Tradition merges here with farm-fresh ingredients and a modernist philosophy, and the result is perhaps the truest reflection of contemporary Mexican cuisine in the U.S. Wines skew natural and Old World.
What makes Cosme a different kind of Mexican restaurant than most people in the U.S. are familiar with?
Daniela Soto-Innes: The food at Cosme is contemporary Mexican. We use dry ingredients from Mexico like corn, beans and chilies, and we mix them with local fresh products to create real Mexican food in New York.
Yana Volfson: If you’ve spent time in Mexico City, then you’ve had a more modern Mexican cuisine experience. It’s kind of a marriage of that style of food coming to New York, with a rarer European-driven wine program that’s more “New York” and not available in Mexico. I see it as a circular experience of newness and openness.
Mexico doesn’t have a big wine-drinking culture, even though there’s such a range of flavors in the cuisine that work with wine. What’s a favorite pairing?
YV: I love pairing a Manzanilla Sherry with the cobia al pastor. It brings out the spice rub on the fish, and the buttery pineapple purée coats the palate and allows the salinity of the Sherry to become sweeter. It’s a great way to start off a gastronomic experience at Cosme, very transporting.
DS: I never imagined Sherry to marry so well with so many of our dishes. I love when Yana sniffs the food like wine!
Cosme’s a great place for cross-drinkers.
YV: We’re not married to just wine. It’s a huge part of the conversation but we’re having that same conversation with mezcal, cocktails, Sherry, beer. Yes, a margarita does go with raw fish! Cosme has a playfulness to it, which allows the guest to have a different experience every time they come. Daniela’s food is about happiness, so that’s what I go for. I hope what makes us happy makes other people happy. —Nils Bernstein