- Empellón Cocina
105 First Ave., nr. 6th St.; 212-780-0999
So you that think that guacamole and chips is a dish designed to facilitate Super Bowl parties and the bacchanalian consumption of margaritas? Not always. At Alex Stupak’s new, explicitly non-taco Mexican restaurant in the East Village, the former award-winning dessert chef doesn’t get his chips from a bag. Stupak’s pastry chef (and wife), Lauren Resler, mixes the corn masa herself, and then hand-rolls it, like pastry dough, in long sheets for baking. The guacamole is folded in soft, ripe chunks with fried pistachios and pickled jalapeños, among many other things, and served with a milky, faintly tangy pistachio salsa that is designed to be spread over the flat, crispy, strangely ungreasy sheets of masa with a little silver spoon. At $12, this inspired creation is a little on the pricey side as East Village guacamoles go, but take our word for it: It’s worth every penny.
First Look at Empellón Cocina
From the 2012 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).