Casa Enrique

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87 Very Good

This Long Island City favorite serves some of New York’s better Mexican food.

5-48 49th Ave., Queens, NY, 11101


Known For

The lowdown

A neighborhood hit from the team behind Café Henri, Casa Enrique is the idea of two brothers who logged time managing and cooking, respectively, at the Long Island City French restaurant. The space is almost clinically sleek, all whites and a shiny bar, but the restaurant nonetheless exudes warmth and friendliness. That’s thanks in part to the relaxed and familiar style of service, which is usually adequate but can slip when the room is harried. The crowds come in droves on the weekends and have only accumulated since the spot nabbed its Michelin star, but mostly they come for the cooking, which is rooted in the traditions of the chef’s native Chiapas, Mexico’s southernmost state, but not bound by it. There’s a trio of crispy tostadas topped with briny, citrusy crab, dainty but worth every bite; fragrant sopes topped with smoky housemade chorizo; a deliciously rich rajas con crema, better in appetizer form for dipping ; and pork ribs (cochinito chiapaneco) marinated in guajillo sauce and roasted. Tortillas come with many dishes and are great, too, as are the tacos. There’s plenty of tequila and mescal, and lots of straightforward cocktails — margaritas are an obvious suggestion, but they’re well executed and boozy. There’s no champarrado, so finish instead with the excellent pot de crème, a nod to the chef’s French training sent south of the border with the inclusion of the Maria cookies.

Chris Crowley

What you need to know

Recommended DishesMole de piaxtla; rajas con crema; tostada de jaiba; chamorro de borrego al huaxmole; Mexican chocolate pot de crème.

DrinksFull Bar