Another restaurant on my hit list for New York is Tacos Güey, located in the Flatiron district at 37 W 19th street. It is a casual, modern Mexican eatery that is creating some ambitious and delicious dishes.
Chef Henry Zamora has a pretty impressive provenance. Cooking at Legacy Records, which I reviewed and loved, Quince and the iconic French Laundry. So, he knows his way around the kitchen. While staying home during the pandemic he decided to make food he grew up with. Chef is a Mexican American, and he wanted to pay homage to his roots.
Opening this past June 2021, the chef took traditional food and added ingredients like Japanese yuzu, kosho, citrus chili pepper, and turned these classic Mexican dishes into a new refined fare.
The restaurant is a long and narrow space seating up to 72 guests. Featuring clay pottery, Mexican murals, exposed brick walls, and some with a black glaze, the design includes black seats with wicker accents, brown leatherette banquets, and tiled floors with a flower print make for a nice aesthetic. There are communal-style picnic tables upfront with high-top stools. The bar is in the back of the eatery.
The restaurant distinguishes itself with creative ceviches, delicious tacos, and crafty cocktails. Every ceviche dish we tried was excellent, but the most notable one was the sea bass with chili oil and gooseberries served on a large scallop shell. The diver scallops with cucumber, radish, mint, and finger limes are also great. The guacamole with salted lime was a delicious rendition. We ordered a few salsas at $5 a pop, to add some zip, along with the homemade corn chips. We also enjoyed the Birria taco, a slow-cooked lamb shoulder, and chili on a homemade tortilla. The chicken taco was equally delicious. The dishes are ingredient-driven, like the wonderful potato stuffed with cheese that was cracklingly crisp, offered with guacamole, spiced cream, and dark red salsa. We went for lunch, but apparently, at dinner, there are some larger entrees like meats, pork ribs, and a grilled whole fish.
There are two desserts on offer. Churros with a milk chocolate dipping sauce that were 👌, and two seasoned paletas (popsicles).
The bar had a huge selection of tequilas, mezcal, and agave options to suit every taste and budget. The beverage program is overseen by Michael Reed of NoMad and Eleven Madison Park, so you know you will be getting some distinctive drinks.
“Güey”, is slang for “dude”, and this place is the first Mexican restaurant that I want to try again, and soon. Fresh dishes are made with quality and multidimensional flavours.