Mexico: Patricio Sandoval, Mercadito
MENU: Grilled red snapper in adobo, napa- and red-cabbage salad, Grandma Sandoval’s flan
Patricio Sandoval practically grew up in his father’s Acapulco restaurant and worked for a while at his brother Richard’s, Maya, so it only makes sense that he’d open his own restaurant one day. At Mercadito in the East Village (with a second branch debuting soon on Seventh Avenue South), Sandoval cooks the market foods he loved as a child. He still grills fish the way he ate it on the beach every Sunday—marinated in a smoky guajillo-chile-fired adobo, with a crunchy cabbage salad on the side for a bit of textural contrast. The light, fluffy flan recipe comes from another great cook in the family: Grandma.
On the Grill
Grilled Red Snapper Marinated in Adobo
On the Side
Napa- and Red-Cabbage Salad
Grandma Sandoval’s Flan
To match the kick of his food, Sandoval likes a cool but spicy chelada: Salt the rim of a highball glass, fill it with ice and Modelo Especial beer, and finish with an ounce of lime juice, two drops of Tabasco, and two drops of Worcestershire sauce.
Where to Shop
(218 Eighth Ave., nr. 21st St.; 212-243-4433). All things Mexican, including the largest selection of chile products on the East Coast.