Any real Southwest places in NYC?
I looked at Mesa Grill's website and most of what offered isn't Southwestern, except for the additional sauces. Not sure where you'd find salmon or Cuban sandwiches in Santa Fe.
That said, I applaud Mr. Flay for introducing some new flavors.
What I seek are places who are really jazzed by the chili pepper roasting season, which can be imported if one wants to bring in great chili peppers from New Mexico.
Imagine walking through NY and finding guys on the corner roasting a veg in a giant blaster, charring off the skin. They remove the char, stems, etc. and offer a baggie of pure chile flesh. That's typical in NM right now. And the core product gets used in everything from enchilada sauce to burgers to nachos. If there's no good source, I'll set one up.
102 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10011
From what I understand, this sort of food (with hatch chile peppers) is pretty hard to find in NYC. I recall food writer Calvin Trillin has been agitating for restaurants serving New Mexican cuisine in Manhattan for years now!
Friends who grew up in Albuquerque but now live in Brooklyn have resorted to shipping boxes and boxes of jarred red and green chile sauce. I'm lucky if I'm over at their house and they decide to cook me something. :) However, the one restaurant I've heard having this sort of food is Los Dos Molinos. I think LeahBaila or another poster here has been and says it's quite authentic. I've not been.
Los Dos Molinos
119 E 18th St, New York, NY 10003
los dos molinos is the most authentic new mexican restaurant I've been to in the city, they have 4 locations in arizona as well as their nyc restaurant. IMO, it's a bit expensive for what it is, but that union square rent can't be cheap. they have very strong frozen margaritas also.