Restaurant Revival in Chelsea Good News for this East Sider

Our East Side Observer once again does a jail break and heads west to see how the restaurant scene is reviving in Chelsea. She comes away impressed by one restaurant although dismayed by the sky high price for a dish of frozen yogurt at another establishment. She also has some interesting thoughts on the slavery issue (which was repealed in New York State in 1827) but has come under discussion as Albany lawmakers pass a bill to study potential reparations. She notes one official is making the rounds to local Dem clubs explain it.

| 28 Jun 2023 | 11:24

Chelsea’s re-rising Restaurants are coming back strong and nightlife is returning to Chelsea. When I’d heard that Temerario was newly renovated, I couldn’t wait to get there with my foodie friend who lives in the neighborhood. Located on 20th Street and 8th Avenue, the word was that it was buzzy as ever and the Mexican food was unlike other versions. Always appreciating when a restaurant’s name gives you a hint of what to expect, it was fun finding out that ‘temerario’ means fearless, and that the owner Jorge Guzman, a legendary restaurateur, takes temerario seriously when it comes to the ambiance and preparation and presentation of food which has cosmopolitan flair and flavor with dishes coming from all regions of Mexico. Decor and setting are more industrial nearby Meatpacking District than traditional and colorful Mexican. It’s a hot spot with a very New York-y flavor.

Guzman, a successful restaurateur started in Manhattan in the West Village with Ofrenda Cocina Mexicana. Then he opened The Black Ant, a contemporary Mexican restaurant in the East Village, and followed several years later by opening Lamano, a Spanish wine bar next to Temerario. And five years ago, he opened Lamano West Village. So it’s not surprising that Temerario has a cosmopolitan menu with dishes reflecting all of the regions of Mexico. Presentation and quality of the food are first and foremost. “The the key is technique,” says Guzman, and all dishes are modern in look and not overdone with ingredients. Guacamole is served with tostado for a better and more resilient grip. Chips served with spicy house-made salsa make scooping easy. The Mexican-style ceviche, Aguachile Negro, is seabass, charred aguachile, jicama, lime juice, and slices of cucumbers.Spicier than most Mexican ceviches, it’s a great starter to have with one of Temerario’s hand-crafted agave spirits or artisanal cocktails. Carnivores can chow down on the Carnita Tacos - pork confit, salsa, mango-habanero, pickled onion and chicharron. Vegetarian and vegan choices share the menu. Dessert should not be skipped. Classic churros come with vanilla ice cream. But fearless prevails with the tropical vibes of the passion fruit pieces cooked and chilled - they tasted like candy - and set in Chamoy sauce and plated with mango mezcal sorbet and sheathed in a swath of roasted pineapple. Have it with Carajillo espresso, a dessert coffee drink with brandy and cacao liqueur. A perfect ending to a salute to the new Chelsea nightlife and the return of Temerario.

Chelsea’s not for a cheap-o Let me explain. There was a 16 Handles on the Upper East Side on 2nd Ave in the 80s. It is no more. So when I was traversing Chelsea on my way to meet a friend, I spotted a 16 Handles on the corner of 19th and 8th. Happily, I crossed the portal and the usual teens, kids, moms, pops–16 Handles clientele–were there. I grabbed a cup, went to the Fro-Yo dispensers (2 versions of vanilla, and then on to the toppings–wet walnuts and M&Ms–and then on to the cashier. Tab, $13.11. Don’t recall dispensing the Fro-Yo beyond the top of the cup, but there I was again counting cost. Vindication came when two 16-year olds were lamenting the price. Upper East Sider meet Chelsea.

Reparations, reparations, reparations She’s the go-to for those who want to know about the recently passed bills on reparations. Her name’s Michelle D. Winfield and she’s a NYS Democratic Committee Member from the 74th Assembly District and has been making the rounds of Democratic clubs to inform and alert them about the State Senate’s Bill S1163A, 2023-2024 Legislative Session, which also passed in the State Assembly and “Establishes the New York [S] community commission on reparations remedies” and “Relates to acknowledging the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality and of slavery in the city of New York and the state of New York; establishes the New York state community commission on reparations remedies to examine the institution of slavery, subsequently de jure and de facto racial and economic discrimination against African-Americans, the impact of these forces on living African-Americans and to make recommendations on appropriate remedies; provides for the repeal of such provisions.” Way to go, Michelle Winfield. Last I saw her, she was at Four Freedoms Dem Club. Next stop, Lexingon Democratic Club.