Anticipation and expectation. Two things that when left unchecked can ruin everything. This is true for many aspects of life, whether you’re prayin’ on a Powerball ticket, skipping medical school to “pursue your music,” or somehow still rooting for New York sports teams. It’s also very true for restaurants.
Cosme is about as highly anticipated as a restaurant gets in this town, with the speculation over when famed Mexico chef Enrique Olvera would open beginning more than a full year before they served a single plate. We were certainly excited to try it for many months before it became a real thing, but not necessarily because of the chef’s previous successes. We just happen to love Mexican food of all shapes, sizes, and culinary interpretations. Except, of course, Dos Caminos.
So what is Cosme, other than a seriously hyped restaurant? Well, let’s start with what it’s not. This isn’t some high end, “Parque De Eleven Madison” take on Mexican food. We were actually surprised at how simple the dishes are, even more so than a place like Empellon Cocina, but with a similarly inventive approach. The flavors are all familiar - cilantro, jalapeno, lime, corn - but some of the menu items are unmistakably New York City, and by that we mean burrata instead of burritos. The room is huge, but it’s also dark and sexy, making it as Perfect For a date as it is for a night of drinking tequila. But it’s definitely not a place for Sarah’s 24th birthday. And don’t expect anyone to bring you chips and salsa.
Which brings us back to expectations. Those can get you in trouble at Cosme. We really, really like this restaurant. But part of that is because we didn’t expect to. We never really put this place up on a pedestal before our visits like some other people did, and we were surprised at how approachable it is - even though it sort of looks like the Death Star inside. It’s also important that you’re not someone who just expects Mexican food to be cheap, because Cosme most definitely isn’t. But we definitely think it’s worth your money, especially if you’re someone who can get down on a bunch of uni on top of a tostada.
We expect you are.
Thank you, Mexico, for giving us the gift of this glorious tostada. As a gesture of gratitude, we’d like to give you Arizona and Texas back.
Considering the fact that avocado toast is pretty much the national breakfast these days, it’s surprising we haven’t seen more stuffed avocado in the US. Maybe we’re just not that creative. Do it up.
White fish, done in the classic al pastor style, and served with Cosme’s incredible homemade tortillas. Make some tacos, be proud of yourself.
First of all, ordering this giant half duck with fresh tortillas is the most important thing you’ll do at Cosme. But understand that even though the menu says it’s for two, it’s actually for about nine people. So the second thing you’ll need to do is make a plan to get whatever you don’t eat out of the restaurant. Lord knows you have too much pride to ask to take the leftovers home. Maybe line your purse with some cellophane and create a diversion.
Not looking to eat a duck at dinner? This mushroom and squash dish is a great option for vegetarians and ’shroom enthusiasts alike.