Empellón

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85 Very Good

The menu at this ambitious outlet includes a variety of creations calculated to appeal to this new, upscale dining terroir, including $125 fajitas.

510 Madison Ave., New York, NY, 10022

212-367-0999

http://empellon.com

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The lowdown

After honing his unique elevated-comfort-food formula downtown, the hypertalented Alex Stupak finally gives midtown the taco joint it deserves. Dishes like nachos (with crab and uni) and guacamole (with seven salsa options) are perfectly calibrated for this new uptown audience, and although the signature taco options have their charms, many of the elaborate entrées work just as well with a stack of steamy, fresh corn tortillas on the side. The real specialties of the house, however, are Stupak’s desserts, in particular the elaborate tastings of seasonal fruit over ice, and the uncannily realistic avocado parfait, which is one of those rare made-for-Instagram dishes that actually lives up to the hype.

Adam Platt

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What you need to know

DrinksFull Bar

Noise LevelCivilized