Alex Stupak's Empellon fleet grows by one this Thursday with the opening of a new flagship location in Midtown, where he's outfitted a large, bi-level space on Madison Avenue at 53rd Street with his signature totems. The chef tasked artist Biata Roytburd to create unique ceramic animal sculptures that exemplify the soul of this new restaurant in addition to Stupak's other three downtown. Empellon's "spirit animal," according to Stupak, is the hummingbird, which can be seen holding court in the dining room amidst the Rat, Rooster and Nautilus that represent Al Pastor, Taqueria and Cocina, respectively.

"I like physical reminders all around me and I love for them to be beautiful in unusual ways," Stupak says of his design decisions. "It's important for me to be a great restaurateur and also have an aesthetic that no one could or ever would mimic."

Stupak, executive chef Colin King and chef de cuisine Duncan Grant play on expectations with dishes like Crab Nachos and "Fajitas," topping the former with sea urchin meant to resemble "queso" dip, and employing super high-quality beef for the latter. "So this is fajitas like an American imagines it. But what it is is A5 wagyu New York strip," Stupak told Eater.

As part of an empire powered by tacos, it's no surprise that they're found here, too. Tortillas produced in the building will ferry fillings including hash browns with tomatillo ketchup, lamb sweetbreads with lamb barbacoa, pastrami with mustard seed salsa, and falafel balls with grasshopper hummus. Guacamole— possibly accompanied by his signature "Seven Salsas"—sticky rice tamales, sea bream with chilaquiles verdes, and roasted prawns with chipotle are a few of the other dishes on offer.

On the imbibing side, the restaurant will serve six different types of margaritas, from a classic made with Pueblo Viejo Blanco to one made with saffron-infused tequila and mezcal, with citrus and saffron salt.

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