NEW YORK, NY
I have to confess that Cosme was a “let’s try this again restaurant”. I initially discovered it because of the former chef, Daniella Soto-Innes who had won World’s best female chef from the World 50 group and I was excited to try. As a strong independent woman working in a male dominated industry, I am always on the lookout for female chefs to support on our journeys. When I initially visited I was honestly not sure what to make of my experience. There were some phenomenal dishes and others that made me ask, “what were they thinking?” and not in a good way. I relayed this information to some friends who said that they had a similar initial experience but revisiting changed their minds. Almost like a dip your toes situation initially and then dive right in afterwards on subsequent trips. And I am happy to report that they were absolutely right!
I was welcomed to the table with warm thick cut plantains that I believed were baked as well as some tortilla chips with various dips. What was noticeable for me with this treat was that the spiciest of the three dips was what I found to be the tastiest and most flavorful. I joked to myself that, “it burns so good”. I knew off of this initial bite that this was going to be a different experience and that I had to order a variety of dishes to taste across the board. So let’s dive in to my dinner shall we?
I started with the scallops and bass in an orange citrus broth. When they brought the food to the table and explained the dish, they mentioned that the broth was made with habanero but the spice taken out. I wondered how this would be feasible and feared for the life of my tongue. In the end, they were right. The spice of the habanero had been removed and instead the flavor and bite had been replaced with ginger and orange. It still had that little kick though but extremely tame. The bass and the scallops were undoubtedly fresh but what I enjoyed most about them were the play on opposite textures. Plump and tender from the scallop and firm from the bass. It was also recommended that this dish be eaten with a spoon as by doing so the liveliness of the broth flavored the seafood. A very good recommendation indeed as my mouth was full and bursting with flavor.
Next I had the octopus tostada. If you are a fan of texture, specifically crunchy texture like me, this is something that you definitely have to put in your mouth. The epic nature of that crunch alone made me a fan of this dish. I think maybe the raw naturalness of the corn tortilla flavor also added to that experience. There is no doubt in my mind that that was homemade and freshly made maybe even mere minutes before it was brought out. I generally opt not to add anything to a dish when it is brought out of the kitchen. I feel it is offensive to alter what chef has put in front of me BUT it was recommended to at least try it with the lime… woah! The lime enlivened the palate and emphasized the rich and smoky element of the dish. The only thing that I will caution you on is that this dish is messy… but just get in there. Trust me, it is worth it.
Next up was the tiger prawns with nopal tatemado. I have never been able to eat nopal (cactus) but this preparation is one where it was ground into a paste and served as dip of sorts to compliment the prawns… though it was tasty, I did not need it. The prawns themselves were flavorful enough. The texture was one that had a light sear on the outside but a ceviche feel on the inside. You really still had that burst of moisture which had been very well melded into garlic as you bit into the prawn. The best part for me though were the heads which were deep-fried. Heavenly is the only word that comes to mind.
So the next dish was mashed potatoes with no butter and heavy cream. I’m joking! How would they have that on the menu… but that is exactly what this tasted like. It was the pinto potato tetela with aged cheddar, creme fraiche and caviar. It is essentially a closed up quesadilla but the richness of flavor encapsulated within it was immeasurable. I think what also brought uniqueness to the dish was rawness of the tortilla as I mentioned before. That close to the ground, raw natural element of the tortilla did something to transform every dish that I had there. Now you all know by now that I love my caviar. I can have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner and still want more BUT I have to say that in this dish, it did not add much of anything. The creme fraiche was a good enough accompaniment as this dish just emphasized deliciousness in its simplicity
Now this next dish… I bow. It was absolute genius in my mind. Wagyu beef huarache with peas. Pairing raw and fatty wagyu with a guacamole type emulsion on what tasted like pizza crust just blew my mind. I do not have any issues with raw meat but I will be honest and say that I was taken aback by exactly “how raw” it appeared when it was placed in front of me. Here is a tip, pick it up, close your eyes and bite into it. I promise you will not regret doing so. The complement of what should be divergent flavors is exemplary.
Talk about saving the best for last. I had the brisket with chile morita and avocado. This was served with an abundant amount of warm tortillas. To say that they were generous is an understatement. Since I am always honest with you all, I will tell you upfront that I was not a fan of the avocado emulsion. I felt that it had too much lime in my opinion but try it and come to your own conclusion. But hey, the dish was not about avocado but the brisket. This is why I said it was the best. I could not stop saying wow and oh my goodness as I cut into this. Soooooo tender and the glaze atop it was insanely good. I could not decide if it tasted like soy or barbecue sauce… or maybe an interesting combination of both? Very interesting indeed. I honestly could have eaten the brisket alone with nothing else but I just wanted more of the tortillas. I did not regret that one bit… my makeshift brisket tacos. J’adore!
So that was the end of my adventure with Cosme. It was well worth the second visit and I am most certainly glad that I returned. When I return for a third time, it will be for the duck carnitas that is a signature dish. I did not order it this time given that it is for two and I wanted to try a lot of other dishes. And incase you are wondering if I will go with someone else to split the carnitas… Are you kidding me??? That’s all mine!
Make a reservation. Enjoy your meal. You will not regret it. Much love.