I haven't seen a review for Mesa Grill NYC in some time and went there Sunday night with a group of clients, overall the experience was excellent.
We shared a bunch of appetizers...The blue corn pancake with duck met expectations, the cerviches were EXCELLENT, the tuna and salmon tartare was very good and nice to be accompanied with plantain chips...but the mushroom grits with poached egg stole the show...fantastic dish that I would highly recommend.
Dinners were also fantastic...the spiced duck breast with habenero sauces was excellent, the tamale it came with was also quite good. the portion of the lamb chops were VERY generous and that dish had a great flavor, the filet was spiced excellent but not exactly a "steakhouse" quality filet, the best dish was probably the spice rubbed pork tenderloin which was spicy and perfectly cooked.
We also had a couple orders of the chili rellenos...very mild in spice but absolutely delicious!
For dessets, we shared the rhubabrd and cream cheese empananda, the corn bread pudding, and the banana crunch sundae...all good with the empanand probably the best.
Everyone claims that this place is overpriced....well 7 people who all drank, apps and dessert for unders $100 pp in Grammercy NYC seems ok to me, I will definately trust brining clients there again.
We also had the opporutnity to take a quick tour of the kitchen. It was quick because the kitchen is tiny...not the Celeb chef palaces you see today in the "open" kitchen styles. This was a pit, a pirate ship style galley smaller than some friends personal kitchens. It was truly impressive that the timing was perfect on all of our dishes (same with everyone around us it seemed). And despite being in the dinner rush, the chefs still made time for quick hello's in between plating...
Great experience, great food...hey not exactly fine dining...the room is loud, the attitude is casual, but there is little pretense.
Overall...I'm glad this place has stuck around for all these years, and now I know why.