The New York Times yesterday ran Pete Wells' review of the self-proclaimed "first authentic Tex-Mex restaurant." That would be Gramercy Park's Javelina, a two-month-old, 58-seat eatery so hot that Wells notes it's near impossible to get a reservation between the hours of 6pm and 9:30pm. As for what Wells thought of the place—remember his evisceration of Guy Fieri's Times Square restaurant? Yeah, like that. Some highlights:
- On the volume: "It always sounds as if somebody were telling a woman at the far end of the table that he had just found $1,000 under the menu, and the woman were shouting back that Ryan Gosling had just texted and he's coming to the restaurant in, like, five minutes! How anybody gets drunk enough to act this way is one of several fun Javelina mysteries to keep you entertained."
- On those drinks: "The Tijuana Manhattan [is] made with tequila in the place of whiskey and served in a rocks glass with no ice at all, even though it was the temperature of a freshly killed snake. While bartenders elsewhere have become insufferable bores on the subjects of ice and proper shaking techniques, the ones at Javelina are refreshingly free of such pretension."
- On the food: "The menu said that another loaded queso, the Mag Mud, was supplemented with black beans. I didn't see them, so I probed the cheese with tortilla chips, digging way down to the bottom. Black beans shouldn't be easy to lose in a bowl of white cheese. Where were they? About five minutes later, a server placed a bowl of beans on the table. 'This is supposed to go with the queso,' he said. Mystery solved!"
Wells' full review, which tackles the tortillas, the dessert, and the ill-timed checks, is worth a read
(or relive the Fieri wonderment