The Strong Buzz

Jonathan Waxman knows a thing or two about Mexican food. Seriously. The chef behind Jams, the all too short-lived Washington Park, and most recently Barbuto, is a native Californian, and he grew up eating Mexican food and often cooks it for his family. He's taken his affinity for Mexican cuisine as Rosa Mexicano's chef in residence.

While you may know the restaurant for its great margaritas and guacamole, Waxman has put together a diverse menu that will be featured at the dozen Rosa Mexicanos across the country starting in February. It's not just your everyday taco or burrito.

For winter, he's come up with hearty dishes of slow-cooked meats like a pork cheek casserole and lamb neck enchiladas. Other months this year will bring Tecate-braised brisket, traditional mole recipes and more - it'll be based on seasonal ingredients, of course. Spring will be all about the Mexican Passover, summer the foods of Baja and fall will recognize the Day of the Dead. For those who think New York can't do Mexican food justice, we'd argue this definitely is a step in the right direction at one the city's most popular group of restaurants.

- Bao Ong

Andrea Strong