Arroz con Rum, Santa Teresa 1796, Avua Amburana, Fernet Vallet, Ancho Reyes, Cashew Horchata
Herb Guacamole, House Tostadas
Uni Tostada, Avocado, Bone Marrow Salsa, Cucumber
Pink Peppercorn and Axiote Seafood Aguachile
Fried Oyster Torta, Chorizo, Black Beans, Chipotle
Duck Carnitas, Onions, Radishes, Cilantro
Husk Meringue, Corn Mousse
Warm Pecan Tart, Salt and Pepper Ice Cream
More impressed by Pujol than many have recently been, rumors of lousy service and dumbed down food not witnessed across seventeen dishes and nearly 180 minutes at the new location in March, it was with slightly lower expectations that a party of three sat down at Cosme on Memorial Day in New York City, the “World’s 40th Best Restaurant” according to San Pellegrino probably a bit overrated in that regard, but nonetheless putting out several great plates with service that was friendly, informed and efficient.
Owned by Enrique Olvera and toqued by 2016 Rising Star Chef Daniela Soto-Innes, a smash hit with New Yorkers and culinary tourists ever since opening in 2014 thanks to its upscale Mexican Cuisine, strong Drinks and fashionable Flatiron location, it was minutes before Cosme’s noon opening that several groups gathered in the restaurant’s small foyer as ethnic music blared overhead, everything turned down immediately as the clock struck 12:00, diners led past the long bar full of Mezcal and shelves decorated in various knick-knacks, a seat along the left back corner mostly shielded from the conversation of others with a few view of the room’s dynamics.
Approaching the restaurant as Mexican with a focus on local ingredients, the Ant Larvae and Pulque of Polanco replaced by Hudson Valley Duck and Produce from the Union Square Green Market, Cosme offers lunch till 2:30pm on weekdays and dinner from 5:30 till eleven o’clock at night daily, the weekend Brunch slightly different from Lunch service largely in terms of a Pastry Basket and Lamb Barbacoa in place of the famous Duck Carnitas, that fact alone enough to suggest a weekday visit as the sharable entrée featuring crisp Skin, supple Flesh and cold Vegetables plus housemade Tortillas was every bit worth the $45 cost with enough meat to form at least eight generously portioned Tacos.
Perhaps getting ahead of things by describing the Duck first, though for most couples that plus an Appetizer or Dessert would be plenty of food for dinner, let alone lunch, it was actually with a stiff Rum Horchata and one virgin version that the meal got underway, the former requiring a bit of Ice to melt before it was smooth enough to sip, though the spicy flavors of Fernet did go well with chunky Guacamole laced in Herbs served alongside piping-hot Corn Chips.
Told that the kitchen does a wonderful job with Seafood, the lunch menu particularly tilted towards pricy raw preparations including a $21 Uni Tostada that makes up for its lack of size with three full ‘tongues’ made even more creamy by Avocado and Bone Marrow Salsa, those who do not enjoy the flavor of Urchin would be well advised to invest in the Pink Peppercorn Aguachile featuring mixed cuts of Fish in a spicy bath with Onions, Cilantro and Avocado slices, the lack of Tostadas or chips admittedly a bit chintzy considering the $28 cost though the fried Oyster Torta is fairly economical with good Bread, Chorizo, Black Beans, Lettuce and Avocado for just nineteen dollars.
Rounding out the afternoon with Dessert, no meal at Cosme complete without snapping a photo (or several) of the famous Husk Meringue cracked open and oozing Corn Mousse, those who fancy the flavor of creamed corn will likely be impressed by the smooth and light composition while those looking for something else would be well advised to check out the smoky Pecan Tart served with Salt and Pepper Ice Cream that works not only with the Pie but surprisingly well on its own.