Location: 35 E 21st St, New York, NY 10010. (212) 913-9659
Date: July 1, 2017
Cuisine: Modern Mexican
Rating: Interesting ultra modern Mexican
Cosme made #3 of New York restaurants on a list of the best 100 restaurants in the world.
Cosme is a restaurant in New York City’s Flatiron District serving contemporary Mexican-inspired cuisine. World-renowned Chef Enrique Olvera and his team create dishes rooted in Mexican flavors and traditions, while also celebrating local and seasonal ingredients from the Hudson Valley and surrounding region. Cosme’s beverage program focuses on artisanal spirits and mirrors its cuisine, letting the high quality ingredients shine.
The interior mostly subscribed to the “keep it really dark so they won’t see our minimalist decor.”
A sort of compari/aperol old fashioned. Pretty good.
For my son, a cheese quesadilla (off menu).
Chips with a kind of romesco-like paste. The paste was great.
Cobia al pastor, pineapple puree, cilantro. A nice crudo with sweet and savory notes.
Uni tostada, avocado, bone marrow salsa, cucumber. I liked this a lot, despite the tomatoes. The uni was very briny. We had an uni virgin at the table and she was not a fan — but it is an acquired taste.
Lobster, shiso, ginger mojo, brown butter. You could really taste the lobster. Next biggest note was ginger and butter.
Ayocote bean salad, market greens, charred cucumber vinaigrette. Nice salad, beans were at the bottom.
Morel haurache, fava bean salsa, epazote, black lime. I loved this dish, but it was very spicy. Long serrano type heat.
Pink peppercorn and axiote seafood aguchile. Cerviche basically. Strong lime flavors.
Soft-shell crab with salsa verde and tomatoes. Nice crab.
Branzino a la talla. Very delicious seabass with a lot of flavor.
Duck carnitas, onions, radishes, cilantro. This dish was very highly recommended and it was pricey ($89!). But it’s also about 3 times the food of the other dishes. Lots of duck, maybe most of a duck. It did have the texture of pulled pork too.
There were various condiments that went with it.
So I loaded it up on a blue corn tortilla.
Emmoladas, ricotta, hoja santa, queso fresco. Basically a dark mole with various dairy additives. We had to get the dairy on the side for one person. I love mole and I loved this dish. I basically ate it on tortillas.
Short rib, scallions, cipollini, avocado. Nice chunk of meat.
Husk meringue, corn mousse. I didn’t know what to expect from this dish, but it was fabulous. Very light and fluffy, with a mousse-like texture blending with the crunchier meringue. Light pleasant sweet corn notes.
Rhubarb sundae, chile ancho, shiso, lemongrass ice cream. Super delicious also with unexpected flavors and textures.
Flourless chocolate cake, peanuts, coconut-lime creme fraiche. The second half of it was served “on the side.”
peanuts, coconut-lime creme fraiche. Made for an excellent dessert all by itself.
Trio of weird sorbet. Calamansi, raspberry, chamoy. All three were made with a very low sugar concentration for sorbet so they weren’t sweet enough even to my Italian tuned taste. The orange one which was a kind of passionfruit/mango with chili (like one of the Mexican candies) was my favorite. Extremely adult.
Overall, an interesting place. It was too loud. Not that trendy new places in LA aren’t too loud, but I don’t like this trend so I’ll call it out. One of my New York friends who sent me there thought so too. We had a hard time talking at our table of 7.
Service was not up to snuff for a restaurant of this quality. It was pleasant, and we didn’t get any attitude (which some people complain about online) but the waiter, while extremely nice and helpful, barely showed up. We “let him go” at the beginning because we were talking and then had to wait about 20 minutes before we saw him again to order drinks (I hate that). Also once we took the order runners brought the food and he didn’t come by for a long time. We got everything in just 2-3 flights which resulting in too many dishes at one time, but he explained that he did this on purpose because we had so many dietary restrictions (which we did) so fair enough.
Food was excellent, but I wasn’t totally blown away. Flavors were very bright and interesting but I thought that Hoja Santa in Barcelona (similar style food) was quite a bit better. Part of this was the format. Hoja Santa was a long small item tasting menu and because they catered to the dietary restrictions on an individual basis made for a much more civilized experience. Staff was just more on point there, but it is Spain and an Adrià brothers restaurant. In summary, I would say that the Cosme kitchen is excellent and doing some really good work but that the whole “experience” needs a bit of tuning to take it from a “trendy NY eatery” up to the level of a world class restaurant.