A restaurant that knows its identity. Perfect food, drink, & service!
5/6/2013 4:00:00 PM
Excellent food and service
Delicious food and excellent service. Went on a Thursday night at 730, by the time we left around 9 the place was packed and lively. Great decor and ambience. Must try the lobster and cheese dish, and the pistachio guacamole. Margheritas were great too. Would like to go back to try their brunch. Highly recommend.
5/15/2013 4:00:00 PM
Outstanding in every way
Mmmm, the apps - sliced mango w/crab, toasted vermicelli, and yellowtail sashimi, the drinks, wine and then the shortrib pastrami and carnitas taco's...just wanna do it all over again. But when I go back, I'll have to try some of the guacs. And sit at the bar for some of their unbelievable cocktails...really knowledgable and creative bartenders!
5/16/2013 4:00:00 PM
Having traveled in Mexico extensively over the years, the cuisine here takes off in a noticeable novel direction. The quality is very high but don't come expecting anything remotely traditional. The are some restaurants IN NY that are in similar track - Hecho en Dumbo for instance. Though even there - there plates are smaller on the whole that the equivalent mod Mexican in Mexico City - the food has stronger roots in well known recipes - the sopes and tacos for instance.
Both restaurants suffer from din (intentionally I imagine) though Hecho has a rear counter area to compensate.
Definitely for foodies and I'm happy to go back for that reason.
5/16/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great, courteous service and
Great, courteous service and staff.
Their tacos are amazing!
5/17/2013 4:00:00 PM
Imaginative cuisine, great drinks..
Really creative interpretation of Mexican cuisine. We started with the Pistachio Guacamole with Masa crisps which was unbelievable. The melted Tetilla Cheese w/lobster, the Sliced Mango w/Peeky Toe Crab Salad and Fluke Ceviche w/Rhubarb Juice followed and did not disappoint. We finished with tacos, Shrimp, Carnitas, and the Shortrib Pastrami Tacos which were all to die for. For drinks we had the House Margarita, Rooster’s Claw (with roasted habañero) and the Yuzu Margarita.
5/24/2013 4:00:00 PM
Can't Resist the Desserts
Such a delightful experience from start to finish. Sat at the bar and enjoyed the banter of the bartender and the people seated next to us. Drinks were unique surprise. Ordered several different things and all were well edited and unique. Had heard the pastry chef had received top award so ordered every dessert. Each one was beautifully plated and exceptional. This restaurant always receives high reviews and there is a reason. A must!
5/25/2013 12:00:00 AM
great service super accommodating
the G.M is super cool and the food is top notch.
5/31/2013 12:00:00 AM
Creative food but expensive wines
excellent, creative, delicious food but would have appreciated a few reasonable wines.
6/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
Americanized Mexican food,
Americanized Mexican food, with pretensions that are mostly not achieved. While most of the food is very good, tastes tend towards the sweet, and too much of it is overly greasy. The chips leave one mopping one's hands on the napkin, for example, which I've never encountered even in the lowest-end Mexican. And the tortillas taste packaged. The sauces are decent enough, but charging for them is a surprise; they aren't good enough for that. Many of them remind one of spiced mayonnaise, and flavors aren't quite Mexican. And the ambience is overly cold. On the plus side everything was properly cooked, and some of the flavor combinations are interesting. I'm writing the negatives because this place does get a lot of accolades in the press.
6/8/2013 12:00:00 AM
No doubt this restaurant serves up great food. Echoing what others have said - the service here leaves a lot to be desired, which is unfortunate given how wonderful the food is. I'll continue to come back, but both times I've dined here we've had serious hiccups with the waiter or waitress.
6/18/2013 12:00:00 AM
Like it. Different enough,
Good twist on Mexican cuisine. Definitely worth trying. Easy fun atmosphere
6/19/2013 4:00:00 PM
Vibrant hot spot for a creative twist on guacamole, tacos, and more.
6/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great dinner !
We tried Empellon Taqueria and were eager to try its more upscale sister, Empellon Cocina . We were not disappointed ! The staff was welcoming and the food and beverages were creative and fresh ! Highly reccommended !
6/21/2013 12:00:00 AM
Superb guacamole and salsas
Pistachio guacamole was one of best I have ever eaten Loved the tasting of 7 salsas and homemade chips
Carnitas tacos delicious. Family loved churros French toast
6/23/2013 12:00:00 AM
Original and delicious Mexican cousine. Highly recommended
6/28/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great for a girls' night
I went to Empellon with a few friends for dinner. The drinks were great, especially the margaritas, and the tacos were great, too. The menu is small, but really great. I highly recommend the mango salad with crab. I thought the masa chips were a little too greasy for my liking (had grease all over my hands). That said, they were a break from your run-of-the-mill chips and salsa. If I could add one thing onto my wish list, it would be to be able to mix and match tacos. I wanted to try a couple different types, but we were unable to do so. Other than that, great location, great atmosphere and very attentive service.
6/28/2013 4:00:00 PM
wonderful evening at empellon
My friend and I came here for dinner on a Saturday evening. It was packed and the music was loud - which we didn't mind, it was definitely spirited. The cocktails are great overall, between us we tried three - the pineapple and cilantro margarita was disappointingly low on cilantro flavor, but the spicy cucumber and beet cocktails were amazing. We tried three salsas and one guacamole, all of which were very interesting (tomatillo-chipotle, salsa verde, and smoky cashew salsas; pistachio guacamole) and flavorful - the salsas are pureed quite smooth. We then shared three dishes: the red snapper ceviche (lovely, subtle), squid with mole (amazing, my favorite), and carnitas tacos. We had a great time and would definitely return.
6/28/2013 4:00:00 PM
Empellon Cocina Magic
What great food, atmosphere and service. We were recommended by a Chef from Australia and were not disappointed. The Cocina was amazing. The Cucumber Margaritas were very refreshing too.
7/6/2013 4:00:00 PM
Creative flavorful food, much better and different from standard Mexican fare. Will definitely go back again and again.
7/9/2013 12:00:00 AM
great cocktails and super
great cocktails and super tacos; bacon guacamole was outstanding.
7/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
guy is good
second time at empellion and we tried all the menu food is creative, delicious and beautiful....i don't know alex but i can say as a professional chef the guy is really good.
7/14/2013 12:00:00 AM
Drinks and food outstanding! Friendly, fun atmosphere. Hard not to order the entire menu!
7/26/2013 12:00:00 AM
Creative Mexican cuisine
My husband and I dined there for his birthday recently and were not disappointed. The food was delicious and thoughtful; the Mezcal cured Arctic Char and the Octopus were clear favorites for us, although not too far above the queso funditio and the ceviche. The shrimp tacos with smoked potatoes revealed the layers of flavor Mr. Stupak provides with every dish. For my husband and myself, the tacos really sung when we added a hit of the habanero salsa for extra spice and acid. Another gem for Empellon!
7/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
good food. delicious unusual
good food. delicious unusual salsas with "chips" that were gourmet. the pastrami taco was spectacular and the duck was just delicious. Noise level very high. the thumping music was the only negative. Staff was just lovely
8/3/2013 12:00:00 AM
I loved it, every innovative twist on mexican. drinks were also delicious!
8/5/2013 5:00:00 PM
Dined once again last week, and Empellon Cocina is as good as always. Chef Stupak's inventive, crave-able dishes are most often winners. The chips with the "flight" of salsas coax the tastebuds with varying degrees of heat and spice, and the standout among all the first-rate dishes we sampled was the Lamb Tartare -- what a clever re-invention of a (non-Mexican) classic. Looking forward to my next visit and Chef, please bring your inspiring cuisine to the UWS!
8/5/2013 5:00:00 PM
Delicious reimagined Mexican
This is a great, inventive (not cheap) Mexican; it’s not a typical free salsa, buy one dish and leave full kind of place. A more refined experience, you’ll need to order 4-6 dishes between two people to share to really form a meal. Think of this as tapas sized dishes, not full entrees, and you will be off to a good start. Some of the dishes are very light while others are heavier so get help when ordering for your party to get the balance right.
Make sure to start with the 7 chili sauces collection and one of the specialty guacamoles. The chili sauces will wind up being essential condiments that you will use throughout the meal.
8/8/2013 12:00:00 AM
Excellent drinks with pure ingredients.
Warm professional service
Food: exceptional. Every morsel was an experience to my palate.
Can't wait to go back.
8/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
Found out about this place through various food blogs. So happy we gave this place a go. Came with my family and we shared various plates and still ended up full.
My favorite was the lobster fondue. Melted in your mouth bursting with flavor. Will return soon.
9/4/2013 12:00:00 AM
You must try this!
No one does mexican food like Alex Stupak and Empellon Cocina is inspired and exciting. You just need to think a bit outside the rice and beans box and experience flavors like you have never had but willing to become addicted to new flavors.
9/7/2013 12:00:00 AM
They took care of us!
I had been to the restaurant a few days prior and sat at the bar. The hibiscus rose margaritas was absolutely amazing!! I brought a first date back there for another try and it was just as amazing. Paige, the manager, took such good care of us. The bartender bought us a drink and they brought us salsa and tequila shots on the house! The food was so good and the drinks were even better. I was so impressed with the customer service, I will definitely go back!
9/10/2013 12:00:00 AM
Dinner at 9
We had a wonderful dinner with 4 friends.
The service was nice and fast.
Not a traditional Mexican place, but really surprising dishes!
9/12/2013 12:00:00 AM
Fun for all
I went here with a family friend. We shared an order of the bacon guac with masa chips, the roast carrots with yogurt and poblano mole, and main course of short rib pastrami tacos. The service and ambiance was great, with the music just loud enough to provide a cadence to a lively conversation. Most of the food was more visually pleasing than tasty, but that might be more of a compliment to the plating than a knock on the flavor. Each table seemed to get a complementary sip of tequila and some sort of bloody mary-type mix. Definitely added a kick to the table full of flavor. Oh, and the mexican chocolate ice cream was nice, particularly the crumbled cinnamon and chocolate cookie in martian rock-like piles across the plate.
9/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
I've been here twice and each time blew me away. The presentation and creativity that goes into the food helps transcend it past good and into eyes rolling into the back of your head good. Try the skirt steak and bone marrow tacos...wow.
9/14/2013 12:00:00 AM
Hot Spot w/Solid Food
Visited Empellon Cocina for the first time this weekend, and had an amazing time! I don't generally opt for Mexican, but this was special. The atmosphere was festive and party-like; loud and busy but could still hold a conversation. Great for a group of friends (I wouldn't necessarily opt to take a date here - too loud for that). Outstanding modern Mexican food with an incredible tequila selection. The carnitas and shrimp tacos were the stars by far.
9/21/2013 12:00:00 AM
Mexican haute cuisine
i am a mexican chef and i wantwd to visit empellón since i met alex stupak and laurem rensler in mexico at Mesamérica. i went there with the expectation of mexican food with a small twist but that was it, i never go to mexican food restaurants when im outside Mexico but little did i know. this place is amazing, the food is beautiful, the ingredients are of the best quality, the flavors are perfect and at the end of the meal it made wish that we had an Empellón restaurant in Mexico City. it's more than mexican, it's haute cuisine with mexican flavors. the drinks are great and the service outstanding. one of my favorites in NY for sure.
9/25/2013 5:00:00 PM
Food was amazing. Service
Food was amazing. Service was good. Staff was fantastic. I'll be coming back!
10/4/2013 12:00:00 AM
Love Empellon Taqueria More
Food is exceptional at both...BUT...Cocina has a low ceiling and seems cramped because of it. The space at Taqueria is more inviting and the food just as good. A little disappointed that the desserts at the two are so similar...or were the night we were there.
10/9/2013 12:00:00 AM
Authentic Mexican cuisine x TexMex!
Most of us in the States do not get to experience the true sophistication and complexity of Mexican food unless we can travel to Mexico City. Empellon does a wonderful job of transporting us to another country. The salsa sampling is a must. And their tequila list is wide and deep, and hopefully will convince Americans to enjoy tequila as Mexicans do -- not slamming a shot but sipping it straight up along with a "back" of sangrita -- a tomato and orange-based juice that is unique to every restaurant.
10/15/2013 12:00:00 AM
Best discovery in a while
Although can you really just discover a restaurant that's made this many top-ten lists? Regardless, one of the most playful, inventive, and flat-out delicious meals I've had in ages. An instant favorite restaurant. And the pistachio guacamole is a signature dish that I will never forget (and will surely try to duplicate).
10/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
I went here to celebrate my gf promotion. My client recommended we go here and he was right. We had the ceviche ,bacon guacamole, lobster fundido, short rib pastrami tacos, spicy cucumber cocktail and a chocolate ice cream dark chocolate cookie desert.
Our waitress was great, the food came pretty quickly, and everything was delicious with multiple layers of flavor. Chew slowly and enjoy every moment!! Traditional Mexican dishes with a modern twist is best I can describe. It was a lot like toloache which we also love in that the quality was high and unique. How ever empellon will get our next visit next time we are looking for a Mexican. Kick. Also the neighborhood is pretty funky, have dinner and then just walk around and enjoy .
10/18/2013 12:00:00 AM
So delicious, so much fun.
Empellon Cocina is where I go when I have a group to entertain and I want a dinner that's fun. The food is modern Mexican not like any other Mexican I've had. The food is delicious! From the Guacamole served with up to 10 different salsas, to the brisket tacos and some elegant entrees this place has great food and cocktails .The decor is Mexican kitsch. Servers are young, hip, friendly but not intrusive and they are on the case I highly recommend Empellon Cocina.
10/23/2013 12:00:00 AM
really good food and service. Waiters and food runner were both knowledgeable. We decided to have a drink at the bar first, which did take a while, probably because the cocktail list was a bit extensive (not a bad thing though)
10/25/2013 12:00:00 AM
Best Mexican in NYC
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.
11/4/2013 4:00:00 PM
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.
11/11/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great night out!
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.
11/14/2013 4:00:00 PM
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!
11/15/2013 4:00:00 PM
Amazing meal, amazing service.
Get a fundido and the wagyu collete tacos. The service was great. The drinks are fantastic also.
11/18/2013 4:00:00 PM
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.
11/22/2013 4:00:00 PM