February 17, 2015

Cosme - Finally a new restaurant worth the hype

We used to go to new restaurants every week.  However, in the last 5-6 years, I don't know if it's just that we got lazy and didn't want to play the "game" of dialing or hopping on opentable at 9am sharp to get the latest "hot reservation," but we've tended to stick closer to home frequenting the same go to spots week in and week out.

On the off chance we did try a new place, more often than not it wasn't worth the hype or hefty price tag.

A couple weeks ago we happened to be walking right around the corner from our apartment - taking 21st street between broadway and Park...for some reason a route we never frequent (we seem to be more partial to 20th)...and happened upon Cosme.  It was the middle of the day so it wasn't open, but I peered in the window wondering what this new seemingly chic place was.  At first I thought, wine bar?  Then I realized a new Mexican place.  But I was afraid it would just be another Rosa Mexicano or Dos Caminos, so I quickly dismissed it wondering how long it would last in this area where restaurants come and go every year.

While surfing the Internet though, Cosme kept coming up - The New Yorker gave it a favorable review, so did the New York Times...

I decided, let's try it.  So I went on their site - and low an behold, of course...the land of 5:30pm or 10:45pm availability.  Okay...so I picked a lone 6pm reservation for President's Day.  Why not - seemed like a good way to end the weekend.

The decor at Cosme is pretty minimalist - very sleek and modern...and very dark.  There is great lighting right above your table, and as other reviews have mentioned - it lends yourself to focusing on just your partner and your food alone.  While trendy, it differs from a lot of the loud bustling places around town, and focuses on the food and company.  It's wonderful.

I'll get right to the food.  Cosme is pretty pricey - the menu has three sections (small apps, vegetarian apps and main courses). They recommend 3 dishes per person, but I think you could go with probably 4-5 total for two, especially if you get the duck carnitas which I highly recommend.

We started with the uni tostada - paired with bone marrow, it was delicious and unique...definitely leveraging the "it" factor of uni right now, but I'm not complaining.  It was a generous portion of Uni and I do think it can be shared for two - small, but who can really each that much rich uni anyhow.
Uni tostada and Sepia
We also got the Sepia - this was an interesting dish.  I had never tasted Sepia, and it was similar in texture to raw calamari, but had a delicious smoky smooth taste and texture.  A unique dish, but may not be for everyone as it is a bit fishy.

The burrata was as good as everyone says - smooth and creamy served with salsa verde and fresh micro greens.  Who would have thought? The salsa verde cut into the creaminess of the burrata in just the right way.
For our main - we of course went with the duck carnitas - after seeing pretty much every table near us order the same thing.  It was magnificent. Really delightful - hot out of the oven...the way to eat it is to mix everything up - take the fork and knife and mix it all up - the skin, the greens, and make sure to dig up the fond on the cast iron pan.  Mash it together and its the most delicious, juicy duck you'll ever have.  It's an order for 2, but honestly I think it could have fed four.  We were stuffed half way in and had to take the rest home.  I'm not complaining.  I needed to save room for dessert.

Duck Carnitas for two
The Husk meringue and corn mousse. WOW.  WOW. WOW.  This was a show stopper - the corn flavor wasn't overpowering, with just a hint of smokiness matched with the sweet meringue was a perfect and unusual dessert.  Well worth it.  I thought I was full, but I gobbled it up quickly.

Husk Meringue with Corn Mousse
All in all I would DEFINITELY recommend Cosme.  It's one of the few new restaurants that I really think is worth the buzz, hype and price tag.  Definitely worth a second, third, fourth visit....

35 East 21st St between Broadway and Park Ave South
Reservations on opentable

No comments:

Copyright © 2009. All rights reserved.