In this week's New York, Adam Platt reviews Empellón, former wd~50 pastry chef Alex Stupak's foray into Mexican cooking. Our critic finds the place to be "a casually elegant Mexican restaurant that has been designed ... to appeal to the new breed of scruffy, tattoo-bearing, avowedly non-gourmet culinary sophisticates." Foodwise, he falls for the "pleasingly gooey quesos fundidos," "inventive ceviches," and most especially the tacos, such a tasty "parade of gut-busting delicacies" they render most of the entrees an "afterthought." The grub and very good drinks program earn the restaurant two stars.
Meanwhile, the ice-cream trend doesn't stop, though in the case of ice-cream sandwiches, things have gotten more creative. Robin Raisfeld and Rob Patronite round up versions made with macarons, peanut-butter cookies, and even brioche. The Robs have also been busy tracking the city's openings, including another source for frozen dessert in the form of a Nawlins sno-ball shop; Smith Canteen, an offshoot of Brooklyn's Seersucker; and the second coming of St. Anselm, this time with mussels and pork chops. The Underground Gourmet also looks at Marc Forgione's Father's Day menu, a tribute to the chef's own pop.
Also in the issue: The High Line's second segment is about to open, so here's where you can grab a bite. If you're lunching alfresco up there, be sure to concentrate on what you're eating as it may prevent afternoon snacking. And lastly, here's a recipe for using lovage, that intensely celerylike herb, in an Italian-style salsa verde.