Chef Alex Stupak worked for years as the wizard-like pastry chef at wd~50, New York's premier home to molecular gastronomy, so when he left to open—wait for it—a taqueria, many Manhattan diners either scratched their heads or wondered if they'd be served deconstructed tacos. Instead, they got simple yet well-executed fare using top-notch ingredients. There are straight forward options—fish tempura, lamb, steak—as well as surprising variations, like tacos with sweat
breads and a chorizo gravy poured over it. There are, of course, also several variations on the margarita theme, too, including one using the Japanese citrus, yuzu. Empellon isn't really south-of-the-border in its authenticity but when it's this good, who cares?