Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Nov 15, 2007 11:31 AM

Anything as good as Topolo/Frontera

We are coming to NY in Mid Dec. My wife loves Frontera Grill in Chicago. Can anyone suggest somewhere comparable?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. No. There's nothing close to either of them. Mexican food is pretty lousy here; it's especially bad at the places that go more upscale like Bayless does. Italian we can do, but not Mexican.

    1. I haven't been to Frontera, so I can't make any comparisons. However, I think Pampano is an excellent upscale restaurant serving contemporary Mexican cuisine with an emphasis on fish and seafood. Very nice atmospherics.

      Toloache opened a few months ago. It's now high on my "go to" list because of the very positive things I've heard about it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: RGR

        Pampano is ok, but not nearly as good as Frontera Grill and not even close to Topolobampo. I'd second a Batali place, but skip Del Posto. It's silly.

      2. i love frontera, too. nothing comparable comes to mind. still, grabbing a few seats at the bar at babbo will easily equal the vibe and quite likely exceed rick b's food. babbo is italian. you won't be disappointed.

        1. There will be folks "in the know" who swear up and down that NY has awesome Mexican restaurants like Topolobampo or Frontera Grill, but I'm afraid that's just not the case. Pampano is the only place that comes close, but one obviously can't match Rick Bayless when one is limited to seafood. He's the Chicago version of Mario Batali when it comes to Mexican, perhaps being in New York, you might switch over and try a Batali restaurant instead?

          3 Replies
          1. re: JungMann

            Thanks for the ideas! My wife wants to try Mesa Grill, but maybe we will go with babbo instead.

            1. re: jdsopil

              If your standard is Topolobampo, you will be deeply disappointed by Mesa Grill.

              1. re: David W

                I liked Mesa Grill for what it is. If your palate has been poisoned to anything less than Topolobampo, you mightn't agree. Babbo, however, is an entirely new genre (Bruni would kill me saying that), so can be enjoyed on its own merits.

          2. I am from Chicago and love Frontera Grill. There is a new latin restaurant on 18th street, Lucy of Gramercy that is definitely worth checking out. I havent been lately but Mi Cocina on 12th street(or Jane st?), also specializes in Mexican cuisine. i would check out these two before trying Babbo.