Luis Arce Mota sold his share in Café Condesa last year to try to open a place in Cabo San Lucas (hes an avid surfer and scuba diver), but after that proved too pricey, he came back here, and tomorrow hell open Ofrenda. Unlike Condesas New AmericanMexican fusion, Luis (who started as a dishwasher at Carmines and went on to work in the kitchens of Bouley and others) is hearkening back to his childhood in Mazatlan and the tables his family would set up for neighbors on the weekends.
His posole is inspired by his mothers, though he says that thanks to the fat-skimming skills he picked up at Cordon Bleu, his isnt as greasy. (Though he admits that, in the style of a steakhouse in his hometown, he marinates his pork loin in pork fat and maple syrup.) So, will he serve the pigs eyeball wrapped in corn leaf that his mother also made? Maybe if diners are open to it, but not for now. Another thing he wont be serving? His favorite food in the world: tacos.
Thats because hes blocks away from Mercadito, Agave, and Diablo Royale, among others. I love tacos, he tells us. But I was thinking itd be better to present food with five components where you can sit and relax. (The five components are protein, starch, vegetables, garnish, and sauce. Mota is also leaning on an arsenal of ten dry peppers and three fresh ones.) Taco weariness aside, Mota is doing his version of chimichangas, though hes adding an Asian twist by wrapping his slow-cooked pigs feet in egg rolls instead of tortillas.
Take a look at Ofrendas offerings, via the menu and our slideshow. The tequila and mescal cocktails also lean nostalgic: Theyre made with Jarritos sodas.
Ofrenda, 113 Seventh Ave. S., nr. Christopher St.; 212-924-2305