The best restaurant to open up in New York City this year is Empellon Cocina. A meal there last week blew my mind, and it was the the first time I ever ate at a restaurant, and had to make a reservation for the next night to come back to try more of the menu.
Empellon Cocina comes to us from Chef Alex Stupak, the very talented former pastry chef of WD-50, who opened up the Mexican taqueria, Empellon Taqueria in the West Village last year. Empellon Taqueria is a very good restaurant, but don't expect tacos at Cocina. These are two very different restaurants. The flavors of all the dishes at Empellon Cocina are unlike anything I had encountered before. This is Mexican like you've never had before-and you need to have it!
My first insight into culinary genius was the Peeky Toe Crab, served with parsnip juice, crab flan, and smoked cashew salsa. This refreshing and light dish packed a harmony of delicious flavor and texture, that was so good, I almost cried. Little hints of green chilies elevated an amazing dish to another level. Order it.
Melted Tetilla Cheese with Lobster Tomate Frito and Kol (a Yucatan style white sauce), was pure awesomeness. I love cheese. I love lobster. Bring them together so eloquently in a dish and you have my stomach, and my heart.
Squid with Heirloom Potatoes, Chorizo, Mayonnaise, and Black Mole is a triumph. First of all, it's a work of art. My plate looked like a painting, truly stunning. All the flavors in this dish came together so beautifully and perfectly, I just could not believe what was happening. I became entranced in the dish. It was an outer body experience. These flavors took me on a culinary adventure, to a place I had never been before, and it was a true joy.
For dessert, Vanilla Marquesote, with orange, Piloncillo and cafe con leche ice cream, was also out of this world awesome. A fabulous ending to a mind-blowing meal.
I was so excited and giddy after this meal that I really did make a ressie for the next night where I encountered some more unique dishes and flavors.
From a guacamole with pistachios and served with masa chips, a duck dish with Tinga Poblana (roasted tomato, chorizo, chipotle), and an Estofado de Costillas (baby bacl ribs, plantains, pineapple, Oaxacan style), these dishes too, were delicious. My mind was maybe not as blown as the night before, but these flavors were still transporting and different, and I appreciated every bite.
So head on down to Empellon Cocina immediately. Flavors, uniqueness, ingenuity, and pure awesomeness like this should not be missed. A magical culinary adventure awaits.
105 First Avenue (bet. 6th and 7th)
New York, NY 10003