Cosme is remarkably mediocre

I can’t remember what the chowhound consensus was on this place, but I went tonight and was seriously underwhelmed.

Here’s what I ordered:
Uni tostada with avocado and bone marrow salsa: First thing, this dish was so tiny. And it had a remarkably smoky flavor, though not in a particularly redeeming way. The smoked-marrow salsa completely drowned out the uni (sourced from Maine by the way) and avocado.

Lobster esquites: This was the one special offered. Poached lobster with corn. What a mild dish. No spice/pepper whatsoever, though there were decent amounts of yuzu, so it had a pleasant tartness.

Tlayuda: More or less a giant tortilla covered in garbanzo beans, stracciatella, avocado, chicharron, and copious amounts of greens… Reminded me somewhat of the tortillas that panuchos are served on top of, though much lighter. Not a bad dish, but like everything else, it was quite bland.

Crispy octopus with hazelnut mole: Maybe the best dish of the night? The octopus was lightly fried I think and ended up having an exterior texture of funnel cake. The mole was nutty and slightly spicy, perhaps the best “sauce” of the night.

Black garlic rubbed NY strip with shishito peppers and tortillas: Solid cuts of meat about the size of a potato chip, cooked to a nice pink finish. Served with an avocado-tarragon puree that reminded me of the green sauce that every taco truck in LA serves on ice. I couldn’t taste the garlic. The peppers were fresh, the dish almost had an Asian vibe to it. Solid, though unspectacular. For 35 dollars though for what equaled one legitimate taco a person, this was pretty pathetic.

Tables were super close together and lighting was very dark. Overall vibe was like a Dominican club in Inwood.

No one dish was bad. All were very pleasant and remarkably easy-eating, but for 90 a person I’d hope for much better. And much bolder. This felt like modern Mexican for New Yorkers who’ve never tasted real Mexican. To the people that can’t believe Cosme didn’t snag a Michelin star, I invite you to go to California.

Curious what other people think, though I can’t imagine I can be convinced to go back any time soon.

@set0312, My husband and I have been to Cosme once in March. It was fairly late on a Sunday evening. When we were seated, the dining room wasn’t full, but people continued to arrive during our meal so that eventually just about all the tables were occupied. Our table was at the end of a banquet and even though the table to my right was quite close to us, we didn’t feel crushed. Since I hate insanely high noise levels, I was pleasantly surprised that it was only moderately high. I think that was a function of who was dining in the room that night, i.e., mostly couples. If there had been more large groups, my guess is the noise level would have been too high for me. Also, there was practically nobody in the bar area which would have added to the noise level. My daughter and her husband went with another couple in August, and she told the entire place was packed, and it was LOUD.

As for the food, we ordered mainly things that had gotten the most favorable reviews on-line. I must say that Cosme’s tortillas were fantastic – the best I’ve had anywhere. That’s important since everything we ordered was meant to be eaten with them.

(More) Soft Tortillas

We had two small dishes: the cobia al pastor and the potato tamil. I’d never had a fish taco before though I have had – and really like – the classic al pastor. The fish was perfectly cooked. Together with the pineapple and cilantro, it made for an extremely tasty taco. The tamil was a disappointment as I found it to be too bland. We then had the duck carnitas. In a word: Sensational! The duck meat was super tender and succulent. It was such a huge portion that we ended taking some home. When I got home, I discovered that whoever wrapped it had included a generous stack of those fab tortillas.

Duck Carnitas

For dessert, we ordered the husk meringue – well deserving of all the accolades it has received because it was seriously delicious.

Husk Meringue

We were recognized by someone on the staff who knew us from another restaurant, so we were gifted with two other desserts: a tart lemon cake and chocolate mousse with raspberry sorbet. Both were excellent.

Overall, we really enjoyed our meal. But we haven’t gone back yet because whenever I’ve looked at the menu, there haven’t been enough other dishes I’ve been eager to try. But one of these days, we’ll probably return if only to repeat the dishes we liked.

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