1735 Second Avenue (89th St)
City: New York, NY
Phone: (212) 289-8226
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Area: East 80s
The Upper East Side has a little more flavor and fun, thanks to Mole, the mini-chain of Mexican restaurants that started in the West Village and has now expanded as far as Williamsburg. The restaurant is bustling, colorful, and loud – perfect for an after work drink off the reasonably priced happy hour menu.
Start with the Sopa de Elote, a sweet and buttery corn chowder seasoned with cilantro and garnished with freshly fried tortilla shells. Or, treat yourself to Mexico City Style Quesadillas with Mushrooms. Thick, handmade flour tortillas that are slightly coarse and have a pleasant chew are the base of this dish. They are filled with mild cotija cheese and smoky, cumin laced mushrooms. Served with a spicy, citrusy salsa and cilantro-laden guacamole, this is hearty enough to have as a light meal.
Enchiladas de Mole Poblano are made with the restaurant’s namesake sauce. The mole here is imported from Mexico City by the owner’s mother in law, and it multilayered and complex. Chocolate, raisins, poblano chiles, and other ingredients combine to make a rich, deep sauce. Served over tender crepes filled with juicy pulled chicken, it is a complex and unexpected taste of Mexican cuisine.
Be sure to order the flan for dessert. It is eggy, rich, and more than just an afterthought. Also treat yourself to a sipping tequila after dinner, from one of the over 100 choices on the restaurant’s menu.
Mole breathes new life into the UES. This is a wonderful restaurant for young people, or even families, and has an excellent staff, a fair price point, and truly delicious food.
Review By: Sarah Spigelman