RestauRanting: Cosme NYC
Updated: Jan 20, 2020
RESIDENCE TO THE "WORLD'S BEST FEMALE CHEF"
At yearend 2014, in the Flatiron District of New York City, Chef de Cuisine Daniela Soto-Ines helps world-renown Chef Enrique Olvera open Cosme. Not long after in 2016, she receives the James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef. By 2017, Cosme makes it on the list of the World's 50 Best Restaurants; and in 2018, it is number 25 on the list.
Summer of 2019, every notable media mentions Daniel Soto-Ines and I can't get enough of her. I share all the articles I come across, on social media. From Forbes to Eater... even CNN, Soto-Ines is all the rave as she is crowned the youngest "World's Best Female Chef" by the World's 50 Best Restaurants.
I was thrilled by the news! Soto-Ines and I, share the same heritage so her accolades somehow hit close to home. I felt so proud of her in how she represents Mexicanism and how she has become an inspiring figure. I knew that one day, I would eat at her restaurant. Little did I know that by the end of summer, I would be visiting Cosme.
It’s the last week of September 2019 when I take a spontaneous trip to New England. I would be in Manhattan for three days only.
On Saturday, we take rideshare from Midtown to the 911 Memorial ($24 for 2 passengers). After exploring the area, we walk to the shore to see the Statue of Liberty. As I sit on a bench, gazing over at Miss Liberty, I realize I did not want to miss my chance to eat at Cosme.
I google Cosme, dial the number and receive pre-recorded information—not necessarily all I needed. I could not tell whether reservations are required, yet I proceed to book a reservation online—a process that requires a credit card. There are only three time slots left to choose from. Since we can’t make the earliest time, we opt for the second to last and plan for a late dinner, at 10:45 pm.
From the outside, Cosme looks like one of many windows that form part of a multi-purpose New York building. Consistent with the interior, the frame is modern and trendy with plants by the doorstep.
The restaurant feature a sleek bar near the entrance where they carry a wide selection of mezcal among other libations. The place was spotless with knowledgeable and friendly staff.
Once our waiter greets us at our table, he talks to us for a minute about the menu. He says the portions are small and recommends two plates per person. He also informs us that the kitchen will be closing soon and they would appreciate it if we placed ALL of our order in.
For a restaurant I had never been to, it’s hard placing all my order in at once, especially when the dinner experience requires multiple plates. I do not know how rich the food is, how filling the portions are or how well I would like the food.
So I order three items. As the dishes hit our table, I come to wonder if I'd find something familiar in the ultra modern "Mexican" food. It was like nothing I had ever seen in Mexican food before. I mean, it was beautiful. As if Mexican food underwent plastic surgery.
I loved every bite! Not only was the food aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but the flavors were glorious on the palate. The taste, quite familiar, yet refined. Yes, I know who you are now... You beautiful Mexican dish!
Three plates was not enough, I’m still hungry. I had been saving my appetite for Cosme. I ask the waiter if by any chance I could order an additional dish, the duck carnitas. After checking-in with the kitchen, he informs me that they have officially closed for the night. He went on to offer dessert and cocktails. I politely declined. I wanted food.
The menu lists short descriptions (versus names) and changes with the season.
"Arctic char, sea buckthorn aguachile, turmeric"
As you may already know, wherever I go, I see stars next to *aguachile*. This variation has the perfect fish fillet in a sea of lime, tinted of turmeric. Although the spice provides vibrant color, its flavor takes a backseat to very pronounced lime notes.
"Tataki Alpastor, pineapple puree, cilantro"
A creative spin on the proverbial al pastor (pork) tacos. Consistent with perfect fish fillets, the protein is seasoned or perhaps marinaded is spices to the effect of al pastor. The pineapple puree provides richness to the tacos and creamy bite. This dish is garnishes with ultra thin pineapple slices, micro cilantro and Serrano chile. The heat level is overall, mild.
"Soft-shell crab, yellow mole, shiso"
The soft-shell crab has a tempura effect and is served in a bowl of golden mole. I eat the entire crispy crab without the beautiful shiso decorated tortilla. Instead, I smother the red table chile onto the tortilla to eat on its own. Even the chile blew me away with glorious flavor! The dish includes a chayote salad on the side. The salad rounds out the meal by bringing in freshness to a rich mole.
I swear I took photos of my soft-shell crab. I cannot explain what happened to all my photos, but what I can explain, is that you can watch clips of my visit to Cosme, including this dish, in my YouTube video below.
Click image above to watch video of New York, food & travel.
The team at Cosme is currently made up of:
Chef Partner: Enrique Olvera, Daniela Soto-Ines
Chef de Cuisine: Gustavo Garnica
Managing Partner: Santiago Perez
General Manager: Christian Munoz
Beverage Director: Yana Volfson
35 E 21st ST
New York, NY 10010