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Cosme, Chef Enrique Olvera's Modern Mexican at 35 E. 21st Street in Flatiron District

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Cosme is probably one of the hottest openings of late 2014, and one of the 2 or 3 best openings of last year in NYC.

This week, the Times' review hit, and it's a 3-star rave up.

The New Yorker review also hit this week.

Adam Platt in New York/Grub Street grudgingly gives it 3 stars.

Time Out New York - utter rave.

And this nebbishy Jewish kid from Long Island liked it too...Tasty Travails.

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From the NY Times:

"Cosme is an expensive restaurant, where dinner for two with dessert and wine can easily creep beyond $300."

Good thing it got 3 stars. Mexican inspired at that altitude should be 'interesting.'

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We managed at $75 pp. Didn't drink a lot (which is rare, and which many times runs 50% of our bill, and which is how restaurants stay in business here) and had plenty of food.

But yes, that's often what dinner costs at the top places in NYC. And these days, 3 NY Times' stars equals many of the top places. Next week, for our anniversary, we're going back to Gramercy Tavern - the tasting menu is a great deal at $128 per. So, I guess that bill will top $300.

Remember - it's cheaper than going to Mexico City.

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Is mole the most commonly misunderstood Mexican dish in the United States? I’ve had objectively bad mole, and what I presume is good mole, but coming from my own place of ignorance, I’m never sure the exact standard I should be looking for when I eat it.

With no trip to Puebla or Oaxaca in the horizon, I guess I will let Daniela Soto-Innes and her team define mole for me. To that end, Cosme’s duck enmoladas with red mole ($25) was a brilliant display of layered flavors: rich, slightly sweet, and with a toe-tap of chili at the end of every bite. Dotted with crème fraiche and red onion to break up the indulgence, strained to a texture that reminds me why I eat out at restaurants, this was a sauce that took care to make and was finished with an attention to technique.

The rest of my lunch never quite reached that height, but was nonetheless enjoyable. An arctic char tostada with elderberries, yuzu and avocado ($21) was introduced as a Mexican take on a bagel with lox -- a cute story that didn’t really make any sense. Huge ribbons of fish played nice with all the ingredients, but the appetizer was a reminder that even “modern Mexican” chefs cannot make eating a tostada any less clumsy.

Of course, a proper meal here should end with their famous husk meringue with corn mousse ($16). Big punches of salt and restrained sweetness, balanced by the delicately broken meringue pieces. I loved it.

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Mole literally means "sauce," so there's no real definition. Olvera's mole doesn't have chocolate in it, so it's not mole poblano. But that duck dish is definitely good.

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Made a reservation after seeing Chef's Table on Netflix. (I'm sure these restaurants featured *love* this kind of thing--probably boosts attendance considerably) The duck carnitas are still very good. Never saw such a pice of duck. Also the herbed guacamole is excellent. Probably the best I've had anywhere. So fresh and flavorful. There is an amazing Mexican granache on the by-the-glass menu (not appearing in the online menu), though I cannot recall the name. It was quite a find. We were told it's produced specially for Cosme. 

I'm not sure this is the best value at the price point, but we loved it. 

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15 hours ago, jondagle said:

Made a reservation after seeing Chef's Table on Netflix. (I'm sure these restaurants featured *love* this kind of thing--probably boosts attendance considerably) The duck carnitas are still very good. Never saw such a pice of duck. Also the herbed guacamole is excellent. Probably the best I've had anywhere. So fresh and flavorful. There is an amazing Mexican granache on the by-the-glass menu (not appearing in the online menu), though I cannot recall the name. It was quite a find. We were told it's produced specially for Cosme. 

I'm not sure this is the best value at the price point, but we loved it. 

Possibly because we live across the street, Cosme is a place we go fairly regularly. It is definitely not the best value for the price point if you go for dinner. BUT brunch prices are much more reasonable with a similar menu. I also strongly recommend their cocktails. 

Another option would  be to visit their sister restaurant Atla. To be honest, I prefer Atla which has an all day menu, tons of outdoor seating and a more relaxed atmosphere. The menu is stylistically similar but much less expensive. 

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On 7/9/2018 at 10:14 AM, lekkerwijn said:

Another option would  be to visit their sister restaurant Atla. To be honest, I prefer Atla which has an all day menu, tons of outdoor seating and a more relaxed atmosphere. The menu is stylistically similar but much less expensive. 

Atla (not to be confused with 'Alta') looks great. Definitely will try that next time. Thanks for brunch tip too.

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I don't mean to be dim, but I've never heard this name spoken.

I'm guessing since it's Mexican, it's pronounced "COS-meh," but could also see "COMB" and "CAHzm." Is it the first one?

Also, I haven't looked up the etymology - is it a Mexican city or region? (I figure if I don't know, somebody else doesn't either.)

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