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Itzocan Bistro

Occasionally, I wonder why I rarely go uptown, and after four subways and over an hour standing, I remembered why. Bone-chilling weather and the F, J, 4 and 6 trains do somehow bolster the appetite.

Itzocan_bistro_goat_cheese_flanAnd you could do worse than Mexican ingredients, French technique and Bryan Adams’s greatest hits (segueing into the best of Paula Abdul) serenading you while you eat. I started with a goat cheese flan with epazote and jalapeño. I had expected a more literal silky flan texture, but the queso de cabra disk was more crumbly like a cheesecake quiche hybrid. The crumbles were more suited to eating with toast and lettuce, anyway.

Itzocan_bistro_seafood_pozoleI really wanted the ancho crusted duck breast but I had convinced myself that seafood would be marginally healthier and suitable for the weather, so I chose the jalapeño and oregano dotted pozole with mussels, snapper and giant head on shrimp instead. It was certainly in a different class than a weekends-only, hominy-heavy soup you might find at a tacqueria.

Itzocan_bistro_tequilla_chocolate_cakeLately I’ve been austerely attempting wine or dessert not and but Itzocan’s sweets didn’t sound run of the mill and I was happy to see that they hadn’t gone molten on me. Thankfully, no soft-centered, Mexican chocolate, cinnamon spiced cakes were to be found. We did go the chocolate cake route, though, sampling a rich tequila flavored version with brown sugar ice cream. 

On the F ride back home I spied that recent Look Book guy with walrusy facial hair (I’m still not clear why he merited a meta second look elsewhere) doing a crossword from one of those paperback puzzle books. At least it wasn’t Sudoku, I guess. I hovered near his prime seat because I’d pegged him for someone who’d get off at Delancey and I was right. It’s one of the few skills I have, deducing who’ll get off sooner on the subway and positioning myself accordingly. I just hope I didn't pick up any bedbugs.

Itzocan Bistro * 1575 Lexington Ave., New York, NY

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