Empellon has quickly become my favorite upscale Mexican spots in the city. The food is essentially an innovative take on several types of Mexican dishes (tacos, sopes, quesos, etc.) It’s nice that you can choose 2 or 3 portion orders of tacos to sample more of the menu and that most dishes are easy to share. The scene is lively with a trendy crowd, good music, dim lighting and some fantastic cocktails.
I’ve sampled a good portion of the menu over several visits, and here are my top picks (you can see all my reviews & pics on DishEnvy):
¿Por Que No? *** – A spicy cocktail with tequila, pinapple puree, cilantro and serrano. The pineapple does not overpower but provides just the right sweetness to balance the spice of the serrano pepper. If you like spicy tequila cocktails, you may end up drinking a few too many of these.
Octopus Marisco *** – The octopus is tender and perfectly cooked. The salsa is tangy and spicy.
The Queso Fundido with Chorizo *** or Shishito Peppers *** – Can’t go wrong with either of these. The queso is gooey and delicious, served with fresh, warm tortillas. The shishito peppers give it a nice kick. The chorizo is also a little spicy and very tender, although it can overpower the cheese more.
Skirt Steak Tacos ** – The steak has a nice char and spicy, garlicky flavor from the mojo de ajo. It’s rich, but delicious.
Scallop Tacos ** - Melt-in-your mouth scallops. The spicy rasin puree sounds weird, but the tanginess compliments the scallops well.
230 W. 4th St. (corner of 10th St.)
New York, NY 10014
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