This new restaurant at 55 Grand is a lovely, upscale Mexcian restaurant. I'm reminded why I seldom like to go to restaurants before a proper shakeout. Although the menu is tempting (you can see it at http://www.papatzul.com/), the execution fell short.
By far my favorite taste was the first one I had -- a clean and bracing ceviche with shrimp and scallops. The sopes zucchini, mushrooms and goat cheese were surprisingly bland and muddy.
We ordered two of the homier entrees -- the Enchiladas with duck in an almond mole, and the Budin al Pasilla, a tortilla casserole layered with chicken, pasillas, beans and a cream sauce. Both came with burning plates but the food itself was barely warm. Although there was a generous amount of duck in the enchilada, it could have been chicken as far as I could tell. The pasilla casserole was a little more interesting -- we probably should have returned it to heat it up.
My friend ordered a chocolate espresso flan with cinnamon ice cream. He is from Mexico City (as is the owner-chef) and was pleased that it incorporated Mexican chocolate. It was extremely rich and he was pleased -- the cinnaomon ice cream was so-so.
Everything from the menus to the bathrooms to the decorations seem well thought out and tasteful. I'm not willing to write off the restaurant after one mediocre experience. Maybe Papatzul will get its act together foodwise -- I sure hope so.
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