Cosme

I started taking pictures for this food blog idea years ago and the first restaurant I did it at was Pujol, in Mexico City.

The same famed Pujol chef Enrique Olvera then opened Cosme in New York and so I had to try it and in doing so I feel like I have almost come full circle, in a way 😉

Cosme is a much more lively, sceney place than Pujol (which is classier, quieter, more dimly lit, more elegant and with an older crowd, at least the night I visited). It’s in the Flatiron District and you can sit at the tables in the back, at the bar in the front or in the lounge chairs of the entrance/foyer area, the menu is the same, the attitude and surrounding company changes a lot.

We tried mostly seafood appetizers. The scallops were good but the radish, but the giant jicama (yam bean root) shavings it came with were a bit overwhelming, especially visually, as they covered everything. The Uni tostada with bone marrow salsa was really good and, most notably, the Fluke with ants and sesame were the absolute winner!

The octopus memela with black beans, salsa verde and queso fresco was great as a dish but would have not been as remarkable without the bed or flavors around the tentacles.

Considering this should be THE Mexican spot in NY I expected a lot more from the herb guacamole, which was underwhelming and a bit bland.

The corn tempura softshell crab with shishito mole and tomatoes was probably the best entrée (and by that I mean main course… another misappropriated and misused word of the new English language).

Saturne

Possibly one of the best 9-course dinners I’ve had in Paris.
Reservations are a must and expect to be there for 3 hours.
Carte Blanche menu (you don’t need to pick anything, just tell them if you have any dietary restrictions) and set price of €85 without wine and €150 with wine (cheese and water are extra). If you are into wine they have a wine menu to die for with some of the best (hardest to find and most expensive bottles). You can do the wine pairing menu where every course comes with a pairing or you can get a bottle from their menu.

The highlights were the raw tuna with oven-dried blood oranges (one of the best raw tuna renditions ever!) and a dessert consisting of mandarin sorbet sitting atop some meringue crumbles, a cloud of a frozen solid mousse made with the inside of a squash seeds, some sugar glazed squash seeds underneath and a bed of squash mousse at the very bottom: something of a superior originality and taste!

Mini brioche with cheese mousse (sorry about the lines in the picture, some weird artifact of the lighting of this restaurant).

Asparagus in a leaf.

A clam and an an oyster hide underneath a mouse of vegetables.

The superior raw tuna with blood oranges that had to be desiccated in the oven.

Cod with clams and white asparagus.

Masterfully cooked juicy duck on a bed of spinach, peas and avocado mousse.

Unexpectedly hard goat cheese and a salad.

That’s the mandarin sorbet sitting atop some meringue crumbles, a cloud of a frozen solid mousse made with the inside of a squash seeds, some sugar glazed squash seeds underneath (that’s the dark/black stuff you see in the picture) and a bed of squash mousse at the very bottom: something of a superior originality and taste!

Warm chocolate mousse and cold hazelnut ice cream under a layer of crumbled oven roasted berries and chocolate.

Sushi Inoue

I started hearing about Inoue from my japanese friends in New York. Everyone was raving about it and nobody could explain why it was in Harlem! Since I love sushi and I live in Harlem took my partner there for her birthday.

This place is incredible! Pure culinary art!

Omakase is clearly the way to go. Let the chef decide everything and just enjoy!

Like most high end sushi places, it’s more expensive at the bar than at the table, but it is worth it for the added spectacle of seeing the preparation of your food happen in front of your eyes.

July 2017 UPDATE:
I haven’t been to this place for over a year and since Inuoue got a Michelin star. This means that unfortunately the price has gone up to $250/person for Omakase at the bar. You can however still have your sushi experience at the table for $90/person which, considering it’s the same fish and same quality, is definitely worth it. I’ve updated this post to $$$$/$$$$$!

Pujol

Pujol is THE Mexican restaurant in Mexico City for classy Mexican haute cuisine. You might not find any tacos here but all the ingredients are locally-sourced by Chef Enrique Olvera and everything on the menu has Mexican tradition in mind. You’ll find a lot of dishes made with corn, mole, tostadas, tamal, Mexcal appetizers and drinks and the freshest local produce cooked in delicious and creative ways.

This is one of those places that would be $250/person in NY but because it’s Mexico and the local Peso currency is weak you can enjoy a 6 course meal for $80/person without wine.

Pujol was named by Wall Street Journal as the best in Mexico City and ranked 17th best restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine in 2013. In 2015 Olvera opened “Cosme” in New York and shortly after closed Pujol for renovation, but it is due to reopen soon, or so I’ve read.

The candle lit room was not ideal for iPhone pictures but you can tell from the pictures that this is a special place. You get to pick between about four options for every course. As I was there with other people I took pictures of my choices and my dining companions’ choices as well. That’s why there are more than 6 pictures. My memory is too blurry to remember what was what but Pujol was a great experience and I plan to go back and also try Cosme in NY.

At Pujol reservations are a must, and hard to come by, but sometimes a phone call will open doors that the website doesn’t, if you know what I mean 😉

You can actually take the menu home in a wax-sealed envelope as a souvenir of your experience.

Mole verde (green mole).

This is their Mole Madre (the Mother of the Mole) on top of the new batch of Mole made with the starter (the mother). The mother is 830 days old mole!!!

That prickly pear sorbet dessert brought me back to my childhood in Southern Italy. Delicious!