F at Delancey St.; J, M, Z at Essex St.
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This venue is closed.
The newest chef at Suba (number five, if you’re counting) is Seamus Mullen, who is also the chef at a popular tapas restaurant called Boqueria. To coincide with Mullen’s arrival, Suba’s subterranean dining rooms (the best known is the “Grotto,” which is surrounded by a pool of brackish, burbling water) have been recast in shades of bright white and Prada red. But the most notable changes are to the menu, which is more ambitious than Mullen’s menu at Boqueria, but also a little less fun. Mullen is a diligent student of Iberian cuisine, and also a card-carrying Greenmarketeer. In his latest kitchen, he serves up esoteric items like chewy smoked cod jowls, an array of boutique farmhouse ingredients (Mutsu apples, “first-of-the-season” beets, garlic scapes), and endless variations of pork belly, that Iberian haute-barnyard specialty, which you can order in little bricks with smoked fingerling potatoes, sprinkled with pea tendrils in pots of nice creamy Abruzzo rice, or incorporated into elegantly formulated croquetas. Is all this carefully articulated Spanish grub enough to save Mullen’s new job, at least for a while? Probably. Though, to be honest, my problem with Suba has never been with the food; it’s with the claustrophobic, catacomblike space, in particular the Grotto, which feels unique, yes, but also a bit creepy, like you’re dining in some forgotten corner of the Paris sewers.Ideal Meal
Gazpacho, creamy rice with pork belly, saddle of lamb, vanilla cream with poached peaches.