Think you’ve eaten enough guacamole in your life? Think again. Leave it to Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Dan Kluger, the power chefs behind the newly opened ABC Cocina, to reinvent a conventional party dip. No one makes a guacamole ($11) quite like this: avocados mashed until silken, laced with toasted sunflower seeds and spring peas and served in a molcajete-like bowl. The addictive mix zips with chile and zings with lime, but it’s the crunch of the sunflower seeds and the pop of the peas that give this nueva vida. A lacing of cilantro adds extra freshness, and altogether it’s a wonderful, seasonal starter that’s served, of course, with freshly-fried crispy tortilla chips.
The new restaurant, within ABC Carpet & Home, is the Latin answer to companion eatery ABC Kitchen. Cocina’s décor is dimmer, sexier, and a bit more eclectically outfitted than its sibling, however—with a pin light chandelier here, elaborate candelabra there; glowing niches and seashell elaborations on the concrete-slab walls; an open kitchen, wood-burning grill, and raw bar. The menu, which is inspired by Mexico, South America and Spain, includes a generous selection of table snacks, light seafood dishes, fritters, tacos, rice and grilled items—so plan on several visits to truly explore this world of flavors.
38 E. 19th St.