The innovative Mexican chef Enrique Olvera is opening his New York restaurant with a contemporary look and a menu that veers away from tradition. “Too often Mexican food is perceived as casual and inexpensive,” he said. “I also love the tradition but like to do my own thing.” His shopping list will take him to Union Square as much as possible, he said. The menu is frequently changing and à la carte, with no prix fixe tasting as at Pujol, his Mexico City restaurant that is ranked among the world’s best. Two dishes that are likely to appear on the menu are mussels atop a Russian salad and duck carnitas. “We’ll adapt to the ingredients and to our customers,” he said. “But Mexican food has to go beyond the clichés, the way Italian has.” He is splitting his time between New York and Mexico and has put one of his sous-chefs, Daniela Soto-Innes, in charge of the kitchen, and has assigned the management side to the other one, Mariana Villegas. The deep gray setting is enlivened with warm, burnished white oak furnishings and provides a backdrop for a selection of drawings by the muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros. The front half of the space is a bar and lounge with a cluster of cafe tables, with a dining room beyond. Shelves along the walls hold service items like glassware and wine. In the basement kitchen, there’s a state-of-the-art mill for grinding the heirloom corn for use in tortillas and other preparations: 35 East 21st Street, 212-913-9659,cosmenyc.com.
EPAZOTE Named for an herb essential to Mexican cooking, this place from the French restaurateur Jacques Ouari infuses Mexican fare with French touches. It’s a redo of his brasserie, the Pitch & Fork: 1606 First Avenue (83rd Street), 212-988-1704, epazotenyc.com.
KORILLA BBQ You can’t miss the tiger-striped facade of the new storefront. It started out as a truck selling tacos, burrito-style wraps and rice bowls filled with Korean specialties like bulgogi, tofu and kimchi: 23 Third Avenue (St. Marks Place), 646-823-9423, korillabbq.com.
JOSHUA BOISSY and KRYSTOF ZIZKA of Maison Premiere plan next year to open another restaurant, as yet unnamed, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn: 905 Lorimer Street (Berry Street).
Chefs on the Move
CAROLE WAGNER GREENWOOD is the chef at Grindhaus in Red Hook, Brooklyn, replacing Aaron Taber.
MICHAEL GIBNEY is the executive chef at Urbo, replacing Brian Young.
ELIZABETH KARMEL, executive chef at Hill Country restaurants, has left to start Carolina Cue To-Go, which will sell whole-hog North Carolina barbecue online. It is scheduled to open Saturday.