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Eaters' Journal 6/12/09: Mesa Coyoacan, Freeman's, Aldea

Horine, 5/8/09

Mesa Coyocan: Our waitress, who didn't write anything down mind you, sent us guacamole by mistake, forgot my cactus salad, and gave me the wrong main. But given how apologetic the whole staff was (and the fact that it was week two), it was no big thing. More crucially, the food was excellent, so excellent that I won't have to trek to the Southside's La Superior every time I want decent Mexican. This is the best thing to happen to Graham Ave. and its residents since Motorino and the best thing to happen to the Fishbowl building...ever.—Kludt

Co: Bread czar Jim Lahey's newish Chelsea spot Co. is not a place to take a date. Or elderly parents. A side effect of the decor—wood walls, a wood floor, and long wood communal tables—is that sound bounces around like crazy. On a crowded night, it is really, really loud in there. Despite that, and the fact that the seating forces you to snuggle very close to strangers, we'd go back because the pizzas were great. On advice from a food writer friend who blasted the salads, we skipped apps and ordered two pies: a basic Margherita and the ham and cheese (which is topped with three types of cheese and long ribbons of prosciutto). Both boasted thin, nicely-chewy crusts and were everything you'd expect from the dough whisperer. Perhaps next time we'll just get them to go.—Leslie Price

Freemans: Wednesday night went into Freemans for a celebration dinner. Had: Some delicious cocktails off the spring menu and the new chef has a firm control of the kitchen after that unfortunate hire of that other guy. Enjoyed some great scallops topped with fennel and onion and fresh sugar snap peas. Stout sticky toffee cake for dessert. Always a winner. Scott Solish

Aldea: We don't typically write about comped meals, which this one was, so take it as you will. The space turned out to be much homier than I thought it would be given the spatial constraints, and, as is the case at L'Artusi, the money seats are at the chef's bar. As for the main event, the sea urchin toast was excellent, even if the spiciness (wasabi?) overpowered the delicate uni slightly. While the Knollcrest Farm egg dish honors its main ingredient and is pretty to look the end scrambled eggs with never do it for me. But my God, I'm considering sneaking into George Mendes' house Mission Impossible-style to steal his shrimp sauce recipe so I can bottle it, make it big, and leave this racket for good. And I could eat his version of duck fried rice every night.—Kludt


230 9th Ave, Manhattan, NY 10001 (212) 243-1105 Visit Website


31 West 17th Street, Manhattan, NY 10011 (212) 675-7223 Visit Website


Freeman Alley, Manhattan, NY 10002 (212) 420-0012 Visit Website