A recently opened restaurant on Lincoln Center‘s campus was just given the number one position in a New York Times roundup of the one-hundred best places to eat in NYC.
“We needed Tatiana,” writes New York Times critic Pete Wells. “We needed a kitchen that puts Caribbean and African and Black American cooking, too often kept in the city’s margins, right at center stage. We needed to taste the way Kwame Onwuachi focuses and concentrates the flavors of oxtails, goat curry, chopped cheese and other items without losing sight of their roots.”
If you’ve been reading the tea leaves, critics have been praising Tatiana since it opened. Eater regaled their Egusi dumplings as “irresistible,” while The New Yorker declared their Mom Dukes Shrimp as “very delicious, head-on and drenched in creole butter.” Both publications gushed over Onwuachi’s chopped cheese sandwich whose roots can be traced back to a small Harlem Bodega named Hajji’s. Onwuachi, originally from the Bronx, has put his own unique flavor on the humble sandwich by using aged rib eye and taleggio and topping it with shredded romaine and shaved truffle on a brioche bun.
Robb Report says Onwuachi’s “beverage menu similarly draws from Onwuachi’s childhood, melding the flavors he grew up around in classic NYC cocktails.” They call out the “LC Negroni mixes Caribbean sorrel and Lustau East India sherry with Fords Gin, Campari and Aperol, while the POG Nutcracker (Appleton Reserve, passionfruit, orange and guava) is a fancier version of the drink many buy from street vendors or merchants on the beach.”
Robb Report concluded that “Onwuachi’s dreams make for a delectable reality.” Similar sentiments are also shared on Yelp, where Tatiana currently has a four-and-a-half-star rating (out of five). On top of all their food praises, one commenter wrote, “And the best part? Trap and twerk music the whole time. Waka Flocka Flame, Travis Porter, Meg the Stallion, Pop Smoke, Lil Wayne. You name a guilty pleasure, they played it. Definitely not the environment to dance in, but so therapeutic to be fine dining to music that feels so familiar.”
And the accolades keep coming. On Wednesday, Esquire penned a story titled, Kwame Onwuachi is a Virtuoso Chef Whose Time Has Come.
But most importantly, what do you think?