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Restaurants & Bars

2017 Mexico City Restaurant Reviews by ALEDM Exchange Rate $17.72MXP = US$1

aledm | Oct 25, 201704:33 PM

NOTE: we always share our meals, typically ordering one starter, one main and one dessert for the two of us. That makes a big difference in the cost of our meals and the expansion of our waistlines. We don’t have the kitchen split the meals because Audre doesn’t eat as much as Dimitri. We just ask for an extra plate and Audre takes what she thinks she should eat. On our new regime, we rarely have wine or beer with our meals. Frankly, we feel better the next day.

ALE and DM discussed adding ratings to our restaurant reviews and compromised on the following ratings:
HR: Highly recommended
R++: Recommended almost as much as HR
R: Recommended
NR: Not recommended
A: Awful

1. Upscale

1.1 HR: Quintonil - Newton 55, Col. Polanco, tel 5280-2680. www.quintonil.com. Our meal at Quintonil was perfect and we heartily recommend this restaurant. We liked our table and the chairs were comfortable. Our mesero, Juan Carlos Lira Lazcano, was personable and knowledgeable. The room is minimalistically pleasant with an open ceiling early in the evening (but thankfully no smoking). The food was creative, cutting edge and very tasty. The only problem was a very noisy table of young men nearby. Oh well—not the restaurant’s fault. Chef Jorge Vallejo has created a restaurant in which the meal is a dramatic adventure--almost like theater. We ordered one degustacion menu for the month of October ($1950 MXP) and asked that the meal be brought as intended and to just give Audre and extra plate. We also ordered a bottle of Arboleda Carmenere ($856 MXP) which we liked. The combination of tastes was inspired and the pacing of the meal was very good—we dined for 3 hours. First, we were brought 2 tortillas and 3 salsas—the frijole salsa was the best (the tortillas were a little thick and heavy). Our first course (of 11) was a beetroot and orange juice (delicious) and a nopal cebiche--the taste of the dish was very good. Course two was a seafood “vuelve a la vida”-thinly sliced clam, tiny cubes of tongue and “noisette” spices. We noticed as the evening progressed that different cooks from the kitchen served and described dishes throughout the evening. Claus Meyer was one of the cooks who came by to introduce himself and offer whatever help we needed—very nice. This place really understands the value of entertainment as well as super good food. It was fun. Other people with different responsibilities also stopped by to chat with us. This made the evening even more fun. Course three was a Charred avocado tartare, “escamoles” and herb chips. Audre thought this was the most innovative dish because the avocado kept its texture but tasted decidedly smoky. The spinach dust around the dish was delicious. Course four was a “Salbut” (from the Yucatan) with wild mushrooms confit in “agave” honey, seasoned with a “chile mixe” powder. This dish was really tasty. Course five was a Nixtamalized vaquita beans in a plantain “pico de gallo”. The cover is taken off the bean in a way similar to how corn is husked and then just the inside is used in the dish. It was served with a small glass of juice of tomatillo, chile cerrano and green apple which had a divine taste (we’d love to replicate this one at home). Course six was an octopus mosaic, “tomatillo” sour cream, purslane sauce. This dish was exquisitely delicious. The seventh course was the catch of the day—a black Covina—served in “tlapique” brown butter and “pepita” sauce. The charred taste and smell of the corn husk surrounding the fish, infused the fish and, even though the fish was overcooked, the dish was excellent—the pepita sauce was intensely delicious. Our eighth course was Cordero de Malinalco, hoja santa, chapulines, hojas estafadas y mole estilo Atocpan. It was nothing like a lamb dish that we might have expected. The lamb with grasshoppers was tasty and surprising. We were getting really full so the nopal cactus sorbet that came next was a relief. The kitchen gave us two which was very nice. The first dessert was a frozen “cuitlacoche” (or huitlacoche) cake with farmers’ cream from Queretaro and pink “nicuatole”. Dimitri didn’t like this dish. The next dessert, “sweet milpa”, charred corn ice cream, corn pudding and candied zucchini blossoms was more of a hit. We wished that it contained more candied zucchini blossoms—most unusual. After dinner we were invited to visit the kitchen and we were astounded how small it was (we think that the prep area was upstairs). Chef Jorge Vallejo was most gracious, autographed our menu and had a picture taken with us (we had forgotten to bring the book called Larousse Grandes Chefs Mexicanos published in Aug. 2017 for him to autograph). We spent $2806 MXP plus tip and think that this was the best and most fun restaurant experience of our three-week Mexico eating extravaganza.

1.2 HR: Biko, Av. Presidente Masaryk 407, Col. Polanco, 11550 Mexico City, tel 01 55 5282 2064, http://biko.com.mx/. We had an exceptionally good meal and excellent service. This is the kind of fine dining experience we love. The restaurant is beautiful, the service was professional, informative and friendly and the food was exceptional. We highly recommend this restaurant. When we arrived at 7 p.m. it was a little empty (and the music a little too loud) but by the time we left, it was full. We shared one menu degustacion Octubre and it was plenty of food for two ($1210 MXP). We also drank a bottle of De Martino Cabernet Sauvignon from Valle de Maipo in Chile ($590 MXP) and we liked it. We were brought crusty bread that was very good and then an amuse bouche. The amuse was a fish mousse, made with a creamy cheese, and a caldo de pescado and served on a marble dish. Both had subtle tastes and were light. Our first course was a terrine of fois gras, elote y regaliz, served with thinly toasted bread and served on a petrified wood plate. There was a licorice-like taste that was fun. Our second course was “La Hora del Bogavante y el Vermu” with small crayfish flavored with vermouth. The sauce was intensely flavored with fish and it was delicious. Our third course was a “crema de hongos, epazote y tortilla” that was very, very good. There was fresh epazote in the soup and it was fun to taste it and recognize it. Our fourth course was “Lubina, Cecina de yecapixtla y pimentos asados”. The sea bass was a little over cooked for our taste but the dish was good. Our next course was “Pluma Negra” – a shoulder blade (we think) with a black sauce from the Yucatan (we think). It was an excellent dish. The six course was “El Mundo dulce de los quelites” that was green heaven. Our last course was buñuelo de jengibre that was wonderful (but it was difficult to eat the crisp vermicelli). We ended our meal with a café and were very, very happy and impressed. We spent $1865 MXP.

1.3 HR: Pujol de Enrique Olvera, Tennyson 133, Col. Polanco, 11550 Mexico City, 01 55 5545 4111, email reservaciones@pujol.com.mx. We had a wonderful meal at Pujol (the “j” is pronounced like a “j”, not as the more traditional “h”) and had fun too! This is Mexican food at its best. There are some surprises; first, it is more of a bistro than a fine dining restaurant. Second, when we arrived for our reservation at 6:30 p.m., it was almost full and quickly became so. Third, we were sitting at the end of the banquette near the door to the kitchen and periodically there were shouts coming from there sounding as if there were a sergeant training troops. Fourth, from time to time, an air freshener puffed out a lemony scent (which we found very odd in a restaurant dedicated to intense food flavors). Fifth, the lighting was overly subdued to the point where you couldn't get the full visual effect of the dishes. In addition, the music in our corner was too loud. One of the staff had the volume lowered and it was much better. We ordered one degustacion menu ($1957MXP plus $100 MXP extra for the lobster infladita that we chose) and asked that it not be divided in the kitchen. We ordered a bottle of the 2015 Blau Celler Can Blau Montsant Espana ($800 MXP) and we liked it (we were relieved that there was a somewhat reasonably priced wine on their list). The first course was called Street Snacks. We were given two (not one) tiny gorditas topped with a tasty morsel and a cassava gourd from the Yucatan filled with corn husks and two charred baby corn with an adobe chile sauce over it and sprinkled with flecks of ant (escamole) dust. Yummy! From the second course menu, we chose the rice, geoduck clam, scallop, mulato. It was creamy (like risotto) and a very tasty concoction that had shavings of the seafood it in. It was a reddish color and topped with bright green parsley. Very delicious but occasionally we crunched on a salt crystal which we didn’t like. For the third course, we chose the lobster infladita that had big pieces of lobster in it and which was served with a serrano, adobo and tomatillo sauce. The dish was very good and the sauce was delicious. The tortillas served with it were very light and corny. We were watching the dishes being served to the table next to us and we were impressed with the compositions (must be due to the orders being shouted in the kitchen)! For our fourth course, we chose the grilled fish (sea bass), hoja santa chickpea. The chickpea puree was sitting on top of a perfectly cooked, large filet of fish. On top of it was a green leaf fried crispy. The dish was a tour de force (or should I use the word proeza?). Our fifth course was the mole madre (1407 days old on the day we were eating it) as well as mole nuevo. The kitchen served us two dishes of this course and we were thankful because each mole was delicious. For pre-dessert, we were served an orange sorbet that had a dash of chile and mescal. We were very happy. Our dessert choice was Nicuatole which was a flan made with corn that had been caramelized and served with a corn ice cream. Yum! Then came the post-dessert treat of perfectly made churros. It was a great meal. As we were leaving, our server gave us a brief tour of the kitchen. It was astonishing; it is pretty small considering what the crew creates in such limited space (we were specially introduced to the woman who makes the light and delicious tortillas). Our meal was over by about 9 p.m. without any rushing and with plenty of time before the second seating at 9:30 p.m. We spent $2857 MXP plus tip and would encourage you to try it.

1.4 R: Almara, Varsovia esq. Hamburgo Col.Juárez, 06600 Mexico City,01 55 5230 1766, http://www.almara.rest/. We had a delicious comida and we recommend this restaurant. The room is lovely, the tables and chairs are comfortable and the service was excellent. The one problem was that on a Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. we were the only ones having comida. Such a shame. We were brought amuse bouche of little cubes of pork terrine accompanied by pretzels (of all things; was it for Octoberfest?). We asked for and were brought delicious bread. We ordered a Los Prada Malbec ($460 MXP) and it was good. We shared everything and ordered one Sopa de Pescado ($140 MXP) that was beautifully served and delicious. For our main we had Lomo de Robalo Rostizado Carlota with an eggplant and honey tart and a basil and tomato sauce ($310 MXP). The roasted sea bass was perfectly cooked and was a thick piece of fish—it was moist and tasty. With our main we ordered a cacerola de hongos, champion and Portobello mushrooms in a truffle oil sauce ($120 MXP) as well as basmati rice ($70 MXP). Both were very good. For dessert we ordered a Grand Marnier soufflé ($120MXP) that was excellent and a coffee ($40 MXP). The meal was a triumph and we were very glad we went. We spent $1260 plus tip and were very happy.

1.5 NR: Dulce Patria, Anatole France 100, Col. Polanco, 11560 Mexico City, tel. 3300 3999, www.dulcepatriamexico.com, https://marthaortiz.mx/en/. The dinner we had at Dulce Patria was a major disappointment and we don’t recommend this restaurant. We sat at the banquette and the tables next us were too close to each other. The Chef Ortiz has written her menu in poetry without explanatory details of the dishes. Our server did not speak English well and didn’t seem to be able to explain the dishes to us. The music was too loud and we had trouble hearing her speak anyway. We had difficulty deciding what to order and there was no menu degustation. We were brought filtered water with chamomile and mint in it. That was fine but there was no amuse bouche or bread—nothing to eat while we decided or while we waited. We were starting to be very unhappy. We wanted wine so our server sent the sommelier to us. He said the cheapest bottle of wine he had was $1200 MXP. We were incredulous and said “no way”. We decided to order the multicolored quesadillas ($156 MXP). The description of that dish in English included a sauce sultana that sounded interesting. The quesadillas were just empanadas. The fillings were each different but the tastes were not different from one another. The green tomato sauce with the empanadas was not distinguished. We inquired as to the cost of wines by the glass. Instead of an answer, our server appeared to pour a glass of Italian red wine for each of us, gratis, and we were incredulous again and thanked her profusely. Our next course was a crema de flores (squash blossom soup $148 MXP). It was beautifully served and had one zucchini flower petal in it as well as one tiny piece of tamale filled with huitlacoche—so small that you couldn’t taste it. The soup was tasty and we were starting to get happier—the volume of the music was lowered. Our next dish made us unhappy again. We ordered the duck in mole negro served with rice that was the color purple as a result of the herb muitle from Oaxaca in it ($296 MXP). The duck was minced and served in a timbale-shaped concoction. The flavor was good but we didn’t like the dish. Our server then came by with bread to choose. All of it was soft, filled with something, and we didn’t like it. We were still hungry and the dish the table next to us ordered looked good so we ordered it. It was pork loin medallions in an Amarillo mole sauce with mango, ginger and vegetables—and again the purple rice ($312 MPX). This dish was very good and so was the mole. We decided to get two desserts—one because it was described as having natas (a cream)—caramelized natas and pepper bread with sweet almond ice cream ($165 MXP). The other one we decided to get because of the poetic description “Lluvia fuego”—the rain that douses fire charred maize with cacao ice cream ($165 MXP). Neither was distinguished. We also had one decaf coffee ($48 MXP). We spent $1290 MXP plus tip and were only marginally happy and not at all impressed.

1.6 NR: SUD 777, Blvd. de la Luz 777, Col. Jardines del Pedregal, Del. Alvaro Obregon, 01900, Mexico City, 5568-4777, http://sud777.com.mx/contacto/. We were disappointed. The woman at the front of the house first gave us a small table and then seated us outside in the smoking area. We objected and Dimitri asked for a lovely booth in a sun-lit space of an otherwise dark restaurant. She would not because we were only 5. Dimitri found an acceptable table where we were comfortable and would watch the table for 6. It was never used during the whole time we were there. That was beyond annoying. Then we were mollified when Chef Edgar Nuñas came to our table to greet us. He autographed the Larousse Grandes Chefs Mexicanos (published in August 2017) book that our friends had given us. Dimitri and Audre had the menu degustacion ($950 MXP) while the other three had just appetizers, main courses and dessert. We shared a bottle of Pasion 4 Malbec ($665 MXP). Our server Adad B was good. Our guests started with salad or soup. Our menu had 6 courses plus dessert and were paced appropriately for the table. We started with a trout roe and an egg topped with foam with shrimp and maple syrup. It was a great start to the meal. Our second course was avocado, buttered toast and smoked mangalica lardo. It was good but nothing memorable. Our third course was a tomato skinned, boiled for a second and stuffed with jojoque. It was topped with a dollop of black cream that tasted smoked. The tomato was in an ash consommé. The dish was very good but the tomato did not have enough taste. Our fourth dish was very bad: the scallops, peach and morels. The scallops were terrible—tough and tasteless. Our friends were brought their main courses: duck, fish and tuna. The dishes were well-composed and our guests were happy. Our fifth course was steak tartar and quail egg. There was nothing distinctive about it, except perhaps that the meat was too fatty and insufficiently chopped up. Our sixth course was Korobuta pork, sweet potato and peas, cured ham. The pork was a disgrace: it was dry and tough. With our degustacion menu we had three desserts: one sacher, one figs ososigno with cilantro and one castile nut, sherry sorbet. The sacher, we gave to one of our guests. The fig was tasteless and the sorbet with castile nut was good. We spent $3385 MXP plus tip and had a good time with our friends but were very unhappy with the restaurant and would not recommend it.

1.7 NR: Astrid & Gaston, Tennyson 117, Col. Polanco, tel 5282-2666, http://www.astridygaston.com.mx/. Our meal at Astrid & Gaston was not a “wow” and we really can’t recommend the restaurant. We were seated away from the courtyard where smoking was allowed, as we requested. However, we were near a speaker and the music was too loud. Evidently it couldn’t be lowered any more than it already had been. We had too many servers and no one who was warm, welcoming and informative. Heriberto Garcia was our main mesero. He was too glum. It was too hot in the room. The food was delicious, however. We ordered a 2014 Underraga Aliwin Carmenere and Cabernet Sauvignon blend ($500MXP) that was really good. Then we ordered a starter and a main and shared the dishes as usual. Each portion was huge and we couldn’t finish our meal. Our starter was a Ceviche de Mariscos with seafood a fabulous rocoto (chile) sorbet and a aji amarillo leche de tigre ($250MXP). The leche de tigre was really yummy and the dish as a whole was wonderful—but too big for a starter. We were served pink bread—5 different types to choose from. We didn’t like it—too much like cake. Our main was the El Cochinillo de Tres Semanas ($475 MXP). The suckling pig was only 3 weeks old when it was sacrificed for our meal. It was served with a reduction of its juices into which cocoa was added and it was served with baby bananas and refried black beans and rice tacu tacu. The dish was fabulous, with crispy skin that we love. But it was too much. We ordered for dessert the suspiro a la limena ($130MXP) and didn’t eat it because it was awful—too sweet. Instead we ordered the picarones clasicos ($135MXP) which were very good. We also ordered a coffee and we were served 4 different types of mignardeses—tiny cookies that were very good. We spent $1400MXP and were reminded that fabulous food is only one of the requisite elements of fabulous meal at a restaurant.

2. Local

2.1 HR: Nicos, Av. Cuitláhuac 3102, Col. Clavería, Del. Azcapotzalco, City 02080, tel. 5396-7090, nicosmexico.mx. This comida was fun and we recommend this restaurant! It is a little out of the way but worth the trip. We got a reservation at 1 p.m. which was a little early. By the time we left, the lunch rush was on. We started with a sopa de fideos con mollejas—soup with vermicelli noodles and sweetbreads ($90 MXP) that was tasty and light. Then we ordered the cochinita pibil “clasicos de Nicos” ($275 MXP) with cerdo from a hacienda. It was tender and tasty—very good. We had one Entrelineas –(malbec, nobile and syrah blend) from Mexico ($145 MXP) that we enjoyed. For dessert we ordered one budin de elote ($115 MXP) that was good and one buñeulos ($115) that we didn’t like. We also had the café de olla ($120 MXP) that was very special and we suggest you have it too. We spent $925 MXP and were very happy. Chefs Elena Lugo y Gerado Vazquesz Lugo are in the 2017 Larousse Grandes Chefs Mexicanos (Aug. 2017).

2.2 HR: Contramar, Durango 200 , Colonia Roma, Mexico City, +52 (55) 5514 9217, contramar.com.mx. We had an excellent meal with great service. We recommend this restaurant highly. We went early for comida but by the time we left, the restaurant was full and lively. We were brought green chile salsa, tostadas, pickled vegetables and onions, as well as excellent bread. We started with a sopa de pescado (fish and tomato soup with snook) $129 MXP. It was okay but not memorable. We wanted to have a whole fish grilled but the smallest red snapper was 1 kilo—too big for us. Our server, Jesus, asked the boss and we were brought ½ of the fish. It was butterflied, halved and then grilled with a red chile sauce on one side and a parsley/cilantro sauce on the other ($330.30 MXP). It was a very tasty fish and was cooked properly. We had one bottle of Matinata, a white wine from Sicily ($495 MXP) that we were happy with. We spoke to one of the supervisors and then to Jesus and learned that there were fresh sea urchin, erizos, in the kitchen that we love. So after a complete meal we ate one order ($335 MXP) and they were delicious. Wow! We were so happy. We spent $1338.30 plus tip.

2.3 HR: El Cardenal Restaurante, Callejon de 5 de Mayo no. 31, Centro, Mexico 06000, 55-21-3080 www.restauranteelcardenal.com Wow, what a blast from the past. We were taken to the upper floor in an elevator with an operator in white gloves. The room, the stained glass and the entire atmosphere was from an era long past and evoked with much nostalgia. We were there for the natas (clotted cream) and we had THREE orders ($58 MXP each). Was that delicious, or what? With it was served a crunchy, crusty bread—Perfect. In order to justify eating that, we also ordered Escamoles sautéed in garlic, epazote and onion ($270 MXP)—a superb delicacy of pre Hispanic tradition. The ant eggs themselves don’t have much taste so were really just eating the sauce. We didn’t finish the escamoles—we went back to concentrating on the natas. We were served some pan dulce ($23 MXP) that we didn’t eat. We ordered extra bread ($12 MXP) for 3. With the natas and the bread, we had a fabulous breakfast too the next day! This is an extraordinary place that deserves to flourish! We spent $504 MXP plus tip and were ecstatic.

2.4 R: Testal, Dolores 16, Local C, esq. Independencia, Col. Centro, Mexico, (55) 5510-1358, http://testal.mx/. We had a very nice comida at Testal and recommend this restaurant. Unfortunately because the street in front of the restaurant is torn up, there were very few people eating there on a Sunday afternoon. It’s a pleasant room, with nice art, and the service was very good. There was a video running on the TV screens around the room showing scenes of Mexico and they were entertaining. We were served chips and salsa and an amuse bouche; it was a tostada with a cucumber on top filled with a shrimp in a mayonnaise sauce. We enjoyed it. We started with a Sopa des habas con camaron ($90 MXP). The fava bean soup was tasty and there were nice pieces of shrimp in it. For our main we had Huaxmole de espinazo de cerdo ($120 MXP). It was a stew-like soup inspired by the Mixteca cuisine with a delicious mole sauce. We had one beer and one glass of house cabernet ($35 MXP and $135 MXP). For dessert we had one geletina sauva de guanabana—a panna cotte-like dish that was very good ($90 MXP) and one coffee ($35 MXP). We were happy and we spent $505 MXP.

2.5 R: Huset, Colima 256, Roma Norte, Col. Roma, +52 (55) 5511 6767, huset.mx. This restaurant in Roma is more of a neighborhood bistrot than an important destination restaurant. The night we were there a large group was going to eat in the courtyard so we were seated in a room upstairs. That room was off of the inviting-looking bar. If it weren’t for the uncomfortable chairs, it would have been perfect. Fernando Ibarra Perez, our mesero was good. We ordered a bottle of Spanish Tramuz Ribero del Duero tempranillo ($540 MXP) and waited (and waited) for the made-at-the-moment bread—or something to have with the wine. The bread wasn’t worth waiting for. It was more like cake. We ordered the pizza de higos frescos, jamon serrano, azucar Morena, tomillo ($230 MXP). The figs and ham combination was good. The crust was not. For our main we had the robalo (sea bass) à la leña ($255 MXP). The fish was a thick cut and perfectly grilled. The skin was crisp and it was delicious. It was sitting in a cast iron fry pan on a frijoles negro, avocado and cilantro mixture that was good but too salty. We were full so we did not have anything else. It was a good meal but not memorable. We spent $1025 MXP plus tip.

2.6 R (with caveat): Amaya, General Prim 95, Colonia Juárez, Del. Cuauhtémoc. Ciudad de México. CP 06600 info@amayamexico.com. We had a good meal but it was not exceptional. If you are in the area, we would recommend it. As for us, it took nearly an hour for us to get there in a taxi during the rush hour and it was not worth that. Our server was good and brought the chef to our table to make sure that our fish was cooked the way we would like it. We were brought very good bread and olive oil. We chose the starter of grilled mackerel with eggplant and wild mushrooms ($175 MXP) and it was very good but much too salty. The mushrooms were deep fried and crunch which was unusual and they were good, as was the eggplant. We asked for two glasses of Spanish white wine and were told that they only had enough for two ½ glasses and they would provide them to us for free. When we wanted one more glass of wine, we were brought an Italian wine that was kind of like cider and we didn’t like it. So we stuck with only having the first ½ glass of wine and no more. For our main course we chose the grilled thornyhead fish (a fish from North America) with brocollini and lemon ($350 MXP). Based on the first fish dish we asked that the thorny head not have salt on it. The fish was tasty and juicy but was too salty for us. The aioli that came with the brocollini was very good. It was a large portion and we had ordered enough food. We thought that our first dish was better and more creative than the main. We spent $525 MXP plus tip.

2.7 NR: Cafe de Tacuba, Tacuba 28, Centro Historico, Mexico City, tel 5521-2048, cafedetacuba.com.mx Our guide from Estacio Mexico raved about this restaurant and told us it had natas (clotted cream). We don’t recommend it. The rooms are fabulous, with stained glass and decorations from a past era and the costumes of the servers are worth seeing. They have design down pat; now they need to work on their food. First disappointment: they do not serve natas. We decided to have the Menu of the Day ($275 MXP). It was certainly a good deal but the food was not good. The first course was a stuffed potato (Dimitri liked; Audre did not). The second course was a consommé that was not interesting. The third course was a chicken in mole poblano sauce, served with rice and more mole poblano sauce. The chicken was so over cooked it was like mush and the mole poblano was the worst rendition we’ve had. The last course was a rice pudding that Dimitri liked and coffee. We spent $275 MXP plus tip and were unhappy.

2.8 A: Guzina Oaxaca, Mazaryk 513, Local 3/4, Col. Los Morales Sección Alameda, Ciudad de México. Mexico City, http://guzinaoaxaca.com/elThis restaurant gives food from Oaxaca a bad rap. We spent a wonderful month eating well in Oaxaca a couple of years ago and the food at this restaurant is a terrible example. We don’t recommend you eat there. We had three bad dishes. The first one was Tlayuda Tradicional ($185 MXP). It was a tortilla filled with pork fat, black bean paste, cabbage, Oaxacan cheese and served with a paper-thin slice of meat that couldn’t have been tougher. The tortilla was dry and tasted stale. Our next dish was Tarnalitos con quelites ($90 MXP) that was tamales with herbs, dried chile sauce, purslane, cheese and cream. It was a slightly better dish but the tamales were bland and very heavy. Our next dish was Mole Negro with Wild Turkey ($270 MXP). The mole was good enough but the turkey was inedible—it was dry and awful. We didn’t eat it and complained. The manager removed it from our bill and we ended up paying for the bottle of Casa Madera Malbec ($715 MXP) that we ordered, water and the two starters we ordered. We spent $1070 MXP and were very, very unhappy.

3. Other

3.1 HR: Adonis, Homero 424, Local A, Polanco, Mexico City, tel 5250-2064. The rooms are decorated with a Middle Eastern flair and the service was quite good. We recommend this restaurant—they even have belly dancers on some evenings. We had one Adonis Plato Libanes ($270 MXP) that was huge and served with pita. It had hommos, baba ganoush, tabule, joccoque seco, kibbe bola, kibbe crudo, stuffed grape leaves (hoja de parra), stuffed cabbage (tacos de col) and stuffed zucchini (calabaza relleno). Everything was delicious. Olives and pickled vegetables were also served and were very good. For dessert we also had one Esmalie made with nata that Dimitri loves ($75 MXP) and one Turkish coffee ($35 MXP). It was a wonderful lunch and we were thrilled to find this restaurant. We spent $450 MXP plus tip. Another day we had a delicious comida/lunch at Adonis. It was packed and we ordered too much but we had fun.

3.2 HR: Casa Portuguesa, Emilio Castelar 111-A, Col. Polanco, Mexico City, +52 55 5281 0075, http://www.casaportuguesa.rest/ We had a perfect meal and Jaime Olguin provided perfect service! We highly recommend this restaurant. One of us wanted meat; the other wanted fresh sardines (from Spain no less). We sat inside because the patio allows smoking. Other diners were finishing their comida when we arrived for an early dinner. The room is nicely decorated with Portuguese tiles on the wall and the tables have white tablecloths with flowers on them. We were served bread with a piri piri sauce and we ordered a Donna Ermelinda red ($400MXP) that we liked. We ordered one sardinhada which was accompanied by a baked potato and sautéed peppers ($225MXP). Dimitri loved his dish. Audre ordered the Bife Al Oporto (sirloin filet with port wine and mushrooms) which came with pureed potatoes but which Audre asked for with steamed vegetables ($325 MXP). Audre’s steak was perfectly cooked and, although she could only eat half of it, she was very happy. We decided not to have dessert at Casa Portuguesa so we spent $965 MXP plus tip and were pleased. Another day we had a delicious comida/lunch at Casa Portuguesa. We were greeted as if we were visiting dignitaries and had a great time sitting outside. On weekends, no smoking is allowed on the patio. It was another great meal.

3.3 R: Mar del Zur, Emilio Castelar 163, Col. Polanco, 11560 Mexico. T. +52 (55) 5280-4360, http://www.mardelzur.com/. We were very pleased with our meal and recommend this Thai-Mex fusion restaurant. Our service was good and the heaters outside kept us toasty. The music, however, was too loud (and the next door bar’s music competed). We asked for it to be turned softer and it was. We were served an amuse bouche of empanadas stuffed with fish and served with a green salsa. We liked that. The bread basket had crunchy bread sticks and interesting rolls. That kept us happy while we were waiting. We started with a Ensalada de atun Puket ($170 MXP) and it was very good. It had seared sliced tuna encrusted in sesame seeds, and lettuce filled with jicama, mango, cilantro, hierbabuena (mint) and chile in a nuoc cham sauce. Our second dish was Recado Fusion ($380 MXP) that was a filet cooked in a banana leaf and served with vegetables and rice. We like the dish, although the fish was overcooked. We had two glasses of Spanish white wine ($280 MXP) and one sorbet ($85 MXP). We spent $915 MXP plus tip.

3.4 R: Tiradito, Ariosto #16, PB, Colonia Polanco, CDMX 11560, tel. 5280 4490, www.tiradito.mx. We had a very good comida with very good service. We were brought chips with 4 different salsas. We ordered 8 different fish dishes and liked them all. We had the cazuela mariscos ($160 MXP) that was filled with shellfish and fish and a very large portion. We had two taco de pescado a la plancha ($45MXP x 2) that were excellent. We had one Tiradito de atun con aguacate y habanero ($140 MXP) that we liked very much. We were drinking copas of white wine and drank 3 ($75 MXP x 3). Next we ordered the Tiradito de Pulpo ($140 MXP) and liked that too. We liked the pescadillas ($40MXP) which are like empanadas but very crispy and the panuchos de pescado ($40 MXP), a pancake-like thing filled with frijoles, but that was difficult to eat. Finally we had a mousse de mango caramelizada ($75MXP) that was very good with a very good cafe Americano. The restaurant is only one year old and is a sister restaurant of Tiradito Palmas. We had a nice chat with the manager, a young woman who seemed to be everywhere and working hard. We spent $940 MXP plus tip and were happy.

3.5 NR, maybe A: La Barra de Fran, Emilio Castelar 185, Polanco, Mexico City 11560, 52806650 https://www.labarradefran.com/. We were massively disappointed in our meal. The place looks like a Spanish tapas bar and that’s what we wanted. Sitting outside was not a possibility because people were smoking and it was too cold. We sat on the banquette in the back by the alcove where the staff was having its dinner. On the banquette next to us on the other side was an obese drunken man, sometimes shouting on his cell phone. While the room is pleasant our setting was not. We chose 4 tapas and they were neither made in the kitchen nor fresh—we got canned stuffed squid ($150 MXP), canned cockles ($195 MXP), dry blood sausage made somewhere else ($98 MXP) and Iberian sausage ($150 MXP). The bread and olive oil provided were good. We had two glasses of a Rioja ($118 MXP x 2) also. We left very unhappy having spent $845 MXP plus tip.

3.6 NR: Ramen House, Rio Tiber no. 71, Col. Cuauhtémoc, Del. Cuauhtémoc, 06500 Cuidad de México, CDMX, Mexico, Cuauhtémoc+52 55 5511 4137 Dimitri liked the udon soup he ordered ($130 MXP) Audre didn't like the duenjang-jjige tofu thing she ordered ($150MXP).

3.7 A: Rokai Rio Ebro 87, Cuahutemoc, Mexico City, Mexico 06500, +52 55 5207 7543, www.edokobayashi.com. We tried one akami ensenada nigiri and Dimitri didn’t think that the rice was good so we left.

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