Mexican Restaurants East Side, NYC
Over the past few years Mexican cuisine on Manhattan East Side, has been turning heads and tempting palates.
Inside this article: Maz Mezcal, Canyon Road, Noche De Margaritas, Sabor A Mexico II and Pampano.
There's a lot to like about Mexican food. The traditional spices and seasonings used in this cuisine are flavorful and out of the ordinary. If you are into healthy eating, many of the dishes utilize fresh veggies as well as white meat options such as chicken and pork. A great many of the chefs who helm the kitchens of Mexican-themed restaurants, hail from the various provinces of Mexico, so you know that the dishes you are eating are authentic. In other words, you're not getting a watered down "American" version of traditional Mexican food.
Maz Mezcal - NYC
The kitchen at Maz Mezcal blends classic, traditional Mexican comfort food, just like mom used to make, with some very subtle and sophisticated touches. The result is flavors and aromas that are simply out-of-this-world. As soon as you walk through the door, an air of festivity takes over. The décor is classy, yet casual. A majestic chandelier highlights the dining room, while colorful paintings and mementoes, adorn the walls. If you've become a bit jaded by the same old brunch menu, at your usual weekend spot, then give Maz Mezcal a try. You will love the difference. Where else can you get Tostadas de ceviche? This dish is heaven on a plate, consisting of a couple of tostadas buttered with guacamole and topped off with shrimp ceviche. That deserves a double yum.
The superb brunch chiliquillas are also worthy of your notice. Basically, this is an egg and corn tortilla casserole with cheese, sour cream and just the right amount of red sauce. You can also throw in some chorizo, for added fun. The house margaritas seem to go with everything, so don't be shy about ordering a couple.
For lunch and dinner, especiales of the house include: chicken breast with saffron rice, enchiladas with mole, chopped onions and sesame seeds, their signature steak and chicken fajitas and something called Nan's Pollo Bailando. If you dine here, please try to order this dish. It's outrageous. Strips of perfectly grilled chicken breast are served with broccoli, green beans and nopalitos.
Maz Mescal is the kind of friendly, neighborhood place that you will want to return to, again and again. And every time that you do go back, you will be greeted with a warm, sincere smile.
Location and Hours
316 East 86th street
New York NY 10028
Mon-Thu 5 PM to 11 PM
Fri 4 PM to 12 AM
Sat 12 PM to 12 AM
Sun 12 PM to 11 PM
Canyon Road - NYC
Sit down at your table and relax. You're not in New York City anymore. Just take a break from all of the hustle and bustle. Embrace the warm rustic atmosphere of the Southwest, as you are surrounded by white adobe walls, wooden posts, decorative cactus plants and wooden ceilings. At Canyon Road they do an innovative take on Southwestern cuisine, with an emphasis on Mexican comfort dishes. The kitchen will take your taste buds on journey that they will not soon forget.
Antojitos (appetizers), include a wonderful seared Ahi tuna tostada with shredded lettuce and chipotle cream, spicy peanut shrimp with fried plantains over a crispy blue corn tortilla and , of course, guacamole en molcajete, prepared at your table. The presentation of your guac is spectacular and the finished product tastes even better. Quesadilla selections include three cheese with oregano, gulf shrimp and jalapenos, chicken and mushrooms as well as shredded duck.
Executive chef Ruperto Ramirez excels at his signature iron skillet seared fajitas. Served with Mexican rice, black beans, guacamole, pico de gallo and fresh flour tortillas, you can choose from marinated Santa Fe beef, chicken, shrimp garden veggies with Monterey Jack or tuna and Portobello mushrooms. The aroma from the fajitas is so intoxicating, you can smell that tantalizing scent from a mile away.
If you are feeling particularly adventurous, then you might want to try the cactus salad made up of spiced cactus, with red onions, radish, tomatoes and queso fresco in an ancho chile vinaigrette. That is good eating.
Location and Hours
1470 1st avenue
New York NY 10021
Mon-Thu 5 PM to 10 PM
Fri 5 PM to 11:30 PM
Sat 12 PM to 11:30 PM
Sunday 12 PM to 10 PM
Noche De Margaritas - NYC
A family run restaurant, Noche De Margarita is as authentic as it gets. If you are of Mexican heritage, then your Mom or Grandmother just might have some competition from the chefs here. Yes, the food is that good. The décor is a little too bright with mirrors lining one of the walls. Now, that's a matter of taste. But there is no debate about the food that comes out of the kitchen. Their chicken flautas are above reproach. You get a trio of crispy tortillas rolled with chicken, onion, peppers and cheese. Your flautas are topped with refried beans, red and green sauce as well as sour cream, and lettuce.
Soups are a specialty here. Selections include black bean, vegetable, hominy corn with shredded chicken as well as chicken with rice and tortilla strips. Entrees come in generous portions and will leave you feeling well-filled without that overly stuffed or heavy sensation. Dishes that you can't do without include the green poblano peppers stuffed with beef and cheese, the tilapia burrito and the enchiladas mi bandera, which consists of three soft corn tortillas (chicken, cheese and beef), topped with three different sauces.
The house signature dish would have to be the calamares Sinaloa. Guaranteed, you have never had calamari like this before. You will be texting your friends about this dish, even before you finish the last bite on your plate. The calamari are sautéed with green sauce, onions, green olives, spinach and coriander. This delightful dish is served over rice. As you would expect from a restaurant that is the family's pride and joy, you are treated as though you were a guest in their own home. When your server asks if everything is alright with your food, they really mean it. This attitude and care starts, from the moment that you are greeted at the door, right through to dessert.
Location and Hours
1726 Second avenue
New York NY 10128
Mon-Sun 12 - 10 PM
Sabor A Mexico II - NYC
When walking along east 77th Street, you could easily pass right by Sabor A Mexico II. This cozy, intimate restaurant is tucked away a few steps down from the sidewalk. Nestled under a building, in what used to be a basement area, Sabor A Mexico ll is the perfect setting for a romantic dinner. There are only ten or twelve tables here, but the restaurant's miniscule size only adds to its charm, as do the brick walls and the glasses that hang from the ceiling over the bar.
The management asks patrons to "give in to temptation and let the taste of Sabor a Mexico two capture you!". The words are a bit theatrical, but the kitchen definitely backs those words up. The food being served here is delicious, derived from authentic Mexican family recipes. Sabor is known for their guacamole and savory tacos al pastor. The pernil is fall-off-the-bone tender and simply scrumptious. If you are on a budget, be aware that they have a wallet friendly $8.95 lunch special, which is cash only. This offer is good from 11 AM to 6 PM, Monday through Friday. All specials come with a fresh fruit drink. Your choices include Sabors signature Burrito Amigo, (chicken, beef or vegetables), an order of fried taquitos or enchiladas. Breakfast all day is on tap here, along with imported Mexican beer and margaritas. The $8.95 deal includes Huevos Rancheros or Huevos a la Mexicana, which is scrambled eggs with tomatoes, peppers and onions. Breakfast dishes come with rice and beans along with a corn tortilla. If you were traveling in Mexico, for business or pleasure, you could not ask for a more authentic meal.
Location and Hours
233 East 77th street
New York NY 10075
Mon-Sat 11:30 AM to 11 PM
Sun 11 AM to 10 PM
Pampano - NYC
Chef Richard Sandoval knows a thing or two about Mexican food. His reputation as both a chef and restaurateur is well earned. At Pampano, though, chef Sandoval just may have exceeded his already sky-high standards. In the dining room there are various shades of white, everywhere that you look. The décor is inspired by the gleaming white shores of Mexico. It's a different kind of atmosphere, that's for sure. A fine dining establishment, despite the casual, beach type ambiance, Pampano serves sophisticated coastal Mexican cuisine.
Make Pampano your after work, let's celebrate the end of the day stop on the way home. The crowd at the bar is as sleek and sophisticated as are the surroundings. Happy Hour specials include a glass of Caipirinha, Sangria, or red or white wine of the day for only $6. Sangria is not an afterthought here. The traditional sangria is always an excellent libation but be a little adventurous and try their mango peach or strawberry mint sangria. Top shelf beers such as Tecate , Dos Equis amber and Corona are available for just four dollars.
Chef Sandoval and his chef de cuisine Lucero Martinez have put together a menu that brings traditional coastal village cooking to Manhattan. If you love seafood, then Pampano is well within your comfort zone. They do a fantastic adobo shrimp Quesadilla with arugula salad and, manchego cheese. Chef Martinez' grilled salmon is done up in an orange-guajillo glaze. The dish is accompanied by grilled kale and apple wood smoked bacon crispy shallots. The must order dish here has to be the Paella, which is loaded with bay scallops, calamari, clams, shrimp mussels as well as chorizo. It's all blended in a saffron bomba rice. Awesome is the only word that can describe the great taste sensations that are going on in this dish.
Pampano also offers s few carefully thought-out meat dishes, like the grilled hanger steak with poblano mashed potatoes and the chuleta de cerdo, which consists of a pork chop in salsa borracha with cilantro, cherry tomatoes and a cactus-bean salad. The restaurant offers a very special three course Menu Fijo for only $29. Choices include ceviche de mariscos or mixed salad, cile relleno de mariscos or enchiladas nortenas for your second course as well as a delightful pastel de elote, to finish things off with. There's also a $49 bottomless brunch being offered on the weekends, between the hours of 11:30 AM and 4 PM.
Location and Hours
Mon-Wed 11:30 AM to 10 PM
Thu-Fri 11:30 to 10:30 PM
Sat & Sun 11:30 to 10:30 PM