Hecho en Dumbo

Total Bill: $120 for two eight-course meals

Thanks to Anny and her always up-to-date restaurant rolodex, Jay and I just had one of the best dinner experiences we’ve had in a very long time. Hecho en Dumbo‘s five (but really eight) course menu at the chef’s table is not just a wonderfully curated mix of Mexican food, but insanely affordable as well.

At $60 a pop, you get a fixed five-course meal, plus “surprises” from the open kitchen in front of you. Each is tantalizingly portioned, just enough to leave you wanting a bit more, but ultimately making you full out of nowhere two hours later.

They start off strong, off the chef’s menu, with a twist on the classic grilled corn on the cob. The plump sweet corn comes in kernels in a cup, topped with crumbly queso and chile piquin. Each bite is a punch, and a lot neater and easier to enjoy than off the cob.

As hard as that is to top (given my affinity to corn), the next dish was my favorite: an avocado and chickpea salad. It’s creamier than guacamole, mixed in with enough chickpeas to make it a legitimate salad instead of a dip. The best part was the homemade queso, packed with salty pumpkin seeds.

The other dish that stood out was the lobster bisque with a single pearl of fresh oyster plopped in the middle. It was rich, perhaps a bit salty, but quaintly portioned so that it’s a nice strong hit before you move on to your next serving.

The quail two ways has somewhat of an acquired taste. But whether you like that gaminess or not, the bird is really juicy and goes wonderfully in the luscious mole sauce.

The trio of tacos — one of the surprises — was a treat and really expanded the scope for what Mexican cuisine can do. Sprinkled on a three corn masa “medallions,” the flavor of each was extremely different, including a spicy green chroizo.

The meal topped was also pretty visionary. A delightful sour cream panna cotta with ripe, fresh figs resting on a pool of piloncillo sauce and coconut tuille.

This is not you’re typical Mexican restaurant, the food, the decor, the styling, all sheds a chic, refined light on how this vibrant cuisine can be prepared. The chef’s menu is a great way to get acquainted, but should by no means be the last of it.


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