My sister and i spent 4.5 days in the DF a week or so ago, and these were some of our highlights, in no particular order:
Maximo Bistrot: (restaurant was dark, so no good pics.)
baby corn, roasted, with a hollandaise sauce and parmesan. you can eat the whole tender ear of corn, and sooooo not like those horrible little canned baby corns. one of the best things i ate on the trip.
crab tinga tostada - delish, but a bit drowned out in the sauce.
garganelli with crab, tomatoes, and parm. SO GOOD. garlicky, winey, crabby, perfect.
an eggplant puree that was almost like a hummus, very emulsified, not like baba ganoush. smoky. as a dip for the bread.
we both ordered fish, one called Totoabe and one called Chopo (with clams, too), both white fish, i believe, but i couldn’t find anything about the latter. They were very good but not the standouts of the meal.
Atun tostada - OMG to die for. fresh slivers of tuna, maybe they’re ceviched, but they just tasted like sashimi, on what seemed to be golf sauce on a fried tortilla, with crispy fried onions on top. Heaven! I could have eaten three more of these
Jaiba in butter. just a plate of chopped up jaiba fried in butter served with plain flour tortillas (which i usually don’t care for). simple and absolutely killer.
Contramar’s ceviche de pescado had some of the best leche de tigre I’ve ever had.
We made a reservation to go back, but found out at the last minute that they’d given us a rez at 6:00 p.m. on a Sun. night when they were closing at 6:30 p.m., so we cancelled as we didn’t want to feel rushed.
Incredible meal. we started with an amuse - gordita with wagyu. perfect little bite, that set the scene for a fantastic blend of mexican flavors with a modern sensibility.
next came a giant gourd to the table, emanating smoke in a very dramatic way. they open the top of the gourd at the table, and inside are roasted baby corn! i don’t know who copied who, but it’s a great dish. These were covered in a mayo of chicatana hormigas (ants), and again, you can eat the whole corn. So incredibly good.
another course was so simple, but i can’t stop thinking about it, and recreating it at home. roasted cauliflower with chicken skin chicharrones, an almond salsa matcha, chile de arbol, served with homemade corn tortillas to make tacos out of. I loved this dish so much. something about the tortilla and the sweetness of the cauli - just a great combo.
my sister got the soft-shelled crab with a garbanzo bean flour crust. Also served with tortillas, and also very good, but i’m glad i got the cauli.
sea bass with hominy juice and celery - fresh, light,
octopus with habanero ink, veracruzana sauce, ayocote bean puree with an amazing olive oil.
i got the wagyu steak, rubbed in fennel seeds, with an avocado salsa, served with tortillas to make tacos. fab.
my sister got the pork chicharron with purslane in salsa verde. her pork was so rich i don’t think i could have finished it, and in fact she left the thin bit of skin behind, because it hadn’t been crisped and was difficult to chew. But the dish was still fantastic.
then we each were served their mole - two kinds. the darker was “the mother” - aged 1,265 days, and made with all kinds of dried fruit, nuts, spices, chocolate, etc. incredibly rich and deep, so many nuanced flavors. the lighter one on top was a young mole. wonderful combination.
The mole came with blue corn tortillas with an hoja santa embedded in it. so fragrant! like laurel, rather. wonderful foil to the mole.
desserts were a special one for my sister, for her bday - some kind of strawberry wafer with an orange ice cream of sorts…
I ordered a Nicuatole, which was a creamy corn masa pudding with corn ice cream. good!
my sister got the chocolate tamal, guava soursop and brown butter. she said that the tamal wasn’t great, but the rest was.
they also gave us the best churro ever! in a spiral, so thin and crispy - perfect ending.
the only mar to this dinner was our complete and utter shock at the end when we got the bill - the prix fixe is only $100 apiece, but with alcohol, our bill was almost $400 US. And that’s because the 3 glasses of bubbly we ordered were $45 apiece! they don’t show you the wine list, they just ask what you’d like and then they offer this or that, but they don’t tell you the price! insane! the cocktail, glass of red, and sherry i ordered were all perfectly reasonably priced. This actually put a damper on the meal for us. i ended up tipping less than i would have, and i felt bad about it, but i was truly in shock. i’ve never paid that much for real Champagne, even in France.
Still, I’d go back in a heartbeat, but i’d definitely ask the prices on the booze. The new space is gorgeous, serene, calm, the service extremely warm and friendly.
There was a little food court-type of place near our apartment in the Roma Norte neighborhood. The place is rustic looking, intimate, with perhaps 10 or so stands, and a bar. Very casual, pleasant in the extreme. We had outstanding, super inexpensive dishes there: cochinita panuchos from Cochinita UyUyUy; tuna tostadas and shrimp tacos from Cevichento, and a taco Arabe from Arrachera’s Corner.
We ate so much more, at so many street places and markets, and if anyone wants names, I can offer up most of them. here are some assorted pics.
What a fantastic city, with the nicest, friendliest people ever. Going back for NYE!