Chef Christian Ortiz mixed several of the methods he has learned during his extensive career in the kitchen, such as classic French technique and molecular gastronomy, to create Yuco’s proposal, a culinary experiment that offers a pleasant experience to those who visit this new Greenwich Village restaurant.
Inspired by Yucatan food, Yuco’s menu has several typical Mexican names, such as tacos, ceviche, and corn soup, but nothing is typical there. From the method of preparation, with first-class ingredients and artisanal elaboration, to the presentation, in striking and colorful dishes, the face and flavor of each of the dishes are completely changed.
“I love being able to cook corn on the grill, for example, but present it differently. They may be traditional flavors, but our food is not at all traditional in the preparation technique and in the final result, ”says Ortiz, who is a New Yorker of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu and with more than 10 years of experience between New York and Florida restaurants.
The diners have gladly received dishes such as the shepherd pork, served with sunflower shoots and sorrel, the crunchy octopus tacos wrapped in holy leaf; Wagyu steak, served with smoked chayote puree, pearl onion and chili demi glace; lobster and slices, served with smoked poblano chili and local sweet corn; and the tail stewed in mole, served with homemade corn tortillas.
“I spent a year and a half learning what Mexican food is and it was like falling in love with cooking again, learning how different cultures influenced it, the use of ingredients. It was a wonderful ride ”, adds the chef, assuring that he spent six months with his partner, Trent Walker, creating what is today the Yuco menu.
For customers to select their own experience, the place allows you to order from the à la carte menu, create your own fixed price menu, or enjoy a seven-course tasting.
As for the beverage offering, Yuco has an extensive wine list, created by sommelier Derek Engles, who has worked with celebrity chefs Tom Colicchio, Charlie Trotter, and Charlie Palmer. To complement, the place has a bar program, designed by Ben Wald, and features 100 agave-based liqueurs, as well as various artisan cocktails.
“Our food has the complexity and elaboration to be enjoyed with a great wine. They go very well hand in hand, ”explains Trent Walker. “Many customers come with the intention of ordering a beer, because they believe that it is what goes best with Mexican food, and they thank me for making them try a glass of wine because it highlights the delicate flavors of our menu.”
Yuco is located at 33 West 8th street, NY NY 10011. www.yucorestaurant.com/