When Chef Enrique Olvera, one of the best chefs in the world from Mexico with a restaurant on the San Pellegrino list of Best Restaurants, opens up shop in New York City, you know it’s going to be impossible to get in. The duck carnitas and meringue with corn husk dessert have certainly made there ways to be iconic New York dishes that everyone wants to get there hands on. However, now that the restaurant is open for lunch, you don’t have to bend over backwards for entrance and you can sit back and enjoy the ride a little. Lunch is super fresh and the light meal you are looking for when you want to catch up with a friend in Gramercy/Flatiron are or even have a little bonding “sesh” with a coworker when you just need to get out of the office for a little. The room sort of feels like it would be the office of Etsy or even a Club Monaco store with wooden shelves on one side of the room and crisp black leather booths.
The first section is full of fresh, raw fish, and avocado. Start with the sliced raw fish covered in a bright green avocado finish that immediately sends your senses to the beach. This is a great way to whet the palate and dive in. I loved the Blue Shrimp with Cherry Tomatoes and herbs. To be honest, I prefer cooked shrimp over raw, and this was the first time that I seriously enjoyed this crustacean raw. The texture contrast between the shrimp and the flavor bursting tomatoes with citrus dressing is so fresh and light you almost feel like you are getting skinnier just by eating it. It’s a nice size portion, and one I wouldn’t miss. The Seafood Stuffed Avocado is obviously the most fun though. A giant avocado boat placed before you with an exuberant amount of raw fish tossed in ketchup, tomato, and tabasco has a tiny bit of heat and is something you’d really want to eat for lunch everyday. It’s also only served at lunch but the blue shrimp is available at dinner.
If you go for lunch or brunch, the one thing you miss is the infamous Duck Carnitas for two which is a little DIY as it comes with tortillas and you can make your own little taco situation. However, what kind of place would deprive their lunch and brunch customers of this duck? Therefore, they offer enmoladas which is the leftover (yet tender as hell) duck meat from the duck for two wrapped inside tortillas like an enchilada bathing in red mole sauce. While it’s not the same exact concept, you still walk away with this renown duck for $25 instead of $69. Yes, the meat is fabulous, but I think I would have rather had it on it’s own then covered in sauce and the tortilla. It shines so perfectly solo.
Now that gorgeous Husk Meringue dessert sure fooled me! When it came out it looked like a huge mousse situation, and to be honest, I had no idea what I was looking at until I had to force my eyes to adjust. It’s so creative and tastes even better than it looks. With two huge meringue cookies on either side, they are soft, a little crunchy, and even a little doughy. Basically every texture you could ever hope for in a dessert. The inside looks like a painting with yellow, gray, and white lines full of the mousse like situation. Again, another light and fluffy dish to send you home not feeling like a rhinoceros, but someone who just enjoyed the hell out of their meal. Don’t sleep on the perfectly circular sorbet scoops. I still can’t decide if I liked the Smoked Milk or the Guanobana flavors better so I just kept eating them until they eventually disappeared. They also have a Yuzu flavor.
At lunch at Cosme service is prompt, to the point, and you can really enjoy a coveted meal here in the middle of the day without falling into a slump at your desk when you get back or missing too much. Seafood lovers can rejoice and enjoy some authentic Mexican dishes that you really don’t find everywhere in this city.