Empellón Cocina

Empellón Cocina

(Now Closed)
Mexican Restaurant$$$$
East Village, New York
  • Stars
    The experts at Eater and Time Out New York recommend this place
    • Eater
    • Time Out New York
Tips and Reviews icon150 Tips and reviews
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  • Popular
  • Recent
  • Eater
    EaterAugust 14, 2014
    Try the lamb barbacoa taco, from Ryan Sutton's review: "The chef takes the belly and ribs, rubs them in adobo, buries them in avocado leaves, and cooks them low and slow." Read more
  • Andrew C.heart icon on user image
    Andrew ChoiMarch 10, 2016
    Something you don't get to try often: squid with black mole & chorizo mayo. If you're getting a cocktail, the Winter is bomb (mezcal, alpine walnut, & bourbon "mist") and so is the Saffron.
  • Chad H.heart icon on user image
    Chad HornerApril 1, 2016
    the 3-course tasting is the play: guac for the table, plus each person gets tacos, a small plate, and dessert. among the starters the squid is a standout, and don't ignore the cocktail menu!
  • Tina C.
    Tina ChangMay 31, 2013
    Pistachio guacamole is amazing. Red snapper ceviche, asparagus with poached duck egg, soft shell crab tacos and lobster with cheese dish are a must try. Their new specialty margaritas are amazing.
  • Alexandra L.heart icon on user image
    Alexandra LeiteJune 14, 2015
    Whatever Alex Stupak did, worked! There is quite a difference between this new restaurant and the old Empellon. Start with, choose a tartare, go to tacos but please have one of the fulfilling entrees.
  • Eater
    EaterJune 6, 2014
    In a town where tacos have become as interchangeable, Cocina's are becoming more focused, interesting and envelope-pushing by the month. The spring pea tacos is a perfect dish. Read more
    CITY GRITAugust 5, 2014
    Start with Pistachio Guac and all the salsas! We never knew we’d be obsessed with a dish like Sliced Mango, or Squid, or Lamb Belly Barbacao! Satisfy your sweet tooth with 5-course dessert tasting!
  • Justin W.
    Justin WelshFebruary 19, 2014
    A fabulous reataurant. Great service, great food. Would recommend the roast carrots, the pastrami tacos and the arroz con leche desert. Simply delicious food.
  • Time Out New York
    Time Out New YorkSeptember 5, 2014
    Order the Mexican sponge cake— it arrives deconstructed, the moist cubes of vanilla cake surrounded by bitter orange marmalade, crumbled brown butter streusel and café con leche ice cream. Read more
  • Chefs Feed
    Chefs FeedOctober 2, 2015
    "Many people have a misunderstanding of raw mushrooms, and yet this dish captures a unique complexity of earthiness and is worth getting again and again." Chef Colt Taylor Read more
  • Dina
    DinaJuly 28, 2014
    Revelatory take on high-end Mexican food (not expensive though). Subtle, deep flavors with great ingredients. Lamb tartare is incredible, so is the octopus with chocolate mole. Trendy, dark space.
  • IrmaZandl Z.
    IrmaZandl ZandlSlantAugust 10, 2013
    I recommend the mango salad, the lobster fundido and the kale fundido with soft shell tacos. Not sure if this would become a "regular go-to" spot for me but if in the neighborhood I would drop in.
  • Time Out New York
    Time Out New YorkApril 11, 2013
    Eat this: Guacamole with pistachios, queso fundido with lobster, roasted carrots with mole, masa crisps with shrimp and sea urchin mousse, squid and potatoes with black mole, vanilla marquesote Read more
  • Serious Eats
    Serious EatsMarch 6, 2013
    Alex Stupak plays off Mexican flavors for an exciting, out-of-the-box menu that's totally his own. Don't miss Mat Resler's mezcal and tequila cocktails, either.
  • refinery29
    refinery29August 3, 2014
    There's a Pistachio Guac unlike any other. Dunk one of the thin masa crips in the creamy, nutty mixture, and you've got the ultimate bar snack. Read more
  • Astrid B.
    Astrid BarrerasJune 29, 2014
    The fish tacos are to die for! Also, the michelada is one of the best I've tried. So refreshing on hot summer day!
  • Jeana C.
    Jeana CostaApril 14, 2013
    Amazing food. Recommend getting many plates and sharing (size is right for that). Try: Guac, Roasted Carrots, Mango + Crab, Lobster Queso, Kale Taco, Scallop Taco. All so tasty!
  • The Corcoran Group
    The Corcoran GroupAugust 30, 2013
    Do yourself a favor and order the pistachio guac, the melted tetilla cheese with lobster, and the pastrami tacos. You'll definitely leave happy!
  • Rachel L.
    Rachel LMay 14, 2017
    The guacamole was fantastic. We also loved the queso and some tacos. Can't go wrong with anything
  • Darren L.
    Darren LachtmanSeptember 29, 2012
    As everyone has said, the lobster queso is a must and if you have more than 5 people, get 2. Guacamole is great. Def do the 7 salsa sampler and do the flat iron steak.
  • Nishanth C.
    Nishanth ChariNovember 16, 2014
    Lamb belly is incredible as is the guac and salsas (Arbol and tomatillo especially but all 7 are good). Do not get the lobster queso - waste of money and calories. Flan is very different...
  • The Wall Street Journal
    Chilaquiles, a traditional Mexican hangover cure that is typically made from leftovers, eggs and salsa-soaked fried corn-tortilla strips, is dressed up here with meaty maitake mushrooms. Read more
  • Branzino B.
    Branzino BandiniJune 13, 2012
    Masa (ground cornmeal) from Tortilleria Nixtamal replaces most of the traditional flour. Maple syrup—smoked on-site—and ancho-spiked mole-poblano butter lend savory, spicy richness to the dish. $13.
  • Lindsay C.heart icon on user image
    Lindsay COctober 15, 2015
    Try the tacos - I reco the shrimp, fish or chicken. And, don't forget about the guacamole and salsa sampler to start! It's a must!
  • 7th.List
    7th.ListFebruary 11, 2012
    Alex Stupak, who previously did desserts at wd~50 and Alinea, has opened this East Village restaurant. It's a sister spot to his West Village taqueria, and the menu is slightly more upscale. Read more
  • Kathryn Y.heart icon on user image
    Kathryn YuFebruary 27, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    Use your knife to scrape every last caramelized bit of cheese from the cast iron pan for the Melted Tetilla Cheese with Lobster, Tomate Frito, and Kol (Yucatan stylewhite sauce).
  • Corinna P.heart icon on user image
    Corinna PJune 5, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    My life was just changed by a $9 pastrami taco. Also beet juice mescal cocktail. And you might as well try pistachio guac like everyone says.
  • Mark E.heart icon on user image
    Mark EgermanJanuary 12, 2014
    I don't care if you hate Brussel Sprouts, the Brussel Sprouts taco is one of the most incredible dishes in NYC. Pay with Cover and walk out happy.
  • Debora O.heart icon on user image
    Debora OlssonAugust 19, 2013
    Do not miss out on the delicious Pistachio Guacamole, it is to die for! The spicy cucumber margarita is a must as well!
  • Diane B.
    Diane BakerJanuary 26, 2014
    Selection of 7 salsas is great! The masa crisps blow away corn chips. The carnitas tacos are great as well
  • Adam M.heart icon on user image
    Adam MAugust 1, 2013
    Possibly the best guac I've ever had. . Lana is a kickass bartender. Oh - and their tequila!! What a selection. New neighborhood fave.
  • Porig S.
    Porig SalbaJune 25, 2012
    Guac and masa chips and lobster with cheese dish were excellent. Tapas style so fun to try a bunch of flavors. (3 of 4 petals via Fondu) Read more
  • Serena
    SerenaFebruary 22, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    Lobster queso is pretty amazing & the space is gorgeous & not unbearably noisy. On nearly all other fronts, however, the wv location is far superior..not to mention much more wallet friendly.
  • Erika G.heart icon on user image
    Erika GrijalvaOctober 15, 2014
    At first I thought the pistachio guacamole was a poser, but it is such a great combination! Dont miss it.
  • Sabrina M.heart icon on user image
    Sabrina MajeedAugust 13, 2015
    Service was really good. Pistachio guac, and their spin on chilaquiles were both really good!
  • J L.heart icon on user image
    J LMarch 27, 2016
    Wonderful and inventive tasting menu at the chef's table.
  • Nikhita M.heart icon on user image
    Nikhita MahtaniJanuary 30, 2016
    Service isn't great but the food is yummy! I like the guac with the seven salsas, the poached egg and the fried rice.
  • Food & Wine
    Food & WineApril 3, 2013
    Despite the critical acclaim he received for his modernist desserts at some of the country’s top restaurants, chef Alex Stupak has traded in his pastry tools to make extraordinary tacos. Read more
  • Carl
    CarlApril 6, 2013
    For brunch, the chilequiles miss the mark by not using regular corn tortilla chips. It also doesn't help when the poached eggs are undercooked and with an occasional bit of shell.
  • Jorge U.
    Jorge UrrutiaMay 17, 2015
    Spicy cucumber margarita, guac with 7 sauces and carnitas para dos. Bring back the lobster queso!
  • Amanda V.heart icon on user image
    Amanda VinciFebruary 23, 2016
    Really interesting take on Mexican food... the pistachio guac and the chips are the best
  • Sofia F.
    Sofia FelixFebruary 12, 2012
    The Queso Fundido (melted cheese) with lobster and flour tortillas is to die for. Take it from a Mexicana wo likes to eat well.
  • Kate F.
    Kate FurmanOctober 4, 2015
    $5 beer and taco happy hour until 7 pm at the bar area.
  • Charlottesheart icon on user image
    CharlottesMay 13, 2017
    Loved the mezcal cocktail with added spice, the ceviche and the whole fish
  • Lesley K.
    Lesley KAugust 13, 2013
    Mexi food pulling from contemporary, colonial & very old aztec/maya/etc influences in a very fun atmosphere.
  • Serious Eats
    Serious EatsMarch 5, 2013
    The menus at Empellón Cocina change often, in the dining room and at the bar.
  • Melissa R.
    Melissa RogersAugust 5, 2012
    Best guacamole in NYC? Try: pistachio guac, melted tetilla cheese with lobster, pastrami or fish tempura tacos.
  • Michelle B.heart icon on user image
    Michelle BennerAugust 23, 2015
    amazing Goat tacos, queso, guac and salsas!
  • Howard L.
    Howard LeifmanOctober 11, 2013
    Food was amazing and staff were terrific! I highly recommend it. Great atmosphere too!
  • Howard L.
    Howard LeifmanOctober 10, 2013
    Food was amazing and service excellent! Highly recommend! Definitely will go back!
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