Your Grandparents are coming for dinner. Where do you go?

You are probably thinking somewhere low key, subtle music, white tablecloths, and minimal noise. When I made plans to have dinner with my Grandparents this month, I immediately chose the date when I already had reservations at ABC Cocina. The ambiance, decor and food is pretty foreign to those not in our generation but I knew they would love it.

After eating at ABC Kitchen, one too many times, I had high expectations for their sister restaurant, ABC Cocina. I read mixed reviews on several go-to websites, asked a few of my foodie friends, and got as many recommendations on what to order, and what not to order, as I could.

When we sat down at our table at, ABC Cocina, we all spent a few minutes looking around the restaurant. The look of it definitely resembles ABC Kitchen with its decor, bar tables and dinner tables in the dining area. Not to mention it is only divided by a glass window to ABC Kitchen. Our waitress recommended that we order about 2-3 dishes per person. Since there were 4 of us dining we decided to choose 2-3 each and share everything.

The Food Rundown at ABC Cocina

We started off with guacamole with their grapefruit salsa and warm crunchy tortilla chips. I think almost every table surrounding us had them on their table as well. The chips were definitely homemade in that they were so tasty and so fresh.

Next up were oysters. Now I am probably one of the only people, you will know, that lives for oysters and doesn’t need any fixings with them. We had 6 of their west coast oysters, as the variety changes daily.

I frequently make brussel sprouts but only once have I had shaved brussels sprout salad. ABC Cocina’s brussel sprout salad is topped with marcona almonds and weston wheel cheese (I got minus cheese as I am unbelievably picky with cheeses). The salad was great but, as you keep reading, it doesn’t compare to everything else ordered.

The crunchy calamari with ancho chili glaze was a little intricate for me but the rest of the table fought over the last not too chewy Mexican-flared squid.

Mushroom Time

Now my favorite dish was the sautéed mushroom tacos with cashews, mole, kale and lime. They had such a unique taste to them and anything with mushrooms and kale in it, there is a 99.9% chance I will love it. The mole sauce here wasn’t too heavy and also had a subtle kick to it. They are a must have here.

ABC Cocina

The short rib tacos with habanero relish and frizzled onions and crispy fish tacos with aioli, cabbage and chili pickle were also a hit – both spicy but devoured.

ABC Cocina

And yes there is more. The scallops with coconut and roasted cauliflower were rich in flavor but a smaller serving than expected. The arroz con pollo aka chicken fried rice reminded us of a Mexican fried rice. It had crispy chicken skin in it for extra crunch.

Don’t Forget Dessert

To top off the meal my grandfather picked out the warm vanilla fritters with Mexican chocolate as I have never had Mexican chocolate before. And as you will see in other posts, chocolate is one of my main food groups. Mexican chocolate has a different texture than dark or milk chocolate in that it is grainier. The flavor nonetheless was out of this world.

Now the real question I am left with is, would I go back to ABC Cocina or ABC Kitchen first? I guess we will need to see when my next Jean-Georges craving hits.

abc cocina
38 east 19th street new york, ny 10003

or check out their website 



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About The Author

Engaged Eater

Made of: 20% avocado, 20% dark chocolate, 15% Bai5, 15% pizza, 10% peanut butter, 10% organic apples, 10% pinot noir