacos enchapulinados from The Black Ant

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Robalo en recado negro from The Black Ant

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    The Naturalys from The Black Ant

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Yum Kaax from The Black Ant

Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Buñuelos de pato from The Black Ant

Finding insects in food usually signals a DOH shutdown, but creepy crawlers are welcome at this modern Mayan cocina (expected to open by May), from Ofrenda owners Jorge Guzman and Cliff Freid, and La Esquina alum Mario Hernandez. The titular critter—dehydrated and imported from Mexico, where it's a delicacy—makes its way into several of Hernandez's New Latin plates, including guajillo-jerk chicken with salsa de hormiga (literally "ant sauce"), and even one of Guzman's agave-based cocktails: The Yum Kaax finishes mescal and corn juice with an ant-salt rim.

For the squeamish, bug-free dishes include blood clams with chicharrón dust, Baja-style cod-cheek tacos with mango slaw, and braised-rabbit enchiladas with chilacayote ragout. The 155-seat space is as quirky as the menu, decorated with ant-stenciled wall tiles, hand-painted bug murals and black-and-white photos of Mexico City. See the full dinner menu below.

60 Second Ave between 3rd and 4th Sts (212-598-0300)

Black Ant Guacamole $13
Avocado, orange, pasilla, grilled scallions, chicatana salt, corn tortillas

Ensalada de Quintoniles $12
Walnuts, avocado, requesón, apple blossom, pasilla and chile amarillo ashes, pitiona vinaigrette, honeycombs

Gazpacho Chido $8
Grapes, almonds, nopal, orange, pineapple, cilantro yogurt

Ceviche de Jurel $13
Yellowtail, green papaya, cilantro, serrano black-ant ponzu, long beans

Pata de Mula y Cerdo $14
Blood clams, avocado, pied de cochón,bruja pitiona salsa, chicharrón dust

Huarache de Nopal $12
Grilled cactus pad, black mission figs, asadero cheese, piloncillo chilhuacle marmalade

Dzic de venado $13
Chia-seed tostada, braised venison salpicón, orange habanero salsa

Tlayuda con Chapulines $14
Crunchy tortilla, sautéed grasshoppers, giñadu, queso de rancho, chile de agua salsa

Tacos de Cocochas $13
Cod cheeks, Baja-style mango slaw, guacamaya salsa, garlic aioli

Taco de Chivo Revolcado $12
Zacatecas-style free-range goat barbacoa, chintextle, yogurt pitiona salsa

Tacos Enchapulinados $ 14
Shrimps chapulín crust, tabiche aioli, avocado micro-carrots salad

Robalo en Recado Negro $26
Black sea bass, recado negro, mescal mushroom rice

Zegetza $27
Diver scallops, toasted corn guajillo pitiona guisado, oxtail tinga, requesón tortillas

Pollo de Plaza $23
Black Ant guajillo jerk roasted chicken, salsa cruda, creamy string beans, tortillas

Buñuelos de Pato $24
Crispy roasted duck dumplings, mole negro, cotija cheese

Enchiladas de Conejo $24
Braised rabbit and chilacayote ragout enchilada, adobo, escabeche, añejocheese

Cerdo en Mole #1 $25
Roasted suckling pig, green Oaxacan mole, seasonal vegetables, hoja santa tortillas

Costilla en Chichilo $27
Short ribs, chichilo negro, chochoyotes, recaudo, amaranth salad

Maíz y Tierra $22 (vegan option)
Chile atole, wild mushrooms, maíz, flor de calabaza, huitlacoche dust, gusanos de maguey

Fresh tortillas
Mescal rice
Roasted chile de agua
Nopal fries
Giñadu (Oaxaca-style beans)

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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

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