There’s been a lot of snarky ink spilled about how fast the ill-fated BarFry transformed into Cabrito. As is the case with many restaurants that fall under the scrutiny of bloggers, this new Mexican spot helmed by Dave Schuttenberg, whose pedigree includes stints at Fatty Crab and Craft, has already had the viability of its concept questioned. Blogger blathering aside, an initial visit shows Cabrito to be a high-end homage to a broad swath of Mexican food ranging from Pueblan street snacks like cemitas, tacos and huaraches, to the clearly American fish taco.
Schuttenberg transforms the taqueria staple of carnitas, or braised and roasted pork, into a religious experience thanks to confitting heritage pork shoulder for 17 hours in lard. Slow cooking also plays a major part in the eponymous signature dish. Depending on the cut, the young goat cooks from a little over three hours for a rack to some six hours for a shoulder. The supremely tender flesh is served with salsa borracha, a sauce made from chili, onion, Seville orange juice and tequila. The name translates to drunken sauce and is especially apt given the deep tequila selection. And even if you don’t imbibe you’ll more than likely leave Cabrito with a beautiful meat buzz.
Cabrito, 50 Carmine St., 212-929-5050