Sun, noon-10:30pm; Mon, 5pm-10:30pm; Tue-Thu, 5pm-11:30pm; Fri, 4pm-10:30pm; Sat, noon-11:30pm
4, 5, 6 at 59th St.; N, Q, R at Fifth Ave.-59th St.
American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
48th St. to 70th St., FDR Dr. to Lexington Ave.
In 1984, Rosa Mexicano opened its doors to teach New Yorkers that authentic Mexican cuisine did not mean chili cheese burritos. It has since opened three other NYC locations, plus branches in Miami, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C. The formula? Guacamole prepared tableside, frozen pomegranate margaritas dispensed from a Slurpee machine, and upscale south-of-the-border cuisine. The original locale is a meandering series of rooms done in muted pastels—the pink mosaic bar matches the frozen margaritas—with white tablecloths and large plants. The dishes, from crabmeat enchiladas to beer-and-lemon-marinated short ribs with salsa ranchera, are mostly worth what some would consider a high price tag, and yes, the guac is tops. But this once rich culinary outpost can sometimes feel a little rote, mainly because of the service, which can make you feel like you’re on an assembly line. Worse, the wait staff presses for more drink orders in a way that verges on harassment, and that seems less in the spirit of inspiring a tequila fiesta than procuring more pesos. Eating at the bar solves the problem, though it certainly doesn’t inspire lingering.Extra
Rosa Mexicano offers several seasonal events including a special Dia de los Muertos dinner, a summertime ice cream festival, and in select locations, a Mother’s Day cooking class.Recommended Dishes
Guacamole en molcajete, $14; tablas, $32; carne asada con rojas, $27.50