New York is well known for being diverse, you can say it’s the capital of the world! I love being able to find any style of restaurant everywhere in NYC. In Queens, Casa Enrique is one of them, a real Mexican restaurant. There is no doubt when reading the menu and trying the dishes.
History of Casa Enrique
La Casa Enrique opened in March 2012 in Long Island City in Queens. The idea of opening this restaurant came from Luis Aguilar, the brother of the chef Cosme Aguilar. Cosme Aguilar worked for many years at the Café Henri, a French restaurant, and was the chef at Bar Henri in November 2009.
His brother Luis suggested creating a Mexican restaurant to prepare the recipes they made at home in the State of Chiapas as children.
Since his arrival in New York, Cosme had specialized in French cuisine but did not hesitate for long to open Casa Enrique. And he was right because, in September 2014, he received his first Michelin star! The first Mexican chef to receive such an award.
Casa Enrique’s name refers to the establishment where he worked before; Enrique is the translation of Henri. The restaurant’s logo is the same, a little dog with a Mexican hat for the Latin version 😉
How is the restaurant?
It is a small restaurant, it’s longer than wide. There is a large bar at the entrance; perfect to drink cocktails.
The decoration is quite simple. Everything is white: the walls, tables, and chairs. It is a bit surprising for a Mexican restaurant because everyone expects colors everywhere 😉
What is the atmosphere like at Casa Enrique?
The general atmosphere is calm. Some customers stay at the bar with groups of friends.
The music is not so loud, so one can talk to their friends and understand the waiter’s explanations if they are not used to eating Mexican food.
What is the clientele of Casa Enrique?
The night we went there was a bit of everything, people of all ages, and many locals.
What can you eat and drink?
There you can eat the best culinary specialties of Mexico. If you are looking for a real Mexican restaurant in New York, then this one is perfect, authentic. The dishes are homemade; the service is identical to Mexico with sauces on the table, guacamole and chips.
We ordered typical dishes that I will describe if you’re not familiar with Mexican cuisine:
– Chicken Enchiladas with green sauce: the chicken is prepared in three corn tortillas covered with a green sauce, sour cream, cheese, onions, lettuce, and avocado.
– Chicken Enchiladas with Piaxtla mole: the mole sauce is common in Mexico. There are over 30 recipes for mole with a lot of ingredients in it. The base is the same, a lot of chiles and even chocolate! The dish is similar to the image above, and the mole sauce covers the enchiladas.
– My Aunts Pozole: pozole is another typical Mexican dish with many different recipes depending on the regions. It’s like a soup with pork. They prepare it with radishes, lettuce, green oregano, and lemon to top it off. It’s a real treat 🙂
Most of these dishes are slightly spicy but not that much. You can add more flavors to them with the sauces that are on the table.
The desserts are also very tasty. We ordered a custard covered with cajeta (goat’s milk caramel) and another dessert called Mexican Chocolate Pot de Crème with chocolate (La Abuelita) and María cookies.
The Tres Leches Cake was on our list, but we had eaten well already, and we could not eat more 😀 I’ll have to order it next time! It is one of my favorite cakes, again authentic, made with three types of milk.
As far as drinks, you can order Margaritas, Mojitos, Cuba Libre… What I enjoyed the most were the margaritas made with delicious tequila.
For drinks with no alcohol, I recommend trying the Flavored Waters (water with natural flavors): horchata, Jamaica (hibiscus flowers), tamarind…
How is the service?
Okay, the waiter was very friendly. He was busy but he took its time to describe all the dishes. As we speak Spanish, we could chat a bit with the bartender too. 😉
How much is it to eat at Casa Enrique?
You are probably going to think that I’m not giving you a good tip in New York. You expect that because of the Michelin star and the authenticity of the dishes you will spend a lot of money…
But compared to other restaurants prices are very affordable.
You can order tacos for under $10, and more elaborate dishes for around $25. Desserts are roughly $8. The cocktails are delicious and much cheaper than in Manhattan, between $10 and $12.
You can check the complete menu (clicking here)
What is the good tip for the Casa Enrique?
What I like about this place is that it is a real Mexican restaurant. You may have understood that the dishes are truly traditional, well-served, and at a good price.
The menu gives details on the dishes, with the list of ingredients. And for those who are familiar with Mexican food, you will not be disappointed.
Do not hesitate to reserve a table.
Where is Casa Enrique?
The restaurant is on a small street perpendicular to Vernon Boulevard. It is an area of Long Island City in Queens. Before or after going to Casa Enrique, you can take a stroll down Gantry Plaza State Park.
Casa Enrique is a very good Mexican restaurant. You might even forget that you are in New York!
If you’re visiting Long Island City, it could be an opportunity to explore the area without returning to Manhattan. You will not regret it 😉