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The shareable tapas, the twinkling lights scarcely aglow overhead, the music (loungey remixes of contemporary chart-toppers or 80s classics, depending on when you go) so loud that you're frequently forced to lean in to hear your guest speak -- it's no wonder dinners at ABC Cocina tend to be intimate. Helmed by Michelin star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, this Union Square outpost puts inventive twists on time-honored Latin American small plates like sweet pea guacamole, crispy fish tacos with cabbage-chili pickle and house-made aioli, and arroz con pollo with crackling skins and lemon zest, the standout heavy-hitting paella. The wine list is both focused and accessible, boasting familiar and rare varietals (rioja for those trying to impress, mencia for those willing to try something new; a few tables away, you're likely to see an albarino enthusiast trying garnacha blanco for the first time), but it's specialty cocktails like the basil-jalape├▒o margarita that attract the masses. Gauzey tapestries, seashell accents, and pinkish bulb lights give the eatery a trendy feel; if you find yourself hooked on the d├ęcor, much of it is available for purchase at ABC Carpet & Home, the adjoined retail store.

Latin American tapas and trendy ambience at ABC Cocina in the Flatiron District NYC
New York

ABC Cocina

ABC Cocina

The shareable tapas, the twinkling lights scarcely aglow overhead, the music (loungey remixes of contemporary chart-toppers or 80s classics, depending on when you go) so loud that you're frequently forced to lean in to hear your guest speak -- it's no wonder dinners at ABC Cocina tend to be intimate. Helmed by Michelin star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, this Union Square outpost puts inventive twists on time-honored Latin American small plates like sweet pea guacamole, crispy fish tacos with cabbage-chili pickle and house-made aioli, and arroz con pollo with crackling skins and lemon zest, the standout heavy-hitting paella. The wine list is both focused and accessible, boasting familiar and rare varietals (rioja for those trying to impress, mencia for those willing to try something new; a few tables away, you're likely to see an albarino enthusiast trying garnacha blanco for the first time), but it's specialty cocktails like the basil-jalape├▒o margarita that attract the masses. Gauzey tapestries, seashell accents, and pinkish bulb lights give the eatery a trendy feel; if you find yourself hooked on the d├ęcor, much of it is available for purchase at ABC Carpet & Home, the adjoined retail store.