This week, Alex Stupak opened the second location of his suddenly expanding Empelln empire. But Empelln Cocina on First Avenue isn't just a rehash of Empelln Taqueria in the West Village. The new spot focuses not on tacos, but on ambitious dishes such as hamachi with walnut pure, poblano chili and apples; tiny bay scallops with huitlacoche and brown-butter mle; crispy masa with shrimp and uni; and mezcal-cured ocean trout. Speaking of mezcal, the staff says Cocina also has the city's biggest selection of tequila and mezcal. We can't verify that, but one look at the bar does prove they have a lot of agave spirits on hand. Take a look at the full menu below, and check out the space in our slideshow.
Empelln Cocina, 105 First Ave, nr. 6th St.; 212-780-0999