A ceviche of kampachi, octopus, cucumber, apricot, and citrus (Image: YUCO)

YUCO, slated to open next Tuesday, is the culmination of a journey of the imagination that its chef, Christian Ortiz, and owner, Trent Walker, embarked on shortly after the outset of the pandemic. The question fueling the pair’s mind quest was what New Yorkers might want and need most after their long season of deprivation. The answer that the two devised was a restaurant focusing on the foods of the Yucatan Peninsula but guided by classic French techniques and molecular gastronomy, bolstered by the timeless traditions of Meso-America.

Short for “Yucateco Cocina,” YUCO will also offer the most aggressive quality-to-price wine program in the country.

Among the solid enticements you can expect are a Wagyu ribeye accompanied by a smoked chayote purée, pearl onion, and chili pepper demi-glace. Rajas, strips of spicy smoked poblano, are partnered with lobster, as is sweet local corn.

You see much of corn on the menu, including among desserts, which include something styled “corn textures — a sweet corn crème anglaise, aguachiles sorbet, and corn shortbread.

YUCO, 33 W. 8th Street, 646-707-0409, will be open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday.