Ever since my impressive dining experience at ABC Kitchen last year, I've also wanted to try Jean-Georges Vongerichten's companion restaurant ABC Cocina. I believe that these two spaces are actually interconnected through ABC Carpet and Home. Nonetheless we made our entry through their 19th Street entrance that offers outdoor seating during the warmer months. The somewhat cavernous feeling dining room with a bustling open kitchen features exposed beam ceilings from which a number of eclectic chandeliers hang. The decor adopts an eco chic modern vibe with concrete walls, black steel tables with black and pink open back chairs that look cool but are quite uncomfortable. The Latin inspired tapas style menu follows the same farm to table market concept of ABC Kitchen with a varied selection of seasonal organic and local sustainable fare. All the dishes we tried were bursting with bright and fresh flavors. Our starters of mezcal cured salmon with cucumber yogurt relish and shaved beets, portobello mushrooms, queso blanco and herbs were impressively flavorful. The market vegetables over brown rice with salsa verde looked gorgeous and tasted equally as incredible. Every element was cooked to perfection and the flavor of each vegetable was as if it had just picked from the garden. I can't say the same for the roasted turkey cuban sandwich which had some crazy kick that burned so intensely that I couldn't spit out the bite I took of it quick enough. My husband didn't have any issues with it though. For dessert we tried their famous salted caramel impossible flan which had the loveliest smooth texture and delicious mingling of vanilla and caramel. The light and creamy tres leches cake didn't disappoint either. I've mentioned before I'm not really one for sweets but I could easily eat a few bites of both of these without getting sick of them. The service was knowledgeable and friendly. Overall I think we may have enjoyed the food here even more than ABC Kitchen and there are some menu items like their spring pea guacamole that I'd love to return to try. The reservation situation is similarly challenging to their sister restaurant but I will mention that it does seem to be easier to score a table during lunch than dinner.
38 East 19th Street (Park & Broadway)
New York City