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After hearing multiple restaurant insiders rave about Cosme on 21st and Park Avenue, I went to try it out. It is the newly opened upscale Mexican restaurant run by Chef Enrique Olvera from Mexico City.
As I sat down, I noticed that the interior design was clearly created by an in-house team, and not a Rockwell Group, etc. The pictures on the huge walls were too tiny. There were no flowers. It was all stark, resembling a pop-up art gallery.
The service was acceptable for a midrange place, but not for a 3-star restaurant that Cosme has been tagged with.
I started with the $24 “Cobia al pastor with pineapple purée”. Translation: a small piece of swordfish and corn tortillas to make two tacos. The plating was all wrong, arriving in a bowl for unknown reasons. The fish lacked flavor and was too small. Once buried in the tortilla, there was no taste at all other than corn. Much better fish tacos can be ordered from El Vez for $16.
Then, my main dish arrived, which was a $35 “Black garlic rubbed NY strip for tacos, shishitos, avocado -tarragon purée”. Translation: a 5-ounce tough-as-shoe-leather-too-raw-steak on mundane peppers with corn tortillas for tacos. I placed the meat and some peppers into a taco and bit in. The meat would not yield. The steak should have been a fillet and not a strip steak.
Lastly, I had the acclaimed “Corn husk meringue” for dessert. There were very small speckles of corn husk on top, looking like pepper. The meringue was filled with what seemed to be a soft cheesecake with corn flavor. It was awful.
My recommendation for this place is to ignore the idiotic 3-star review that Pete Wells of the New York Times gave to Cosme and avoid this rip-off. There are numerous restaurants in the city with better ambiance, and much better tacos, for one-third the price.