Finding Mexican food in Midtown isn’t necessarily a tough task, though finding a place that’s put so much thought into the entire concept may be difficult to find. That belief may start shifting now that Empellon has found its way to this area, the latest evolution in chef Alex Stupak’s rise in the New York restaurant community.
Stupak is, by training, a pastry chef, yet the wonders that he’s created since the first incarnation of Empellon came to the West Village in 2011 have seemingly zeroed in on his capabilities when it comes to Mexican cuisine. The standard corn tortilla and taco hardly resonate with more refined palates, but when that tortilla is filled with pastrami and short ribs, the focus sharpens.
This newest version of Empellon, located at 510 Madison Avenue, expands the notion of just opening up a standard restaurant and letting people flock in to enjoy the food. Instead, Stupak has created a glossier impression by having two levels of eating areas and a room to hold any sort of party or celebration.
Such visual delights and the upscale food involved means that prices aren’t of the mom-and-pop variety. Of course, your friendly neighborhood taco shop won’t offer a Japanese Wagyu-infused fajita that will cost $125 or house tacos that set you back $30. Tamales with shredded duck inside and gourmet tacos, the latter of which has nine menu items, offer a clear message that this is anything but traditional Mexican food.
If that food isn’t filling enough Empellon also has desserts to tempt those whose sweet tooth can never be satisfied. Avocado parfait is one of the more exotic, yet the available drinking options may be seen as more tempting to those that want to sit back and relax.