Alex Stupak

  • Blogs

    October 20, 2014

    An Early Taste of Empellón Al Pastor, Now Open in the East Village

    If you stumble into a taqueria and want to know if the tacos al pastor on its menu are going to be worthwhile, look first for a slowly turning spit with a beehive-shaped mass of pork fixed to the rod. It looks a lot like shwarma, and that's no coincidence -- the Mexicans picked up this cooking metho ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 25, 2014

    The 10 Best Pastrami Dishes in NYC That Aren't Sandwiches

    Introduced to New York by 19th century Eastern European immigrants (the same folks who gave us pierogies, knishes, and kishka), pastrami is an easy contender for GMOAT (Greatest Meat Of All Time), and also one of the foodstuffs most synonymous with our fair city. Brined and coated in strong spices i ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 27, 2014

    Here Are This Weekend's Five Best Food and Drink Events

    With the weather getting hotter, we know you need an excuse to leave your air conditioned abode. If you're not escaping to a rich friend's summer share, consider one of these events.

  • Blogs

    June 6, 2014

    Why NYC's Mexican Food Moment Is Good for All of Us

    Unless you have been blindly walking around town, packing your lunch for every meal, you have, no doubt, noticed the proliferation of Mexican restaurant in this city. A new one pops up every week or so: We're witnessing refocused efforts on guacamole and burritos, verdolagas and huazontle are now fo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 27, 2013

    Why Pop-Up Restaurants Are Here to Stay

    Though it's always disheartening to see an idea fail, it goes with the territory that trends in dining rarely last. The best you can hope for is that a concept you like has enough support and maintains a level of excellence so that it eventually becomes mainstream -- or at least neighborhood staple. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 22, 2013

    Highlights from NYCWFF: Jets Tailgate, Guy Fieri, Oktoberfest, Sunday Slice (Photos)

    A collective "I ate way too much" burst forth from the mouths of attendees of the New York City Wine and Food Festival last night, wrapping up the event for another year. 2013 saw the return of old favorites like La Sagra's Sunday Slice and Blue Moon's Burger Bash as well as brand new tailgate and O ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 4, 2013

    5 Spots for Great Tacos on National Taco Day

    In case you missed it, LA and its surroundings got their undies in a bunch this week after the New York Times published a Hungry City column declaring that NYC could go "mano a mano" with the City of Angels when it comes to tacos.

  • Blogs

    June 25, 2013

    Empellón Taqueria's Skirt Steak Tacos, One of Our 100 Favorite Dishes

    Later this year, we'll pen our Best of NYC issue, our annual love letter to what's great in this town. When that paper hits the streets, you'll find our picks for the very best this city has to offer when it comes to dozens of cuisines, restaurants, dishes, and drinks. Until then, you can get a tast ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 13, 2013

    Empellon's Alex Stupak Weighs In on Push Project's Third Installation With Chris Cosentino

    Empellon Cocina and Taqueria chef Alex Stupak just dropped a video for the third installation of Push Project, a quarterly guest chef dinner series that has so far featured collaborations between Stupak and Enrique Olivera of Mexico City's Pujol and Jordan Kahn of L.A.'s Red Medicine. This time, the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 19, 2012

    Unhatched Ducklings at Jeepney; Smoking Up Meat at BrisketTown

    Our own Tejal Rao visits the East Village's Jeepney, the latest venture from the Maharlika family, to try the unhatched duckling eggs at the "modern Filipino gastropub" in her review of Jeepney. She offers some guidelines for enjoying the small bites: "Think of the impossibly pure broth you get when ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 27, 2012

    Marco Canora Will Host Sandy Benefit Dinner for NYC Food Flood

    Got plans next Monday night? You might want to cancel them because on December 3, Hearth Restaurant and Terroir Wine Bar will join forces to host a benefit for Sandy Relief efforts. And they've called on a lot of oft-boldfaced names to help out.

  • Blogs

    November 7, 2012

    100 Reasons to Eat and Drink Downtown Today (and Tomorrow, and the Day After That)

    Last week, we did a lot of reporting on restaurants operating in the dark, doing whatever they could to provide light and food to those who needed it. We checked in on our review restaurants, both of which happened to be in blackout zones, and found one had stayed open all week, while the other floo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 23, 2012

    Lamb Barbacoa Taco at Empellón Taqueria, Dish #86

    Welcome to 100 Dishes to Eat Now, the tasty countdown leading up to our "Best of 2012" issue. Tune in each day (weekends too!) for a new dish from the Fork in the Road team. [See More 100 Dishes: Vegetable Samosas at Little Pakistan Deli, Dish #87 | Build Your Own Burger at Kent Ale House, Dish #88 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 23, 2012

    Gwynnett Street's Justin Hilbert on How He Found The Gig on Craigslist, Takes Inspiration From Wylie Dufresne

    ​New kid on the block, Gwynnett Street (on Graham Avenue in Greenpoint) is getting a ton of recent buzz. The reason? This is the coming-out party of Justin Hilbert (formerly of WD-50), plus his partnership with Esca's former wine director Carl McCoy, as well as a rotating menu, creative eats, etc. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 15, 2011

    Empellon Soon to Be the Shuck Shack

    Lauren BloombergSoon to be filled with the roar of slurping.​ In the almost year that it's been open, Alex Stupak and Lauren Resler's Empellon has really grown into its shoes. The tacos that fly out of the kitchen increasingly come in more interesting combinations--see: sweetbreads with maitak ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 2, 2011

    Make Alex Stupak's Goat Barbacoa

    Lauren BloombergAlex Stupak (center) has some notions about the billy.​ Goat is pretty popular right now. It's present in plenty of restaurant menus, but what about preparing the meat in your own kitchen? We asked Empellon's Alex Stupak about bringing goat into the home, and he came back with ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 14, 2011

    Robert Sietsema at Birreria; Lauren Shockey at Left Bank

    This week in the Voice, Robert Sietsema ascends to the summit of Eataly, to Birreria, where "the food is superb." Lauren Shockey is not so impressed by Left Bank: "Although the food and exceptionally friendly service more than pass muster, the culinary creativity is, well, lacking." Sam Sifton, in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 14, 2011

    VICE Munchies Is Back, and Peckish

    ​ VICE Munchies, the two-year-old Web series that has trained its lens on the likes of David Chang, Andrew Carmellini, Brooks Headley, and Hugue Dufour and Sarah Obraitis, has just kicked off a new season with an episode featuring Wylie Dufresne. As per the series's usual format, the chef ha ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 18, 2011

    Evolution Will Leave No Room for Tacos at Empellón Cocina

    Just walk on by.​When it opens in the late fall, Alex Stupak's Empellón 2.0 - or Empellón Cocina, as it's more formally known - will serve tasting and a la carte menus comprised of dishes from various regions of Mexico. But unlike the original Empellón, it won't serve taco ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 11, 2011

    Counter Is Really, Truly Closing This Sunday

    ​Although it's usually restaurant opening dates that get postponed ad nauseam, Counter is finally shutting its doors five months after it was initially slated to close. Gothamist reports that the vegetarian restaurant, which has been a fixture on First Avenue for many years, will have its last ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 30, 2011

    Alex Stupak to Do Even More Mexican; April Bloomfield Goes to France

    ​Alex Stupak has confirmed that he will open a second location of Empellon, in the space currently occupied by Counter. [Eater] April Bloomfield on her first-ever trip to Paris and Lyon: "I wasn't expecting it to be so peasant-like, so that was a nice surprise, and Paris is not as anal as I ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 24, 2011

    Counter Will Serve Its Lentil Meat Loaf Until the End of July

    Photo courtesy of Counter​Much to the delight of the downtown vegetarian population, Counter is still open, despite its owner's announcement that the restaurant would close in February to make way for the second outpost of Alex Stupak's Empellon. So what gives?

  • Blogs

    June 1, 2011

    Robert Sietsema at Empellon; Lauren Shockey at Imperial No. Nine

    This week in the Voice, Robert Sietsema sees what famed pastry chef Alex Stupak can do at Empellon: "The tacos are magnificent... Using his gastronomic prowess, Stupak has sent the flavors soaring." Lauren Shockey finds hits and misses at Imperial No. Nine: "Some dishes fail completely... But other ... More >>

  • Dining

    June 1, 2011

    Empellon--Alex Stupak's Big Experiment

    Can a renowned pastry chef make a decent taco?

  • Blogs

    May 18, 2011

    Robert Sietsema at Man'ouChe; Lauren Shockey at Spasso

    This week in the Voice, Robert Sietsema discovers "the city's most intimate look at today's Lebanese vernacular cuisine" at Man'ouChe; Lauren Shockey finds hits and misses at Spasso.​ Sam Sifton revisits Gotham Bar and Grill, allowing it to retain its three stars: "A meal at Gotham is about y ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 14, 2011

    Alex Stupak & Pinchet Ong Wail on the Tres Leches Cake

    ​Stupak (left) and Ong (right) have each diddled the classic Caribbean tres leches cake. [click on image to enlarge to gigantic size!] Two of today's top pastry chefs, Alex Stupak and Pinchet Ong, are currently turning out their own, idiosyncratic versions of the classic tres leches cake of ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 12, 2011

    Alex Stupak Engaged in Yet Another Blogger Kerfuffle

    ​Alex Stupak just can't get a break from bloggers. A month after getting into a heated - and public - scuffle with a student critic who had written a withering review of Empellón, the chef is now contending with Steve Plotnicki, the party responsible for the aptly-named Opinionated Abou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 4, 2011

    Counter Is Still Hanging on to Life, Seitan Burgers

    Photo courtesy of Counter​The demise of Counter, the East Village vegetarian oasis, seemed imminent last November when Alex Stupak announced he'd be opening a location of Empellòn in the space the restaurant occupies on First Avenue. But according to a sign on the window spotted by an E ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 1, 2011

    Alex Stupak and Columbia Student Really Don't Like One Another

    ​Here's the latest tiny cockfight to rock our tiny world. Jason Bell, a student restaurant critic at The Columbia Daily Spectator wrote a nasty review of Alex Stupak's Empellon. In his review, Bell claimed he staged with Stupak while Stupak was the pastry chef at wd~50. Grub Street subsequen ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 18, 2011

    Open & Closed: Say Hello to Empellón; Goodbye to Dinner at Insieme

    Restaurants and bars, they come and they go. Here are a few making their debuts and bowing out this week. Angelo & Maxie on Park Avenue South and its sister restaurant Maxie's Grill appear to be closing. According to Steve Cuozzo, the spaces will be on the market soon. [Eater] Insieme doesn't see ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 23, 2011

    Yes, It's Time for Spring Restaurant Previews

    riverdaze.blogspot.comCrocuses. Like restaurants, sort of.​Allegedly, spring is coming, and Time Out New York is celebrating this week with a preview of the "top restaurants and bars you need to know about" once it stops freezing. Among the rag's 11 choices are Danny Meyer's Untitled, the new ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 13, 2011

    Malcolm Livingston 'In' at WD~50; Camille Becerra 'Out' at APL is SOL

    ​In the Michael White-Chris Cannon divorce, the Marea, Osteria Morini, and Ai Fiori chef will get custody of chef de cuisines Matt Adler and Gordon Finn. [Grub Street] Christophe Bellanca, the Le Cirque and BLT alum who took over from Chris Lee at Aureole, started just after the New Year and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 27, 2010

    The New Yorker Deconstructs Modernist Desserts

    snagwiremedia.comPastry chefs, they're so kooky​ Adam Gopnik expounds upon the origins of modernist desserts and the future of the sweet course in The New Yorker this week. Gone are the familiar forms and yummy comforting confections of yore. In their place are oft-intimidating, not-always- ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 23, 2010

    Counter, a First Avenue Vegetarian Stand-by, to Close in February

    Photo courtesy of Counter​After eight years of serving vegetarian food to denizens of First Avenue, Counter is closing. Gothamist brings word that the restaurant's owner, Deborah Govito, has sent out an e-mail informing customers that she's sold the space and will be closing in February.

  • Blogs

    November 16, 2010

    Alex Stupak Wins Board Approval for E. Vill Empellon, and Jason Hennings Is "Happy to Be Investigated"

    Lara Kastner/AlineaAlex Stupak​CB3's monthly SLA committee meeting happened last night, and from the numerous accounts lighting up the interweb, it was a lively one.

  • Blogs

    November 10, 2010

    Rooftop Farm, Alex Stupak to Possibly Come to the West Village

    From McNally to microgreens?​The West Village will soon be home to two phenomena more closely associated with the city's more eastern climes. At last night's monthly Community Board 2 SLA meeting, per Eater, Alex Stupak, the executive pastry chef at wd~50, won approval for Empellon, the restau ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 20, 2010

    What's Happening This Week: Queens Food Fest; Long Island Wine Celebration

    As you may know, our weekly dining and drinking newsletter features all the coolest epicurean events in the city. Sign up for it here! The Cuisine of Queens & Beyond Food and Wine Gala Astoria World Manor, Tuesday, September 21 at 6 p.m. Join chefs Rocco Sacramone of Trattoria L'incontro in Astoria ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 9, 2010

    Christian Ragano Leaves the Windy City for the Big Apple; George Mendes Invites Pastry Chefs to Cook Dinner

    ​Christian Ragano has left his post as executive sous chef at NoMI in Chicago to relocate to his native New York. He'll be the chef de cuisine at the forthcoming New York Central at the Grand Hyatt. [The Feast] Cesare Casella has plans to expand Salumeria Rosi, possibly to the Upper East Side ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 5, 2010

    Geoffrey Zakarian Working on Two Hotel Restos; Niko to Open with Quite the Team

    ​Geoffrey Zakarian has not only been working on the menu for the forthcoming Lambs Club in the Chatwal Hotel off Times Square, he's also doing National Bar and Dining Rooms, in the Benjamin in Midtown. [Diner's Journal] Michael "Bao" Huynh says his empire is still growing, with plans for an A ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 28, 2009

    Under the Toque--Ryan Skeen Bids Irving Mill a Porky Goodbye; John Tesar Drops a Barrage of F-Bombs On His Way Out of Fishtail

    Ryan Skeen is, in fact, leaving Irving Mill, as was rumored on The Feedbag. The Feed confirms that his last day of service is June 7. But Skeen isn't going quietly. He's enlisted the help of other pork-loving chefs--Porchetta's Sara Jenkins, Annisa's Anita Lo, and The General Greene's Nick Morgenste ... More >>