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Empellon Cocina
Empellon goes east and gets refined

The second venture from the Empellon team is conceptually a step in the upscale direction, which makes it an easy pick for our Favorite 5 Date Spots. A curvaceous, white brick interior (complete with a giant blue rooster mural) sets the mood for shareable Mariscos (mezcal-cured ocean trout w/ roe & cream cheese), Quesos (lobster, fried tomato, and Tetilla cheese), and Small Plates ranging from bay scallops w/ rutabaga and brown butter mole, to prime beef rib eye cap w/ puffed tendon and menudo, perfect for those who want to start livin' la vida loca.

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1. Empellon Cocina 105 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

Empellon makes a great date spot, or just a cool, classy place to relax with friends over some impressive eats. Empellon's second location in the East Village boasts a curvaceous, white brick interior that sets the mood for shareable mariscos (mezcal-cured ocean trout w/ roe & cream cheese), quesos (lobster, fried tomato, and Tetilla cheese), and small plates ranging from bay scallops w/ rutabaga and brown butter mole, to prime beef rib eye cap w/ puffed tendon and menudo. You can also hit up Empellon's original location, a taqueria on W. 4th in the West Village. The newer Cocina Empellon in East Village is a deeper dive into serious Mexican fusion cuisine with intense attention to detail. Chef Alex Stupak, previously a pastry genius at Manhattan's WD-40, brings his skills and fine touch to Empellon's inventive menu, and delivers one of NYC's best desert menus.

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