In the nearly a 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 maitake mushrooms. The stack of warm tortillas that accompany the shishito fundido could easily be mistaken for a Mexican grandmother’s. And although Chef Stupak wishes that less people would stuff themselves silly with chips and try the top-notch bunuelos instead, the restaurant remains packed every night, all night, seven days a week. So it comes as no surprise that, in addition to adding another restaurant, Empellon is tacking oysters onto their repertoire.
Starting next week, there will be two types of oysters, one East Coast selection and one West, for market price (you can assume they’ll be around $3 a pop). The selection will rotate, and the inaugural batch will be a surprise, possibly even to the garde manger that’s bound to wield the shucker. Served on the half shell, they’ll be accompanied by a bottle of the restaurant’s sangrita, spiked with a little extra horseradish. A fantastic alternative to the ubiquitous vinegar-based mignonette.
Look for Empellon Cocina to open, fingers crossed, on February 1 (that’s from the horse’s mouth), and more Stupak-Resler projects in the future.
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This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 15, 2011