About Us / Sebastian's Cocina History: If you can find it, you're in for a treat. Sebastian's Cocina is tucked away on Taber Street (it's way behind Wegmans, past the visiting nurse service, Nate's Floral Estates, and the abandoned metals recycling place; take a right at the glitzy new Friedman's Lighting, then head for what used to be the Atlantic Harvest seafood place, across from Taber Street Auto and its neighboring soon-to-be winery - stay tuned for more on that). Nevertheless, on a cold and windy Friday night, the place was its own billboard in that darkened industrial section of town, and was full of apparently happy, intrepid diners. The word is out.\nSebastian's Cocina's furnishings are postmodern and spare, but comfortable; the lighting compliments both food and dinner companions. Service is considerate and generally prompt.\nSettled into a corner table, we were tempted by the seafood Provencal chowder, good for taking the chill off an Ithaca winter's eve, but went instead for the heat of mussels fra diablo, a heaping appetizer platter of bivalves, fresh-tasting and tender, served in a chunky, spicy marinara-type sauce, with a side of grilled ciabatta bread. For persons with less hearty appetites than ours, it might have made a meal in itself, as would the crabcake appetizer - two hefty crabcakes topped with a remoulade sauce, and plated with fresh greens and bright green, raw jalapeno slivers - and who-hoo, are they hot!\nAccompanying both the crab cakes and the mussels were sweet pickled carrots and onions, reminiscent of Mexican escabeche, but with a sweet brightness that set off each dish's flavors, the way a shot of lemon juice or vinegar can wake up a stew. I was so taken with them, I dashed home after dinner to make a batch for myself.\nThough we had heard raves from friends about Sebastian's pan-seared salmon and the Vietnamese-style tilapia, we veered towards the other white meat, choosing an order of baby back ribs. They came with a mellow citrus glaze and were tender and plentiful.\nAn order of plump grilled scallops in a sherry vinegar reduction was accompanied by two hunks of grilled polenta and a salad of baby greens with toasted almonds, tangerine segments, and a gentle pomegranate vinaigrette.\nDessert settled around a delicious, dense tres leches cake, made with evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, and, of course, topped with whipped cream. I guess that's quatro leches. While several Latin American republics claim its invention, proprietor Sebastian Gonzalez insists that tres leches is Nicaraguan by birth.\nWe also tried the marquesote, a pound-like cake with roots in Mexico, which floated in a decorative swirl of caramel sauce. A couple of good cups of decaf finished off our meal.\nSebastian's is open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday from 11 to 3 and dinner Thursday through Saturday from 6 to 9.\nLunch items we've enjoyed in the past include the yummy hash-browned sweet potatoes, their big-and-juicy Newark Valley burger, and their all-natural beef, pork, and turkey meatloaf. Oh, we are such suckers for good meatloaf. We also recall a delicious southeast Asian-flavored pot roast, like none my mom ever made.\nAt Sebastian's, the meat is grass-fed and local, the vegetables organic, and the coffee fair-trade and organic. Adjoining the Cocina is Gonzalez' Newark Valley Angus, formerly of East Seneca Street, featuring his own organically farmed chickens, turkeys, and grass-fed beef, as well as New York State organic rabbit, goat, pheasant, buffalo, lamb, and the occasional ostrich or elk - you get the picture. If you're an adventuresome cook, this is the place to start your food-shopping day.