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4 weeks agoupdated Apr 25, 2024

Corima Brings Northern Mexico to NYC

Restaurant of the Week: A new breed of Mexican fine dining.

By Kim Ayling

Earlier this year, Corima threw open its minimal, trendy doors in NYC‘s Chinatown. Helmed by ex-Contra chef Fidel Caballero, the restaurant brands itself as “modern Mexican” – a happy mismatch of the different culinary climates Cabellero has been exposed to throughout his years.

Blending throughtful dishes rooted in authenticity with smart, stylish interiors, Corima helps usher in a new era for northern Mexican cuisine in the Big Apple.

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Fidel Caballero and sofia
Sofia Ostos and Fidel Caballero / ©Jovani Demetrie


Inspired by a childhood in both Ciudad Juárez, northern Mexico, and El Paso, Texas, chef Caballero delivers a modern interpretation of classic Mexican cuisine. The last decade and a half have seen him put his skills to the test in some of the world’s most demanding kitchens, from three-Michelin-starred Martín Berasategui in Spain to NYC favorite, Contra.

More recently, Cabellero has hosted immersive pop ups – both internationally in Bangkok, France and Mexico City, as well as at home in New York – in the buildup to opening his first restaurant. Co-launched with his wife Sofia Ostos and Vince Ott, who most recently headed up Thai Diner’s drinks program, Corima is an amalgamation of the vast culinary influences that have shaped Cabellero into the chef he is today.

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corima sourdough tortilla
Sourdough tortillas with recado negro-spiced butter / ©Jovani Demetrie

Corima means “circle of sharing” in northern Mexican culture – a phrase which Cabellero has interpreted to mean the sharing of cuisine. In this vein, while the restaurant’s menu is largely rooted in the Mexican dishes from his childhood, inspiration from his time working around the world creep in too.

The a la carte menu features the likes of mole Amarillo and black truffle quesadilla, lobster enmoladas with black garlic mole, and sourdough tortillas with recado negro-spiced butter. While Cabellero highlights some native Mexican ingredients, the bulk of the menu proudly showcases locally sourced ingredients from the northeast US.

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corima nyc cocktails
The cocktail list is fuelled by one of Mexico’s finest exports: mezcal / ©Jovani Demetrie

For a thorough taste of the Corima offering, go for the seven-course set tasting menu which groups together a number of standout dishes from the a la carte menu, as well as a selection of rotating seasonal offerings. There’s a wine pairing to go with it, too. 

As you’d expect, the cocktail menu (put together by mixologist Sam Geller) is fuelled by one of Mexico’s finest exports, mezcal, as well as lesser-known spirits such as sotol, bacanora and raicilla.

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corima interiors
The restaurant is earthy and minimal / ©Jovani Demetrie

Forget crisp white tablecloths and elaborate place settings; Corima belongs to that new breed of fine dining where earthy and artfully minimalist design features reign supreme. 

The 54-seat restaurant (including an intimate chef’s counter) broadly takes inspiration from the unfussy principles commonly seen in Japanese interiors, with accents borrowed from the palette of the Mexican landscape. 

Many features were made on site, including handmade wooden lights and a Mexican-tile-covered zinc bar top. Championing the work of Mexican artisans was another priority: Cabellero’s dishes are served in ceramics by Rufina Ruíz López of Taller Ruíz López studio, and artwork by Amador Montes adorns the walls.

Corima, 3 Allen Street, NY 10002,

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