By Andrew Z. Galarneau
Above is the beef barbacoa taco, chile-braised beef on a house-made corn tortilla. While $9 is a outrageous price for a taco truck taco, this was fine dining. What's outrageous was the flavor. I wished I had a plate of this instead of my pibil pork entree.
Check out pictures and details on rest of the dishes I enjoyed, plus a full run-through of my meal, after the jump. These perfect churros didn't even make my short list.
I'm lukewarm about most of the fancy cocktails I've tried around town, but this watermelon margarita brought me up short. Cubes of watermelon puree, with a mixture of Hornitos tequila, watermelon liqueur and lime soda poured over it at the table. You sip and the fresh thyme spring jostles your nose and what the heck?
One bite of the flan below and all other flans of memory seemed like weak sauce. I wanted to know what was in it. Chef Victor Parra Gonzalez said he uses cajeta, goat's milk caramel, and those strawberries? Sauteed in clarified butter to perk up the flavor. It worked.
Now from the top, starting with the salmon tartare amuse bouche.
The ceviche, Alcapulco style, according to Gonzalez.
The chicken tinga, good but I wanted more Mexican spin.
Scallop with caviar and corn, slightly seared scallops were fine but light on the corn element.
A homey, satisfying zucchini soup with cilantro broth.
Here's the entrees. Snapper filet with cilantro chimichurri and soy sauce wontons.
Cochinita pibil, Yucatan-style braised pork, with a refined potato gratin.
Big chile flavor that doesn't overwhelm your palate with spiciness is not easy to pull off. The stuffed poblanos with nogada (walnut sauce) foam, below, did it. The dish tastes far better than it looks.
Here's the filet with crabmeat and Brussels sprouts sauteed with bacon.
You've already seen the flan, and the churros, both best-of-WNY caliber. Here's the rice pudding arancini, an interesting experiment.
Now I'm hungry again.