Cosme

35 E 21st St. New York, NY 10010(212) 913-9659 cosmenyc.com

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Zagat’s? You don’t need no stinking Zagat’s. Cause I got the skinny right here. And while it’s true, the hype definitely runs high on this place, Cosme still manages to put the “can” in gourmand-worthy Mexican cuisine.

The setting is more trendy than dressy, but tastefully done in a timeless way. My only gripe is that the barstools are so high you practically have to do a Fosbury Flop to get on top of them. Service was pretty darn bueno as well, although you can tell they have a tinge of New York tude at the host stand. Granted after one or two El Ninjas, their gin and mezcal cocktail, you hardly notice and are mostly worried about falling from the dizzying heights of your barstool.

At the table, things are more or less tapas-style with a twist, the first of which was the uni tostada with bone marrow. And yes it’s as good as it sounds. In fact, if God was a tostada, he would probably be this one.

Another excellent starter is the crispy octopus served over a bed of hazelnut mole and accented with pickled potatoes and watercress. It’s not quite an Ultimate, but just about as close as you can get.

Our vegetarian option of the night, the mushroom and squash barbacoa, was also good, but not quite at the same level as everything else, tasting more or less like a solid market veggie taco when all was said and done.

And as the main event, we had to go with the storied Duck Carnitas (pictured), which as the name implies is done like a giant pork roast with moisty goodness seeping out of every corner. Then, they top it with onions and radishes and serve it up with soft tacos and salsa verde. Sadly, as good as it was, I’m not sure it’s quite worth its steep price tag, though. And while I can appreciate the inventive twist of treating duck like pork, I’ve actually seen it a lot lately and done even better at places like Cask & Larder in Orlando. Whereas this one was in dire need of the hot sauce before giving it my stamp of approval.

For dessert we forwent the other “must get” meringue and opted for the manchego cheesecake served crumbled up in a bowl over a pineapple drizzle, topped with popcorn. Not the exclamation point I was hoping for, I gotta say. And that’s true about Cosme on the whole. As hard as this place is to get into, and as hyped as it has been, I have to concur with Yelp on this one and say that 3.5 stars is pretty spot on. But since I don’t do halves, as we know, it comes down to which way am I rounding… up or down? Well, they don’t call me ferocious for the nothin’…

3 teeth

Ocean House

49 N Riverside Ave. Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520 •  (914) 271-0702oceanhouseoysterbar.com

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First let me start off by saying that while I do think the place is good, I also think Zagat’s is high if they think this place deserves a 27 for food! 24 maybe. But 27!?!?

The other thing I should mention is DO NOT BRING SMALL CHILDREN. While this place looks quaint and fun (and it is), it is not suited for kids. Granted they have crayons on the tables, but trust me. They don’t even have high chairs. So don’t bring the kids.

Next, BRING YOUR OWN BEER OR WINE. Unfortunately we didn’t know that they didn’t have a license, so we had to settle for their iced tea, which tasted like dish water. So, I STRONGLY recommend bringing booze.

That said, the food was very good. And I must admit, I have not had a better lobster roll in Westchester. However, that does not mean this is the best lobster roll out there. Of all the ones I’ve had in my life, this wouldn’t even crack the top ten. Not even the top 3 in New York State alone.

As for the grilled Mahi, it was a solid good. But nothing off the charts. And last but not least, the Apple Empanada for dessert was excellent. Best thing we had.

The bread is also nice. Comes warm and baked fresh.

Service is also good. Not great mind you. Compared to the reviews, I expected them to be much warmer hosts, but “warm” would definitely not come to mind as a word to describe them. At least they weren’t slow.

Looking forward to trying it again… With booze… And without the kids.

3 teeth