On Bowery and E. 4th, in Manhattan, New York, lies an unassuming, dark, little restaurant that packs a major punch. Hecho En Dumbo is a place I’ve been meaning to go to for quite sometime, and somehow I just never got around to it. Boy, do I wish I had gotten my act together sooner.
The name, which translates to “Made in Dumbo,” refers to where the eatery got its start: as a pop-up spot in a cafe in DUMBO (Down Under The Manhattan Bridge Overpass). Now residing in an altogether different borough, and occupying a permanent space, the refined Mexican eatery is here to stay.
When we arrived for dinner, my friend and I were seated at the kitchen counter, which allowed us to watch as the dishes were being prepared. This was a blessing and a curse, because every single dish looked so scrumptious that we could hardly concentrate on anything else, as we stared ravenously at the gorgeous array of foods which lay before us–just out of reach.
After ordering a couple of compulsory Margaritas, we started our meal with the Picaditas de Jaiba: a duo of corn masa medallions with shredded Dungeness crab, and ripe avocado. We practically inhaled the delicious little treats and then waited, somewhat impatiently, for the next dishes to arrive.
We got the tacos with butter poached lobster, and octopus. And a scallop dish with forbidden black rice and bone marrow sauce. Each bite melted in our eager, and mildly tipsy, mouths. The flavors were bold, complex, but not overpowering. This wasn’t your average taco joint.
At the end of the whirlwind of a meal we surveyed our empty plate; we had practically licked them clean! Hecho En Dumbo is the perfect example of elevated Mexican cuisine served up without pretension or superfluousness. Each dish was balanced and tasty, recognizable but innovative at the same time.
If you find yourself in the area, do yourself a favor and give this joint a chance.