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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
  • 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
  • "The food was awful. The service was non-existent. The only good thing was the margaritas."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "This restaurant was fantastic - I can't wait to go back! It was a little loud in there - towards the middle of our meal (after the restaurant had filled up) we were speaking very loudly to each other at our table...but other than that - this was a perfect night out!! Drinks and food were both delicious (go for the head cheese tacos!!!!)"
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "Everything is interesting and delicious :mango salad, squid, clam starters; beef and smelt tacos; lobster tortilla; guacamole, desserts, all superb. Very loud."
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "Everything about this place is WONDERFUL! The contemporary Mexican flavors were perfectly aligned. The guacamole is fantastic and the smoked cashew salsa is truly remarkable! Carrots with mole was absolutely delicious, as was the coffee crema with the Beef Milanease (and the Mashed Pea taco is not to missed either). The chocolate flan was RIDICULOUSLY good - wish we had room to experience the whole dessert tasting. Despite the experiences of certain previous diners, the service was EXCEPTIONAL: everyone was always on top of EVERYTHING, and at one point, a person at the table next to me went to restroom. One of the waitstaff noticed their napkin had fallen on the floor - in less than 1 minute, the napkin was picked up and replaced. Divine!"
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "Lots of experimentation here with Mexican "standards" that often come with a different look as well as as taste. Mostly, this works very well. But sometimes the menu listing can fool you. As with Chile Quiles, which is usually a dish of leftovers--layers of tortillas and beans and salsa and fragments of chicken and/or meat, simmered and served in a pot. I don't exactly know how to describe the version served here, but certainly wasn't any variation on any cq I've had before. But the gorditas were splendid, and so were the margaritas. Really noisy, and the techno bear that occasionally penetrates the din doesn't help/If this sounds a tad negative, I intend to return, so clearly the total experience was pretty good."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "My friends and I loved the restaurant. On a recent visit, uncertain what to order, we asked for the chef. His recommendations from appetizers to mains were amazing. It remains my favorite NYC restaurant."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Enjoyed the guacamole with the selection of salsas but didn't think the hottest one had that more heat. Liked the chicken wing, peas and asparagus tacos."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "Chef Stupak did a guest chef dinner in my home of Dallas earlier in the week that was incredibly good, so I decided to check out Empellon Cocina later in the week when I was in the NY area. So glad I did. Be sure to get the guacamole with hydrated pistachios (I ordered the 7 salsas too). Tacos were great, and the big finish... A 5 course tasting menu of desserts. Each was just perfect for sharing and is something you won't regret doing."
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "a very hip and well appointed spot, suited for a date or a dinner out with friends, food all interesting even when trying a bit too hard. The salsa tasting drew from different schools of flavor (ranging from smokey to hot to savory to sweet) and the tacos were rich and fancier than the average upscale Mexican restaurant. Cocktails were interesting as well…even if a step below a true mixologists haven. The prices are a bit high for the area, but you do get quality for what you pay…chocolate flan was both well done and looked great too..."
    Dined on 6/3/2014
  • "This is my second time here in a year. Restaurant is run with great integrity. Employees are knowledgeable, quick, and highly aware of the customer experience flow. Food. I'd describe the taste theme as restrained. Subtleness is my preference. Our party of 4 ordered 10 dishes. Guacamole w/7 Salsas is a star; chips are outstanding. Even the second time around Lamb Tartar felt like a refreshing novelty. Whimsical Squid was another favorite. The least impressive was Sliced Mango - it lacked flavor on both fruit and crab sides. Drinks. Loved Spicy Cucumber, Pineapple Cilantro, and Voyeur cocktails. Lemongrass Collin felt bland. Desert. Ordered 4 dishes available. My favorite was Gooseberry. Sweetness is perfectly balanced in all platters. "
    Dined on 5/29/2014
  • "We walked in and the host took us towards the back of the dining hall. I requested a table near the front windows and he was more than happy to accommodate us. Our table server was friendly, knowledgeable and attentive. And his food and drink suggestions were perfect! The masa chips and chipotle-cashew salsa were a great start. The lamb tartare was nicely seasoned and presented. The tacos could have had a little more filling, but again, great flavors. The mashed spring pea taco was fabulous! The beef milanese was good too, but the former really had some nice depth of flavors to it. I would go back to this place for sure. Oh yes, the chipotle margarita did not let me down! "
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "The menu at this Mexican restaurant focused on seasonal and inventive takes on traditional Mexican cuisine. The lobster and cheese appetizer was fantastic as was the spring pea tacos! What lacked was the service, overall it seemed, and felt like a restaurant and staff that stopped caring. The host seemed tired and unfriendly, and the servers failed to make eye contact and connection. All was good minus the strange service. I don't think that we would go back again."
    Dined on 5/22/2014
  • "My friend raved about the squid there, so Id ecided to check it out. The food was good, i could not really fault it, but also on the pricy side. We had dinner late and services was very slow (but friendly) Place emptied later in the evening"
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "Worse meal ever. Food had no taste and portions were super small. An appetizer tends to be bigger."
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "Food here is ok, but not really authentic Mexican. For example Guacamole only comes with Pistachio, and not other choice."
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "The ambience and service is modern and sophisticated without being precious or pretentious. The food is truly transcendent, in taste and visuality. We tried the pistachio guacamole, blue foot mushrooms, mango with peekytoe crab, and 2 sets of tacos - spring pea and carnitas. All dishes were beyond expectations - beautiful, flavorful, well balanced. I likely will go back, again and again. Oh, the drinks! We tried the classic margarita and pineapple cilantro margarita. Both were exceptional - well balanced and far too easy to drink."
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "The guac with the pistachios was very tasty, the carnitas tacos were excellent. Way too loud, makes returning less likely."
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "They offer an inovative take on Mexican cuisine. Unusual ingredients and combinations make this a unique experience."
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "this was an epic culinary experience from the mango & peekytoe crab appetizer to the pistachio gaucamole to the various tacos and finally the desserts. delicious food & great atmosphere."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "Wonderful food: guacamole with 7 salsas, tacos (Brussels sprouts and short rib) and margaritas. What could be better! You won't leave hungry, but you will leave happy."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "lovely service, wine, dishes, a win win all around and a great digestif selection"
    Dined on 4/24/2014
  • "My wife liked her starter squid, but her main course fish was tasteless.The tilefish ceviche, and the carrots were excellent. Our guests were unimpressed: The shaved mango was too voluminous; The peekytoe crab miniscule. The combinations were too Dufresny and jarring for them. The price was too high for what they got. My sweetbreads were ridiculous. There's no reason to pair delicate sweetbreads with intensely flavored beans: the beans completely overpower the sweetbreads--just use nixtamalized popcorn or some other volume builder and be done with it. My pastrami shortribs were interesting."
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "Lovely food but so noisy we could barely hear each other at the small table. So sorry, won't be back."
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "Great meal that lived up to all the great articles about Empellon. "
    Dined on 4/18/2014
  • "I booked this restaurant for my husbands birthday while we were on holidays in New York. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and the fab food. Would highly recommend to anyone."
    Dined on 4/15/2014
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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