Yuco, Inspired by the Yucatán, Opens in Greenwich Village

A slice joint from Mark Iacono of Lucali, tacos with Indian-style fillings and more restaurant news and openings.

By Florence Fabricant



At their new Greenwich Village restaurant, the chef Christian Ortiz and his business partner, Trent Walker, focus on their shared love of the cuisine of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. They are first-time restaurant owners. Mr. Ortiz is a New Yorker with Dominican roots who trained at Le Cordon Bleu, consulted for restaurants and worked as a chef at Landmarc, now closed, among others. Mr. Walker is a former mathematics professor and wine collector who works in tech. Mr. Ortiz said he was taking a haute cuisine approach here, using French techniques and touches of molecular gastronomy. Their restaurant space, formerly Ardyn, has a bar and casual area up front with an à la carte menu, and a more formal dining room and an open kitchen in back, where tasting menus are served. Some of Mr. Ortiz’s elegantly plated dishes include an interpretation of chiles en nogada made with squash blossoms, Berkshire pork belly al pastor, an octopus taco in an hoja santa wrap, a heritage chicken tamal, lobster with rajas and sweet corn, Wagyu rib-eye with smoked chayote purée, and, for dessert, a plate of corn “textures” including sweet corn custard and corn shortbread. The cooking makes use of Indigenous ingredients like heritage corn and rare chiles obtained from Mexico. Mr. Walker, who is also the restaurant’s assistant sommelier, has contributed some of his personal cellar, especially Burgundies, to the wine list.

33 West Eighth Street, 646-707-0409, yucorestaurant.com.

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