In the very chic neighborhood of Condesa, in a lovely space – originally designed in 1939 by architect Luis Barragan – one finds the cute Bonito Pop Food.
The entry is dominated by a lovely mural with sculpted ceramic birds, making way into four individual spaces: an intimate hidden at a corner, a second floor with windows overlooking the main patio, a 2nd patio with very tall ceiling – head here for a super decked bar with an amazing variety of Mezcal (including our favorite Mezcal Rojo Corazón) and many tequilas – and finally a terrace at the back of the venue with full view.
Bonito Pop food is a good place to go for drinks; but like many places in DF you are asked to consume food as well due to the liquor license laws. It seems that acquiring a bar license is much more difficult then a restaurant with liqueur permit.
The menu here is not the most exciting – centering around burgers, pastas, pizzas, salads, sandwiches and a few Mexican classics – but the service is warm and welcoming . There are certainly worse places to while away an afternoon!
Like stepping into a sci-fi conference-hall, the Polyforum Siqueiros is a transporting marvel. The Suclpainting technique of David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896-1974) creates a three-dimensional interior mural that takes over your mind – it is the largest in the world. If we were to make a cult-movie where the leader gets all of his followers to obey – this is the space.
(above photo foregound the creators statue of artist David Alfaro Siqueiros & benefactor Manuel Suarez y Suarez)
The outer Mural represents the leadership, the dead and the reborn tree, the circus, Moses breaking the law stones, Jesus the leader, the dance and flee of winter and summer, the Mestizaje, the music and the atom. Each face of the outer mural holds great philosophical symbolism related to the lectures of the forum’s inner mural
The interior space, known as the Foro Universal, is dominated by “The March of Humanity”, Siqueiros’s masterwork. A lifelong communist and advocate for social equality, David Alfaro Siqueiros was a member of the big three of Latin Art – including himself along with Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco. The main theme of this 237.6 square meter mind-bending mural is the evolution of man to a society where justice and freedom are truly integrated concepts.
It is awe inspiring in its scale and grandeur. Construction on the Polyforum was started in 1966, after it was decided to move the mural from its original location at a hotel conference center at the Hotel Casino de la Selva in Cuernavaca. Inaugurated in 1971, it is used today for political meetings, concerts, readings and gallery exhibitions.
The lobby area is a sleek white modern contrast that is does not quite prepare you for the onslaught of color you will find upon entering the main space. It is much more a 2001: A Space Odyssey foil to the sci-fi feel of the Foro Universal – with its white on white interiors and lines that curve. The lobby is used as an exhibition space, as well as housing a small by design shop that features some of the best creations in Mexican contemporary jewelry, ceramics, books clothing, home objects and more.
above photo “Peace, Culture & Harmony” east wall
The mural is divided in four sections:
“The March of Humanity towards the Bourgeois democratic Revolution” on the south side, represented by multitudes advancing from darkens into a civilization of light.
“The March of Humanity towards the Future Revolution” on the north side showing the hope and obstacles in life and the difficulties in conquering victory towards a further future.
“Peace, Culture & Harmony” on the east side manifested with women’s hands
“Science & Technology” on the west side manifested with man’s hands
Tip: On Sundays the interior platform spins – yes there is a turntable too!
We came to know Dulce Patria thanks Christina Potters of Mexico Cooks, whilst researching restaurants for our visit to DF. We owe Christina a large debt of gratitude for this wonderful recommendation; for in a city that reverberates flavor, Dulce Patria topped our list overflowing with colors, tastes, visuals and passion.
From the moment you enter and are greeted by the smiling hostess, in her Frida Kahlo-esque attire, your vision is overwhelmed with a smashingly bright pink floor. As your eyes begin to lift, you are transported into the fantastic world of chef/owner Martha Ortiz. Destined for a journey in Willy Wonka style – where plate after stunningly beautiful plate leaves your eyes wide with wonder..
The series of unique presentations, flavors and elaborations are drawn from the profound cultural and artistic Mexican heritage. It is not only the first impact when a plate is placed on the table, but the myriad of surprises doled out by every bite and the elaborate story behind every dish. It really is a delight to experience a menu that has been deeply conceptualized. If you ever find yourself at Dulce Patria, don’t hold back. Order of each part of the menu and just enjoy.
We would also like to offer thanks to the incredibly knowledgeable, patient and graceful staff. They were happy to help educate us -explaining the different cooking techniques, their cultural background, as well as a detailed translation of every ingredient unknown to our vocabulary.
The menu begins with a list of designer cocktails, margaritas, tequilas and mezcals. Each one more seductive then the last. There is also a beautiful selection of Aguas Frescas – the traditional infusions of Mexico flavored with fruits, nuts, herbs and spices. Imagine something between a juice and an Iced tea but far more interesting.
She is currently working on “México que a todo sabes” and “El secreto de los labios, la caricia del maíz” con Laura Esquivel and Guillermo Kahlo. Martha has also collaborated with Raymundo Sesma in a piece “The Last Supper” for the (Venice Biennale, 1993).
The menu is very accessible with many vegetarian options and some that are tough to classify (Ant Eggs?). Highlights for us were the Robalo Ajochile (sea-bass) over a hoja santa tamal and verdolagas sauce, the Mole enchiladas filled with plantain with requeson and beans and the Salad of red and green jitomates with crispy Parmesan cheese and crunchy chapulines (grasshoppers).
The photos below speak for themselves, but know that each dish’s aesthetic is eclipsed by its flavor; and that for all its beauty, artistry and glamour, Dulce Patria exudes a feeling of love and acceptance; A warmth that is often lacking in upscale establishments. Kudos to one of our favorite restaurants we’ve found world-wide.
Crispy tostadas topped with escabeche salmon sprinkled with chipotle sauce and chili cora reduction drops. Usually we are not big fans of cooked salmon, but the consistency and moisture were so perfect, can’t wait to have it again; hope it remains in the menu.
Cebiche de coco y rosas, white fish ceviche with jicama lime marinated in coconut milk served with rose sorbet drisseld a vinaigrette of tuna (cactus flower), garnished with rose gelatine.
Torta Exotica, egg tortilla with escamoles (ant larvae harvested from the roots of the agave or maguey plant) and maguey blossoms.
On our first visit to Dulce Patria we where were all a bit undecided for our main course, due to the overwhelming amount of new flavor varieties to our palates. The kitchen rescued us with a mole sampler to help us decide and learn the difference between Mexico’s different Moles. Well, it worked on the educational level, but not on the decision making, as all the moles were so delicious and different we wanted them all!
Cream of pumpkin blossoms with toasted almonds
Cream of pumpkin blossoms and turmeric with toasted almonds and chile poblano
Frida Kahlo dessert of rompope (eggnog) panna cotta in a mandarin tequila sauce
with tobacco ice cream garnished with pine nuts and cacao.
Selection of sangritas: left to right; Green tomatillo with diced jicama, pineapple and jicama, beet and diced cucumber. Sangrita is another of our passionate pleasures and the staff happily brought out a sampling for us!
From left to right: Dulce Patria Margarita with tuna rosa (cactus flower) and golden Sugar, Agua Prehispanica with lime, chia seeds and maguey honey Miracle pistachio horchata