Sunday night I went to chef, Aaron Sanchez's restaurant, Centrico (211 West Broadway at Franklin; 212 431 0700; www.myriadrestaurantgroup.com). The "myriad" in the corporate name is assurance that the Nieporents of Nobu and my old favorite, Montrachet, as well as a slew of others are involved and that the place is well-run with their accustomed attractive, polite and able staff, in this instance, appropriately, much of it Spanish as well as English speaking.
I had just gotten back from Mexico and this food was as good as anything I ate there--some of it better--and some with New York smarts added in. For an instance of that, salmon con arroz negro (pan seared salmon, black squid rice, roasted pepper-guajillo chile broth).
I want to reccomend the Birra al Estilo Jalisco (braised short ribs jalisco style, ancho chile broth). They may be the best short ribs I've ever eaten including those out of my own kitchen. The guacamole is good as are the salsas with fresh house-made corn tortillas. There is a wide variety of other dishes some of which can be ordered as a first or main course: very good sweet breads, well-cooked fish in your choice of cooking methods and sauces and a genuine--as from Tijuana--as well as seafood, chicken etc.
Like all such menus, it is short on desserts. To compensate, the prices are moderate and you can hear your friends talk. There is a very strong list of wines by the glass mercifully only one of them Mexican; but there is always beer and margaritas. Wine is modestly priced as well.
This is my idea of a wonderful restaurant. I only wish it were nearer my home; but there is a subway stop on the corner.