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Empellon Cocina


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#16 oakapple

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:11 PM

The g/f and I tried Empellón Cocina on Valentine's Day (blog post here). I'm skeptical of any restaurant that is not serving its normal menu on Amateur Night, but I figured that a one-week-old restaurant wouldn't be phoning it in, and $90 for nine courses was a fair price.

The savory courses batted 0.500, while the desserts, which you expect Stupak to nail, batted 1.000. Melted Tetilla Cheese with Lobster and Arroz con Leche were the two highlights. A poor delicate scallop in a heavy tomato broth was the low. Service was pretty good, but then, one of the reasons for serving everyone the same menu on Valentine's Day (part from making money) is to make life simpler for the kitchen.

Stupak is running one heck of a search-engine optimization gimmick. The title bar on his website reads: "Best Mexican Restaurant in NYC, Mexican Food NYC, Tacos New York | Amongst Best West Village Restaurants NYC - Empellon New York City." You don't say!
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#17 Sneakeater

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:24 PM

I think the desserts are by Stupack's wife, not Stupack himself (oddly).
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#18 Orik

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:36 PM

Sounds like you had better luck with the service, but the food looks more or less along the lines of the regular menu. (I think the white sauce is Kol, btw, not Kil)
I never said that

#19 oakapple

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 01:30 AM

Frank Bruni, back on the food beat, has a feature on Stupak. It's a two-star review without the stars.
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#20 irnscrabblechf52

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 02:48 AM

Frank Bruni, back on the food beat, has a feature on Stupak. It's a two-star review without the stars.


i find this intensely ironic. (not as a dig at stupak/the article itself)
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#21 Daniel

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 04:19 AM


Frank Bruni, back on the food beat, has a feature on Stupak. It's a two-star review without the stars.


i find this intensely ironic. (not as a dig at stupak/the article itself)


ALEX STUPAK identifies with Lucifer. As in the onetime angel who got too big for his halo and became an early, florid study in downward mobility.




sounds a little harsh to say, anyone who is Mexican or is not a jackass. But the big thing this tells me is, Frank Bruni can waltz back into that paper and get his old job back in two seconds
Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#22 Lex

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 04:27 AM


Frank Bruni, back on the food beat, has a feature on Stupak. It's a two-star review without the stars.


i find this intensely ironic. (not as a dig at stupak/the article itself)


How so?

“I have a dream of a multiplicity of pastramis.”

"One of the Evil Twin beers I tried smelled like a foot." - LiquidNY

"I don't have time to point out all the ways in which you're wrong" - irnscrabblechf52


#23 irnscrabblechf52

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 04:44 AM

from the article: "I like the idea — the story — that someone wanted to question the establishment and was punished for it,” he said"

not that local example necessarily, but i have a general sense that 1) much of what he hates about me he is proud of in himself [this derives from my analysis of what he hates about me, not the explicit content of his statements] and 2) in an alternate universe we may have been friends. or at the very least i would be interested in exploring his working method etc./writing about it. i am genuinely sorry that i can't try his food at empellon cocina just for the learning experience, and because it seems like an intrinsically worthy endeavor. although i am still curious about the 'why mexican' factor for stupak. i feel like there's more there that hasn't been dug out.

eta: note: i'm assuming, almost certainly rightly so, that things would end up poorly if i showed up at cocina. i'm sure i could get in if i wanted to/was trying hard enough, but i don't have the time or energy really
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#24 oakapple

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 12:21 PM

i am still curious about the 'why mexican' factor for stupak.

This explanation in the article seems clear enough:

Ms. Resler [his wife] is part Mexican-American, from Southern California, and through her and her mother Mr. Stupak had become acquainted with Mexican cooking. Fascinated by it, he bought and read all the books by the chefs Rick Bayless and Diana Kennedy, two of the most accomplished American champions of the cuisine. He and Ms. Resler began taking regular trips to Mexico, which he had never visited before 2007. He has now been about a dozen times, many of them to the State of Oaxaca, whose culinary traditions have the greatest impact on the menu at Empellón Cocina.


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#25 Lex

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 03:19 PM

from the article: "I like the idea — the story — that someone wanted to question the establishment and was punished for it,” he said"

not that local example necessarily, but i have a general sense that 1) much of what he hates about me he is proud of in himself [this derives from my analysis of what he hates about me, not the explicit content of his statements] and 2) in an alternate universe we may have been friends. or at the very least i would be interested in exploring his working method etc./writing about it.

In that article he's not talking about you, he's talking about Steve Plotnicki. Bruni links to an Eater story which confirms that. Steve had been a blogger for years and is well known to a number of prominent chefs.

Perhaps Stupak actually does hate you but there's a much more likely possibility that he's forgotten about you completely.

“I have a dream of a multiplicity of pastramis.”

"One of the Evil Twin beers I tried smelled like a foot." - LiquidNY

"I don't have time to point out all the ways in which you're wrong" - irnscrabblechf52


#26 irnscrabblechf52

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 03:25 PM


from the article: "I like the idea — the story — that someone wanted to question the establishment and was punished for it,” he said"

not that local example necessarily, but i have a general sense that 1) much of what he hates about me he is proud of in himself [this derives from my analysis of what he hates about me, not the explicit content of his statements] and 2) in an alternate universe we may have been friends. or at the very least i would be interested in exploring his working method etc./writing about it.

In that article he's not talking about you, he's talking about Steve Plotnicki. Bruni links to an Eater story which confirms that. Steve had been a blogger for years and is well known to a number of prominent chefs.

Perhaps Stupak actually does hate you but there's a much more likely possibility that he's forgotten about you completely.


oh no i'm not saying that he is talking about me. i'm talking about some of the more meta statements he makes about the industry
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#27 Lex

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 03:37 PM

Fair enough.

“I have a dream of a multiplicity of pastramis.”

"One of the Evil Twin beers I tried smelled like a foot." - LiquidNY

"I don't have time to point out all the ways in which you're wrong" - irnscrabblechf52


#28 Daisy

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 04:16 PM

I'm being taken here on Tuesday. I predict from what I've seen here that the friend who chose it will hate it. I go in with no biases, have never been to Empellon.

ETA:
Their website. Ai yi yi.
Sardines aren't for sissies.---Frank Bruni
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The mistake one makes is to react to what people post rather than to what they mean.---Dr. Johnson
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#29 Orik

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 06:02 PM

Perhaps Stupak actually does hate you but there's a much more likely possibility that he's forgotten about you completely.


I thought he mentioned a second blogger on top of Plotz, without naming names. It was an obvious reference to irnscr.

By the way, I too own most of the RB and DK books, I find Mexican cuisine(s) fascinating (although often defective for historical reasons (that is not a pumpkin)), and I've been to Mexico over 12 times since 2007. The only reason I'm not opening Mexican restaurants is that Sivan is all Russian-Polish-Jewishy. Posted Image


I never said that

#30 Lex

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 06:44 PM

I thought he mentioned a second blogger on top of Plotz, without naming names. It was an obvious reference to irnscr.

He didn't do it in the Bruni article. In his Eater post he seemed to be referring entirely to Plotnicki -

And by the way to come into my kitchen as if you own it and have no regard for the fact that both I and my wife and my brother in law have probably collectively slept 8 hours in 3 days is insulting to me. And further, to begin to tell me how I'm taking a step back when you have no clue what it takes to do what I just did is also equally insulting. If another restaurant owner told me that at least I can absorb it because I know they have been through a similar set of experiences.

I respect the opinions of journalists as well even if they speak against me. They had to also work hard off both in school and in the field to gain credibility and earn a position where they can express educated and informed opinions that actually benefit readers. These people dreamt of writing the same way I always dreamt of having my own restaurant.

On a side note you didn't have enough courtesy to check the spelling of a very prolific chefs name nor do you realize that he runs his own gardens in order to supply his restaurants with incredible product. To say I'm more "market" driven is another indicator of ignorance and careless writing.
You also misspelled fundido. Writers actually fact check or at least have someone do it for them.


But maybe Stupak's hatred of Irnscrabble is so visceral, so raw and profound that even more than a year later he can't bring himself to speak of it.
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Nah.

“I have a dream of a multiplicity of pastramis.”

"One of the Evil Twin beers I tried smelled like a foot." - LiquidNY

"I don't have time to point out all the ways in which you're wrong" - irnscrabblechf52