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Looking for Excellent Mid or Up Scale Mexican

I'll be in town for a couple of weeks around Thanksgiving and I'm curious what NYC has in these regards. I'm quite familiar with the city, generally, but I've never been to a real Mexican, or even Southwest, restaurant there. I'd love to read thoughts.

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  1. Empellon is getting a lot of good buzz, it's Stupak from WD-50, but I have not been there yet.

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    WD-50
    50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

    1 Reply
    1. re: Spiritchaser

      Empellon is great. I go there at least once a month.

      Stupak is planning a more elaborate restaurant called Empellon Cocina in the East Village, which should be open by Thanksgiving,

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      Empellon Taqueria
      230 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

      Empellon Cocina
      105 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

    2. Toloache is very good.

      http://www.toloachenyc.com/media/tolo...

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      Toloache
      251 West 50th Street, New York, NY 10019

      2 Replies
      1. re: small h

        Second Toloache. Yerba Buena Perry (same owner) is also quite good, though more Pan Latin.

        Agave in the West Village isn't bad.

        If you can score a table at La Esquina, that could be worthwhile too. Their carne asada is delcious. A bit of a scene though.

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        Toloache
        251 West 50th Street, New York, NY 10019

        La Esquina
        106 Kenmare St, New York, NY 10012

        Agave
        140 7th Avenue South, New York, NY 10014

        Yerba Buena Perry
        1 Perry Street, New York, NY 10014

        1. re: small h

          I love Toloache too.

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          Toloache
          251 West 50th Street, New York, NY 10019

        2. I've also really enjoyed a meal at Pampano.

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          Pampano
          209 E 49th St, New York, NY 10017

          1. We like El Parador on E 34 St. Best mole I've had outside of Mexico.

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            El Parador
            325 East 34th Street, New York, NY 10016

            1. I like Empellon, but in truth, the food at Pampano is better right now. I have been to Empellon about once a month since it opened and have noticed some slippage in the quality of the food in the past two months, especially relating to egregious oversalting. Tongue tacos used to be the best in NYC, but now they're a little dry, the recipe seems to be different from the initial formulation and I don't think they are nearly as good a they were, before.

              For high end Mexican, especially if you like seafood, I'd go to Pampano.

              Another option that isn't often mentioned on this board is Hell's Kitchen restaurant in midtown west. I haven't been recently, but as of a year ago, it was still very good.

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              Hell's Kitchen
              679 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036

              Pampano
              209 E 49th St, New York, NY 10017

              Empellon Taqueria
              230 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

              1 Reply
              1. re: michelleats

                I second your rec for Hell's Kitchen. You're right, it doesn't seem to get a lot of mention on this board. Very good food, attentive service. I've been there many times- ate there last only a few weeks ago and always leave very happy.