Cosme: New York City

Lunch May 23, 2016

Walking into the Cosme space, you can’t help but utter a WOW, it is truly beautiful and nothing like you would expect in a Mexican restaurant. However this is the New York morphed restaurant of Enrique Olivera, chef of the famous Mexico city restaurant Pujol, currently number 15 on the World’s best 50 restaurant list, so why be so surprised?

Cosme, New York City

Head Chef: Enrique Olivera, Chef de cuisine: Daniela Soto-Innes

35East 21st Street

New York NY 10010

(2120 913 9659

http://cosmenyc.com/

info@cosmenyc

Awards: Chef de cuisine Daniela Soto-Innes: James Beard award Rising star Chef of the year 2016

The New York Times, Top New York Restaurants 2015 : Three stars

Vibe: Mexico city meets new York City local and seasonal fare

The fresh, natural sleekiness of the space with its mix of soft wooden tables and shelves, designer chairs, concrete floors and light blue walls merges easily with the abundant greenery everywhere. The simplest of table settings with a vase of fluorescent geranium leaves, smart checked linen and wooden handed cutlery says it all. This is a relaxed, hip place, we are in New York and the food is to be taken seriously.

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A seat at the bar, a sip of a signature cocktail and some New York Mexican would have probably suit, but then you would miss the ambience of the dimly lit dining room, with perfect table ligthing and people watching across the room as each plate arrives.

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Of course you can’t have everything on the menu, so who better to ask than the servers, they love their job and it shows and they know their food. let them walk you through, don’t settle for the somewhat out of place guacamole and Margarita.

Cocktails

Several to choose from, a Palmoa the signature drink is a grown ups version of a Margarita. Cimarrón Reposado, a mellow soft tequila made from single estate agave, mixed with housemade grapefruit syrup, lime, soda and rimmed with grapefruit salt. Refreshing and compliments the onslaught of flavours you are about to experience.

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Raw dish: Sliced raw fish, poblano, buddha’s hand, black lime, avocado.

The server will suggest the raw fish, stuffed avocado and seafood or the octopus scallop cocktail, and the favourite is, no surprise the raw fish.

Striped bass served with avocado slices, dressed with the bright green pepper, poblano vinaigrette, creme fraiche, basil leaves, pink finger limes, grated buddha’s hand from the fingered citron, and black lime dust. Delicate, sweet and above all perfectly balanced, the finger limes provides a little crunch the pablona subtle heat and acidity from the citrons. A perfect choice.

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Warm Appetisers: Egg sope, chorizo, refried black beans, queso fresco

Oh so many to choose from, but the egg dish is the server’s favourite, so go with the flow. Egg sope, a perfectly cooked soft egg with oozy yolk sits on a tortilla covered in house made chorizo, refried black beans and the raw Mexican cow milk cheese queso fresco, garnished with serrano chilli and a sprig of cilantro and a side of salsa verde. Enough said, this dish was a heavenly mixture of flavour and textures.

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Main dish: Duck enmoladas, red mole

A glorious dish of Hudson Bay duck carnitas, inside a house made corn tortillas rolled in ochre red mole made from the real stuff, Mexican chocolate mixed with red chilli, creme fraiche, onion, garnished with serrano chilli and sprigs of cilantro. You will be asking for more, the red mole sauce, a bit like Goldilocks, just hot enough and a balance of subtle bitter and sweet, perfect for the richness of the duck and the crunch of the simple white onions.

Duck carnita is a Cosme signature dish, carnitas are usually pork based and made by taqueria’s on masse, they are an adaptation of the Mexican method of cooking pork in a mixture of coca cola, oranges and tomatoes. The ducks are cured for four days and then cooked in a braising liquid of garlic, carrots, tomatoes and orange slices then evaporated and condensed milks and mexican coke. The resultant pulled duck flesh is sweet and tender and melts in the mouth, perfect with the generous mole sauce.

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Dessert: Husk meringue, corn mousse

Last but by all means not least, the signature dessert, of meringue flavoured with burnt corn husks, a grey coloured corn and hush mousse , corn cream and fresh cream dusted with husk powder.

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A welcome cup of black coffee will mark the end of an incredible lunch. You will want to go back time and time again, or better still this may the impetus for you to take that trip to Mexico and make a start on a Latin Americium culinary adventure. If Cosmos any measure of what could be in store, them you will be surprised and certainly not disappointed.

Noma Japan, February 2015, where every morsel was savoured and umami from each dish, lingered so intensely that to take a bite of the next offering was almost sacrilege.  You knew you would have to say goodbye to a new best friend to make way for the next. Exploring the street food and food halls of Tokyo, provided the matrix to begin to understand what Rene Redezpi’s genius set out to achieve. At the end, I asked “What did you think about the food?'  “incredible”  Massimo Bottura, Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy