Centrico - The Myriad Flavors of
Mexico in Tribeca
It’s the night after Labor Day and pouring. Every taxi
that comes down Lexington Avenue is either occupied or “Off-Duty.” Just
when we’re about to give up, one appears like magic out of the mist and
transports us downtown to a restaurant on the street level of one of
those former factories from the time before Tribeca had a name, long
converted into industrial chic. Seated at a window-front table that
looks out to the single square in the neighborhood, we turn our backs on
the rain, take in the terra cotta walls, the reddish-golden glow of the
lights, and contemplate a Tequila/Mezcal list with 55 selections of
intriguing and intoxicating spirits made from agave plants. And
suddenly, the night has turned sublime.
This is Centrico presented by the Myriad Group,
Mexican cuisine with authenticity and detail. No rice and beans, not a
shred of lettuce. Instead a focus on the wide regional variety and
complexity of Mexican food often in unique combinations and enhanced by
exotic spices and chiles. There is the expected yet always welcomed
guacamole, but also things we never saw on a Mexican restaurant’s menu
before like frog legs with cilantro, tongue tacos, and pork belly or
menudo. There are new takes on traditional items like the little fried
green tomatoes whose rinds were flaky as a pastry’s accompanied by tiny
sautéed rock shrimp and a creamy guajillo sauce; corn fritters with
black beans over fresh cheese and bracing salsa; delicate, little soft
shell crabs with jalapeño sauce; delectable sweet plantains with crema
fresca; ceviches of shrimp, scallops, squid, mussels, and clams with
micro greens and lime juice; miniature tacos with lump crabmeat, avocado
and chipotle lime aioli. And those are the starters. Among the entrées
are seared tuna tacos with avocado and mango-cucumber salsa, and pan
seared scallops with green pea puree and passion fruit vinaigrette.
“This is a modern Mexican restaurant,” says the
affable Drew Nieporent, discoverer and perennial re-inventor of Tribeca,
who -- together with brother and equally affable Tracy -- has now added Centrico to Myriad’s Tribeca Grill, Nobu, and Montrachet in Manhattan’s
trendiest downtown neighborhood. “We are trying to do dishes you don’t
normally see in every Mexican restaurant in New York. We want to be rid
of all the clichés.”
Chef Aarón Sànchez
(center) with Myriad’s Tracy (left) and
|Making all this happen is the very young and very
handsome Chef Aarón Sànchez. “We’ve known Aarón for quite some time; he
has tremendous pedigree,” Drew adds, acknowledging Zarella Martinez, a
pioneer of Mexican cooking in New York and Aarón's mother.
“I’ve always been a fan of Mexican food.
Mexico is like Italy in that all the regions are different. For me it’s
always about the culture of the country and how it extends to the food.
Myriad is a culinary journey that presents to a very
oversaturated New York market, that has seen just about everything,
something a cut above and a little bit different. We always try to
And once again, they are.
211 West Broadway
New York, N.Y. 10013
Phone: 212 431-0700
Photographs by Harvey Frommer
# # #
About the Authors: Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer are a wife and husband
team who successfully bridge the worlds of popular culture and traditional
scholarship. Co-authors of the critically acclaimed interactive oral histories
It Happened in the Catskills, It Happened in Brooklyn, Growing Up Jewish in
America, It Happened on Broadway, It Happened in Manhattan, It Happened in
Miami. They teach what they practice as professors at Dartmouth College.
They are also travel writers who specialize in luxury properties and fine dining
as well as cultural history and Jewish history and heritage in the United
States, Europe, and the Caribbean.
about these authors.
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This Article is Copyright © 1995 - 2012 by Harvey and Myrna Frommer. All rights