We love all these new restaurants opening in NYC. Because if you haven’t heard, NYC is back. And you can’t get a decent dinner reservation unless you know someone. Enter in Tacos Güey a new Mexican restaurant, in the Flatiron. Here’s our review of this restaurant worth putting on the list.
The existence of Tacos Güey confirms that a classically French trained chef (French Laundry, no less) and a Mexican restaurant equal a good marriage. Tacos Güey is a new-ish Mexican spot that on the spectrum, is above the standard Tacombi you take to go, and right below Cosme. It’s not to say that the food isn’t as good as Cosme. It’s just that Tacos Güey doesn’t take itself that seriously. Here are our thoughts on this new addition to the NYC restaurant scene.
This is a place that you walk into, and it seems like it’s been open for years. Every table is packed, in the upscale industrial cafe vibe dining room. It’s lively, but even with the brick and metal decor, it’s not so loud you can’t hear your friends. We think the atmosphere reflects its intention. Tacos Güey is a restaurant you come to any day of the week for a casual bite with friends.
It goes to show that Mexican food benefits greatly from a chef who is classically trained at French Laundry. We finally have a Mexican restaurant in NYC that you leave without a burrito belly. Yes, you really can have healthy yet authentic Mexican cuisine. The seafood-heavy menu of crudo, ceviche and tacos shine at Tacos Güey. We imagine that the ceviche and crudos will cycle with what’s fresh from the market, but the current offerings are all solid. For crudo, the big-eye tuna has a just enough avocado cream and serrano pepper. The diver scallop crudo, with cucumber mint and lime, is generously portioned; it could be a meal for the light eater.
Meat eaters are not neglected. The pork belly sopes is top of execution, and there’s tales with braised brisket. The meat dishes may actually be the dark horse of the menu. There are currently variations of meat tacos, with pork, steak, lamb and chicken. Vegetarians also have have a modest selection, with some salads flautas and mushroom tacos.
Also, this restaurant serves guacamole, which some of the newer nouveau Mexican restaurants omit from the menu on technicalities to remain “true” to their regions. That’s wonderful and all, but really, as a consumer, I don’t care if guacamole isn’t native to that one part of Mexico. A note to restauranteurs: I’m at a Mexican restaurant, so I want my guac. It is a universal crowd pleaser, so get over yourself and give people what they want. That’s the theme of Tacos Güey. It may not win a Michelin star, but you’ll come back here more often then you would a Michelin restaurant.
This is one of the main reasons to come to Tacos Güey, and why these guys may have staying power in New York. At the top of the list of any good standby restaurant and neighborhood spot is the service. Right out of the gates, Tacos Güey has its game on. Everyone is helpful, from the friendly host staff the moment you arrive to the waitstaff when you sit down. There’s no 30-minute wait for water or a QR code or menu; they are brought to you immediately. And the waiters really know the food and give insightful recommendations. The owner himself is working the tables, not as the guy who owns the place, but as a waiter really figuring out the service game. They seem to care about their customers.