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Jun 11, 2007 12:18 PM

An Avocado's Potential, Rosa Mexicano

I hadn’t known about this place and in fact it was my date’s suggestion. When we first came in, there was a 20 minute wait, so we sat at the bar for a while and had a drink. I enjoyed sitting at the bar so much that I might even return just for that. Soon after finishing our drinks we were seated next to a window at a cozy corner table. We ordered some guacamole which my date said was a must. I had no idea that the avocado had so much potential. I was never much of a guacamole fan but have since become an avocado enthusiast. We ordered some ceviche that was very refreshing and some empanadas for appetizers. For the main course we had the filet mignon in a mushroom cream sauce and the grilled shrimp. The filet was extremely tender and the sauce was not too strong. For desert we had a wonderful flan, which was a very good finale for our dinner. It was one of the better flans I’ve had. My only complaint was the pestering of the waiters. At one point the waitress asked us if everything was great. Great, who do you think you are, Gordon Ramsey? My date and I looked at each other, and silently agreed with an inner chuckle. We told her that everything was fine. Overall we spent close to 100 dollars with a couple of drinks and I have to say that it was well worth it. I’m coming back.

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  1. Thanks for the review... I've always wanted to try this NYC institution, but have heard very mixed reports, except with respect to the guacamole, which always wins raves. Aren't there 2 locations? Which one did you visit?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Yaqo Homo

      I, too, was wondering which one corvin went to. Actually, there are 3 locations in Manhattan -- the flagship on 1st Av. & 58th St; on the UWS near Lincoln Center; and in Chelsea, on 18th St., b/t B'way & 5th.

      My one experience with Rosa Mexicano was nothing like corvin's. It was ten years ago at the flagship, when it was the only location and the owner was still alive. With the exception of the guacamole, which was prepared tableside and totally deserved its stellar reputation, the food was awful. Since I go by the theory that a restaurant has only one chance to make a first impression, I've never been inclined to try Rosa Mexicano again.

      1. re: Yaqo Homo

        sorry I didnt mention it, it was the one close to lincoln center

        1. re: corvin

          I've been to the same place and had a delightful meal for two! We got there a little early so we waited at the bar and got ourselves their famous magharitas. Before we could even take out first sip, they already had our table ready for us.

          The guac we ordered was made to perfection, exact amount of spice and flavor without killing the natural creaminess and texture of the delicious avocado. For the price, we had a huge mound and the 2 of us were definitely packing it away. At some point, during appetizers, I knocked over my magharita, and our lovely waitress offered to get me a new one right away (and to my surprised, she replaced it for free!).

          Our meal was delicious. I had Tacos de Carne Asada and my friend had the Enchiladas de Mole Poblano. She said her meal had one of the best moles she's had in the city and my Carne Asada couldn't be more perfect. It came medium rare on my queso skillet, tender, juicy and FULL of flavor. I would go back in a heartbeat and I have no idea why everyone is always so against this place. I LOVED IT!

      2. I have only been to Rosa Mexicano (Lincoln Center) once. We sat at the bar. Margaritas, guacamole, duck quesadilla were all delicious. Service was fine (we were at the bar so if they can't get that right it's pretty sad). It's a little pricey. I'd rather go to San Diego or make the guac & margaritas at home.

        1 Reply
        1. re: financialdistrictresident

          I'm in the "I like Rosa" camp. I don't *love* it. But I *like* it. As far as I'm concerned though, going there and not getting Guac is ... well... pointless.

          I've noticed the one at Lincoln Center does a weird thing. I've been there probably 4-5 times, and each time they do the same thing. With no rez, they say "30-45 minutes." The bar is usually pretty crowded. And I have just about enough time to order drinks and take a sip, and my table is ready.... miraculously after only about 5-10. Weird. I've never figured out why they do that. It's not as if I'm NOT going to get a marg anyway. But it happens every time... only at that location. I haven't been to the Flatiron one, though.

          I've never had anything bad there. Some things are better than others.

        2. I had dinner about six months ago at the one on 1st near 58th and it was really disappointing. The margaritas were good (and potent) and the guacamole was as well, that was about it. I don't remember what my friend had but I had a fish dish (maybe sea bass) that was really subpar, poorly cooked and over priced. Personally I think that you can find better Mexican food in the city that offers equally as good drinks and guacamole with much better entrees-- and at a lower price point... I personally would not make this a destination restaurant.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jdream

            I just had dinner at the Lincoln Center location a few nights ago. it really depends on what you order. i had a chicken enchilada dish that was boring and dry. But one of the other diners had the short ribs, which are always good there. and we do love the Guac. i think it's a descent place, but don't go out of my way to go there, nor do i suggest it when looking for ideas for dinner. But if I need a good margarita and chips at the bar kind of place, then it's a good one.

          2. I always enjoyed my meals at Rosa Mex. The Guac and drinks were excellent but the reason I kept coming back was one single dish. I have this dish in my top 5 entrees in all of NYC. If you have reason to go this is a must order.
            Mixiote de Borrego - Lamb shank marinated in tequila and chiles. Slow-cooked in parchment paper and served with salsa verde and fresh corn tortillas.

            The meat is so tender and flavorful tis incredible.

            1. The H and I frequent the LC location ... but only for appetizers and the amazing pomegranate margaritas. We've been disappointed too many times on the main courses to waste our time & money on them again. But we haven't had an appetizer yet that we haven't enjoyed. Even the soup and salad are quite good. And surprisingly, we found the service at the bar to be just lovely -- nice, attentive (without being overbearing), and prompt. Of course, you've already mentioned the guacamole -- splendid. And just to stress again -- those margaritas.