Believe the hype. Cosme opened in NYC with nothing less than the media-equivalent of air force jets flying in formation over the Statue of Liberty, as it is the first U.S. restaurant from Enrique Olvera, owner of the iconic Pujol Restaurant in Mexico City (named the 20th best restaurant in the world by the 1000 members of the Diner’s Club Academy). For once the PR whirl is merited: Cosme is bringing to New York the kind of contemporary, deeply luxurious Mexican food that it had yet to experience. This includes pibil, a rich Yucatecan dish usually made with shredded pork, done here with lobster and delicate mache lettuce; exquisite ceviches with just the right hint of heat and tang from fermented Serrano peppers; uni (sea urchin) tostado with a creamy salsa of bone marrow; and a “corn husk” dessert that tastes like summer and sunshine. I’m knocking off one star from this review for dignified but boring décor; and the miniscule portions (you’ll have to order a lot to leave full). Note: It’s often difficult to get reservations here, but the restaurant has a large bar and communal table for walk-in diners.
- Pauline Frommer