Slideshow: First Look: Empellón Cocina in the East Village

Lamb Sweetbreads with Longaniza
Lamb Sweetbreads with Longaniza
House-made longaniza comes with breaded and fried lamb sweetbreads, nuggets of parsnip and sliced radishes, a parsley root purée, and a sweet of salsa papanteca made with pumpkin seeds, piloncillo (raw sugar), and sweet spices.
Sweep The Leg
Sweep The Leg
Made with bubble-gummy jackfruit mixed with Ilegal Joven for its "subdued smoke and hints of citrus," a bit of sake, and Xtabentun, a "Mayan Liqueur made of rum, flavored with honey and anise," explains Bar Manager Matt Resler. "Adding Xtabentun gives the cocktail more depth, with bright notes of anise, and keeps the sweetness levels of the Jackfruit in check. The name is a tribute to the Karate Kid…'Put him in a body bag, Johnny' was far too long."
Squid
Squid
Rings of squid sautéed with tiny cubes of heirloom potato, served Jackson Pollock-style with with spots of chorizo-mayonnaise and a splatter of black mole (which Stupak says is made with 30 ingredients).
Mezcal Cured Trout
Mezcal Cured Trout
It's cured, but still has the slippery, moist texture of sashimi. It comes served with trout roe, a few squiggles of cream cheese sauce, and a bright salad of herbs, radishes, and onions. Sal de Gusano—that's salt flavored with powdered worms—is used to season the dish with its earthy, rich flavor.
The Charreria
The Charreria
"The name itself is based off of what people would describe as a Mexican Rodeo," says Matt. "This got my mind thinking of a refreshing cocktail, which made me think of a Tom Collins." Reposado tequila, 7 Leguas, and Green Chartreuse are combined with a touch of lime and Fever Tree Tonic. An aerosol spray of eucalyptus-scented Mexican oregano tops the drink.
Avocado Salad
Avocado Salad
Stuffed with what Stupak calls "the three B's: bulgur, barley and buckwheat," the sliced avocado comes served on a smooth hazelnut dressing with thin slices of sunchoke and a few leaves of herbal greens.
Oaxaca '62
Oaxaca '62
"This cocktail is based on a French 75. I wanted to make a variant of this delicate cocktail using an aggressive spirit," says Matt. Made with Cava and Fidencio Clasico Mezcal in place of gin and Champagne, it's spritzed with lemon peel, flamed with almond essence, and finished with a brown sugar cube to allow the drink to mellow over time. "I love the complexity of this cocktail, as it has the delicate floral notes of a dry Cava, matched with the smoked earth of Fidencio Clasico Mezcal."
Alex In The Kitchen
Alex In The Kitchen
Stupak in his cocina.