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Itzocan Bistro Review

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Itzocan Bistro Review

MMRuth | Jun 30, 2005 09:25 AM

We went last night for dinner - early, around 5:15. Place was empty at that time, but filled up quite a bit before we left. Found a parking space right in front, and my husband went to the Bodega across the street to use the ATM as it's cash only.

The atmosphere is simple but nice, and certainly very clean. Two Slovakian sisters handle the front - hostess/waitress/bar and are friendly.

I had them put a Negra Modelo on ice for my husband while he was getting cash. Nice selection of beers, including one my husband said was better than NM - but can't remember which it was. Also ordered a bottle of Argentine Cabernet Sauvignon ($27) - it was very warm to start, but they put it on ice for us. There is a small but well chosen selection of reds and whites, and, of course, Sangria.

The cuisine is not your typical Mexican (which we were aware of) - no tacos, no guacamole, no chips etc. Rather, they use traditional Mexican ingredients in interesting ways.

To start, I had pate and my husband had the huitlachoche souffle cake. The pate came with cornichons, a small dressed salad of baby greens and onion confit. The souffle cake came with the same salad. Both were good, but not outstanding. I think I would try something else next time - we're going back with a larger group on Saturday.

We followed with the lambshank, which my husband said was incredible, and I had the wild mushroom ragu with huitlacoche tamale and truffle oil. It was delicious - very rich, and I used a lot of the good bread to sop up ever last bite, aided by the man across the table from me (of course!).

For dessert, we had ice cream (dulce de leche & hazlenut) and a pear tart. Ice cream was great - they said it wasn't made on the premises but didn't know where. Tasted like Ciao Bella to me. Pear tart reminded me of the prune pie my mother-in-law makes in the DR, at least in terms of the not-too-sweet but flaky crust. Denser than a typical American pie crust. I had a cup of good coffee after dessert (no espresso).

All in all, very interesting food and I look forward to exploring more items on the menu. In addition to the one page set menu, there was a page of daily specials. Service was lovely.

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