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  • Empellon Cocina

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Empellon Cocina
Empellon Cocina

Empellon Cocina Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.empellon.com/cocina
  • Email: info@empellon.com
  • Phone: (212) 780-0999
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner:
    Tuesday & Wednesday: 5:30 - 10 :30 PM
    Thurday-Saturday: 5:30 - 11:30 PM
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Executive Chef: Alex Stupak
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Contact: Cheryl Goff (212) 367-0999

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 6th and 7th Streets
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Empellon Cocina
There is a fine line between taking a cuisine in a new direction and stripping it of its soul (and Mexican food has some serious soul). This is a belief that we keep in mind when contemplating the cuisine at Empellón Cocina.

Garlic, ginger and scallions taste different coming from a wok then they do from a saute pan. Technique and application define a cuisine just as much as the ingredients. In fact, I would argue more so. And that is the philosophy of our kitchen in the East Village. At Empellón Cocina we are dedicated to the myriad of fundamental techniques and applications that make Mexican cooking taste Mexican. But we are dedicated to using them with our own sensibility. Empellón's approach to cuisine is informed by authenticity but not limited by it.
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Diner Reviews
  • "Unbearably loud. Not an improvement on Mexican food in any way. Truly hated it."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "cool place, too loud. i was screaming over the table to my dinner partner. the guacamole is amazing. the food is good and well prepared. but the place isn't all that."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "We ducked in here late from a show in freezing conditions, but were delighted to find this intimate, white-washed love nest devoted to lifting Mexican food from taqueria to triumph. And it gets there - their pistachio guacamole is still something I dream of nearly a month later (and something I've cooked now twice), while elegant tacos of ceviche, carnitas, pastrami and beef belly showed finesse and homage to their rougher, more familiar ancestors with zippy flavours, crisp lime acidity and double tortillas - so no tearing. Desserts were notable - I loved the jackfruit one, but the conceptual milk dessert made less of an impact. If I lived closer I'd come here all the time."
    Dined on 2/26/2014
  • "That is really all I have to say. But seriously the unique combinations make this place a must for mexican in the city. Great atmosphere, cocktails and service."
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "The food is incredible (not cheap but well worth the money), the ingredients are always fresh, the pistachio guac is killer (so are the salsas ...all 7 of them), the service is warm and welcoming (Kelvin, Calvin not sure how to spell that) is awesome and Francisco is the sommelier of mezcal....he makes the most amazing cocktails. We are so glad we found this place."
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "great food, great drinks. But what's with the quote from Ayn Rand on the wall?"
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "As always, delicious food and drinks. Great place to go with friends."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "This restaurant is really cool. Great decor and atmosphere and their guacamole and salsas are really interesting. I haven't been to a restaurant that has had these salsas and it really sets them apart. Great, unique cocktails too. Loved it!"
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "The drinks were great and plenty of room at the bar while you await your table. Waiter helped us order enough food from several courses. Similar to Tapas. Everything is shared. The 7 salsas are a must with the Guac. The clams with noodles was our final course and it was the best. Young crowd but boomers are welcome."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "We started out with some amazing margaritas (pineapple-cilantro and grapefruit) we went on to an awesomely unusual roasted pistachio nut guacamole with home made chips (I can't really say they were chips, but I have no other word to describe them) all accompanied by seven different flavors of salsas. It was at this point that it became obvious that this was not your run of the mill tortilla-fillery. The food is as special as is the variety of flavors therein. This is the first time I ever considered the existence of any relationship between a kosher deli and a Mexican foodery... I actually ate pastrami tortillas with a mustard salsa. All I have to say is that this place is fantastic. Loved it all."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "The bar is crowded and they don't seat the party until everyone is there. I much rather wait at my table unless I'm very early or my party is going to be late. The waiters were serving a tasting of taquilla and we had to ask for ours. The food was good and they had gluten free options."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "Went here for Restaurant Week dinner. I had the chilled shrimp appetizer (excellent), the ceviche tacos (fair; really sour), and the arroz con leche (excellent). Service was friendly and attentive. The place was nice."
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "Unfortunately, the experience we had at Empellon Cocina was very disappointing. Although the food was acceptable (not extraordinary), it was extremely overpriced for what you received and in particular, the size of the portions. We went during Restaurant Week and for a grand price of $38 per person, we each received a tiny appetizer, 2 tiny tacos (each the size of the palm of my hand) and a tiny dessert (both which would have fit comfortably with room to spare of one plate instead of the 2 plates they were on). We literally had to go eat somewhere else after because we were still hungry."
    Dined on 2/20/2014
  • "We had a wonderful pre-theater experience at Empellon. Everyone in our party of four ordered a la carte. Among our favorite appetizers were carrots prepared with mole pablano and black bean jalapeno hummus, Main course highlights included carnitas (pork) and pastrami and short rib tacos, the latter garnished with tangy mustard. Muy saboroso!"
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "Amazing taste treats done in a style of Mexican cuisine but with a spin. The drink menu is well thought out with great pairings of flavor. Guacamole made with pistachio is refreshing & different. Main courses are concise parings that are reasonably priced. Desserts shine since Alex Stupak was the pastry chef at Alinea. I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone for just a nice evening out or to out of town guests."
    Dined on 2/20/2014
  • "A lovely evening of tastebud temptation and experimentation. Fab cocktails, buzzy venue especially later on when the cool crowd turned up."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "Amazing. Loved tha guac w asserted salsas and the fish tacos were ncredible. Ditto the pineapple marguerita"
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "Our reservation was on a Tuesday night. It was 12 degrees outside, which kept most diners at home. Empty tables throughout the dining room should have meant faster service, but it took nearly 20 minutes for our appetizers to come out: sweetbreads, which were not trimmed and not cooked right and lamb tartar, which was oversalted. The guac they served was very good, though. Then we ordered tacos. They came out quickly but their size did not make them worth $16. You can get two gigantic burritos at Chipotle for that price -- and they'd taste better. Finally, it took about another 20 minutes for a shareable pasta dish to come out. The pasta was pretty good. We decided to walk a few blocks in the freezing cold for dessert."
    Dined on 1/28/2014
  • "Creative, fun, and absolutely delicious food in a casual, friendly environment. Not one dish was mediocre or very good. All dishes and desserts were sophisticated to just the right level & true gems!!!! Each one was brilliant in its own way! A new favorite in NYC. Service was perfect. Highly recommended dishes: -Squid with chilmole, nugget potatoes, sour orange mayo -Chilled shrimp with sea urchin mousse, lettuces, masa waves -Roasted Carrots with mole poblano, yogurt, watercress -Cavayelli with tinga poblana, queso fresco"
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "Food was overall very good. Black beans with cheese) was not too heavy, squid had plenty of flavor, and the carrots were delicious. All of the dishes were very nicely presented (as expected from a former pastry chef). The only disappointing dish was the carnitas tacos, which were a bit dry and fairly bland, especially compared to the other dishes. Ordered 4 different cocktails, which were all unique, and most of them quite good. They were all tequila based, and ranged from fairly strong with a bit of citrus flavor to light and fruity. Service was very good. Generally prompt, and an issue with the A/C was immediately addressed. My only complaint would be that the meal was expensive, especially given the small portions."
    Dined on 1/22/2014
  • "We had a great time here, two sets of couples catching up over margaritas and taco's. Drinks were good, some of the apps (the clam ceviche in particular) were great, and the standby of the guac + 7 salsas was fun. Taco's were hefty and filling, and overall very good. Would come again."
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "Not too sure about the décor but the food is well conceived and prepared. The music is rather loud but the service is good. I have noticed that some restaurants do not space people out when there not full. Empellon certainly did that which made our dining experience more enjoyable and we did not have to eavesdrop on other conversations. Overall a strong recommendation."
    Dined on 1/7/2014
  • "this is not your typical Mexican joint. it's gourmet Mexican with interesting items such as a brussell sprouts taco - very delish! the guacamole has a sprinkling of pistachios which is also very yummy. we got the appetizer guacamole that comes with the salsa samplers - several samplings of salsas ranging from mild to super spicy. all were very tasty. the melted cheese dip with lobster was also amazing. we had the shrimp, brussell sprouts, and pastrami tacos - really unusual flavors and simply divine! the drinks were also unique and wonderful. the place has a cool vibe and the staff is friendly. give it a try!"
    Dined on 12/27/2013
  • "We started with the pistachio guacamole and 7 salsas on the servers recommendation and were not disappointed. This was followed by an appetizer to share and then tacos. Everything was simple, fresh and tasty. The server was extremely knowledgeable and her recommendations were spot on. The drinks were also tasty. The atmosphere is lively but the restaurant is small enough to still have an intimate feel. I would definitely recommend this place for a date or group."
    Dined on 12/27/2013
  • "Great ambiance, eclectic music and really creative and delicious menu."
    Dined on 12/28/2013
  • "The food is genius, the perfect dinner and for those that want to taste good tequila, this is the place to be. Empellon Cocina is not just about the amazing food, but also the great service"
    Dined on 12/27/2013
  • "the hostess was the gem of the restaurant. Vwery warm greeting and paid attention to every detail. I t is wqay too noisy to enjoy a meal. tables are too close and the room is too dark What we had was good but not knock your socks off"
    Dined on 12/27/2013
  • "They were out of 3 of the menu items in an already small menu. The "pasta" dish we shared was undercooked spaghetti that tasted more like pretzel sticks. The tacos were extreme dry, and the shrimp particularly in attractively presented. That said, service was quite accommodating."
    Dined on 12/13/2013
  • "The flight of salsas is not to be missed. The tacos are each unique and delicious. The drinks, however, promise the same level of culinary experience but do not match. Tequila drinks too weak and kind of watery..could it be the huge ice cubes? I'll be back for sure…..to find out."
    Dined on 12/13/2013
  • "One of the best waiters I've ever had in my life was at EC. Service was perfect. The cocktails were amazing. The food was memorable and very unique. I love this restaurant. The East Village dining scene has come a long way since they opened. It's great to find a place so comfortable and ambitious at the same time. The chef, staff and team deserve all the accolades that have received. I cannot wait to return to try more new dishes. I wish all chef owners had the attention to detail that EC has --there is a lot to learn and they have owned up to it. Congrats, again."
    Dined on 6/16/2013
  • "i think that most people come here for the drinks...waiter seemed unnerved that our party was not there for the alcohol. some good dishes and very fine taco interpretations, but steer clear of the LOBSTER FUNDIDO..touted on billboard outside the restaurant. just a glob of melty cheese with 4 measly 1 inch slivers of lobster for $19. definitely over priced. rice dessert very good."
    Dined on 12/6/2013
  • "It was our 4th or 5th time there and it just gets better and better from the service to the delicious food. Shout out to Page and Rose but everyone was excellent."
    Dined on 11/30/2013
  • "It was a very nice dinner-thank you empellon Try the grapefuit marg! A plus :)"
    Dined on 11/30/2013
  • "Be prepared for small plates, like tapas, no real entrees. The tacos are just that, no sides and you order how many you want. The restaurant was nice, quiet and we sat in back where we could watch the chefs - which was very cool (they're behind glass so you don't hear all the kitchen noise). Pistachio guacamole was good but a bit too salt. Salsas were delicious, get a few. The heirloom black beans were to die for (but small so maybe 2 people could share). The cavetelli was good and if you want a reasonable sized portion, it could be a main course. The carnitas tacos were good but flavor wise, definitely not the highlight of the meal. I suggest ordering salsa and nibbling then moving on a sharing multiple plates of non-taco options."
    Dined on 11/23/2013
  • "The food is amazing. You have to try the different salsas and the home made guacamole together with the masa crisps. I would recommend ordering different dishes for the table to share. So many good flavors! In addition to the salsa, guacamole and the masa crisps, we had the Rock Shrimp and Carnitas taco. The Rock Shrimp just rocked my world!"
    Dined on 11/16/2013
  • "Get a fundido and the wagyu collete tacos. The service was great. The drinks are fantastic also."
    Dined on 11/19/2013
  • "The first time I had dinner at Empellon Cocina, it was on a recommendation of my chef at the time. My guest and I were both pleasantly surprised with explosiveyet controlled flavors. On a second visit a year later, the plating seemed more sophisticated visually, but almost every dish fell flat with flavor. Service was attentive and friendly, nothing lacking there. We were pleasantly surprised by the brussel sprout tacos. But the mushroom and carrot starters could have just used some salt and pepper at least. It was a good meal, but not the amazing meal I raved about after my last visit."
    Dined on 11/12/2013
  • "I dined at Empellon Cochina this weekend with 3 work friends. We are a diverse group with high expectations for a restaurant. Empellon exceeded them. The salsas are amazing; the menu is fit for foodies and the atmosphere divine. We had a great waiter who was present without being intrusive. I can't wait to go back."
    Dined on 11/15/2013
  • "Everything was amazing, but it went beyond. The food preparation did not disappoint it was delicious, beautiful and inventive. Strongly suggest the Hamachi Ceviche, be wowed!!! Going out with high expectations for an ex-food industry worker of 14 years, 5 of which were high end and in a kitchen..can be challenging. Empellon Cocina deserves its Beard award and I am sure the many to come."
    Dined on 11/12/2013
  • "This place is great for a group of friends, the food and drinks are unique and excellent. We started with the masa crips with the Pistachio and Traditional guacamole, I love the Pistachio guarcamole. The masa crips are really fun and excellent, it's a great alternative to the traditional chips. The Scotch egg was cooked perfectly, it was a soft boiled egg that was covered with chirzo then deep fried and the runny egg yolk was delicious. I also tried the scallop taco with califlower, a beef belly taco and the shortrib pastrami taco. They were all really good, the beef belly was my favor. I highly recommend this place for great food and a fun experience."
    Dined on 11/5/2013