Tag Archives: Mexican Food

Restaurant Pujol

Pujol – Mexico City, Mexico

Restaurant Pujol(above photo © Pujol)

PUJOL

(52) 5 545 3507
Francisco Petrarca 254 Polanco
México, D.F. 11570

www.pujol.com.mx

OPEN HOURS:
2:00 pm – 3:30pm  Monday – Saturday
8:00 pm – 10:30pm  Monday – Saturday

The above photo illustrates the combination of traditional and modern culinary thought  by celebrated chef Enrique Olvera.  Graduating from the Culinary Institute of America Snr. Olvera set himself back in the culinary mecca of DF.   Rather then imitating the New York food scene, Enrique opened Pujol with a daring approach – combing modern culinary techniques with the traditional ancient jewels of Mexican cuisine.

You can taste his success, but if you are looking for rankings, in 2012 Pujol ranked number 36th best restaurant in the world.  In 2014 we see a big jump up to number 20.  Kudos to well deserved accolades.

Pujol offers two tasting menus: ocean and earth.  We ordered both, only adjusting Earth to be vegetarian.  Thankfully – and contrary to many cities – this request was not an issue; quite contrary, the chef was pleased to adapt and create special courses for us.

As an overture to our evening we were presented with perfectly round pumpkin emitting a aromatic smoke.  Inside, to our delight, were smoked elotes skewers (baby corns) with a dipping coffee mayonnaise and ant dust.

An then the parade of mezcals and memorable delights began, starting with an extensive list of mezcals and the best sangritas we had in all of Mexico!

Service was to the top, no pretension and just lovely service. Again, like  Biko and Dulce Patria, the sommeliers and waiters, were educated patient and knowledgeable; giving detailed descriptions and answers to our endless list of questions.

 

Restaurant Pujolthe salsas

From left to right:
Salsa Roja: roasted garlic, onion, manzano and habanero chiles
Salsa Yucateca: pumpkin seeds, chamomile, lime and cilantro
Salsa Verde: habanero chiles, cilantro with its roots y and tomatillo

Restaurant Pujol
Restaurant Pujol
Restaurant Pujol(above photo chicharron de queso © Pujol)

Chicharron de Queso is a cheese tuile topped with three different avocado puree; one with chapulines (grasshoppers); the second one with pico de gallo (fresh chopped red onion, tomato, chile and lime) and the third avocado pure topped with tomatillo, cilntro and a bit of green chile.

Flautas de aguacate rellenes de camaron cristal

Flautas de aguacate rellenes de camaron cristal(above photo flauta de Aguacte © Pujol)

Thin avocado slices replacing a traditional deep fried flauta tortilla, filled with shrimp and octopus and a crunchy surprise, along with a chipotle mayonnaise on cilantro emulsion

Restaurant Pujol
Restaurant Pujol(above photo © Pujol)

Inflaita de huevo is an inflated fried tortilla filled with potato mousse, a little bit of black bean puree, red chile sauce with chapulines (grasshoppers) and wild cilantro topped with a perfectly cooked egg.  Yes it is a sous vide cooked egg – perfect texture all around.

Restaurant PujolHeirloom tomato salad with breaded Oaxaca cheese balls resting over avocado puree, fried tomato skin, bean leafs, sesame and chili vinaigrette.  On this dish the fried tomato skin was a revelation on color, texture and flavor

Restaurant Pujol(above photo Pulpo a la Mexicana© Pujol)

One grilled octopus tentacle tempura’d on one end and topped with pico de gallo (fresh chopped red onion, tomato, chile and lime) on the other.  Adorned with olive sauce and basil reduction.

This dish has a striking presentation and is cooked point to perfection.  This is one of the menu items were you can clearly appreciate the quality and freshness of the ingredients and see where the top ranking is deserved.

Pujol_015

Fish (robalo) ceviche taco; the tortilla was made with chayote and hoja santa topped with black bean puree, serrano chile, totomoxtle (the dried husk of an ear of corn) powder and dry chiles with lime juice.

Pujol_above photo © Adam Goldberg

Pan seared Guachinango (red snapper) with ginger orange mojo (garlic sauce) and tatemado (tatemar is a special charring technique in Mexican culinary that utilizes a cast iron pan)  male plantain and onion puree

Pujol

Thinly blown sugar sphere filled with piloncillo  (unrefined sugar that is commonly used in Mexican cooking), ice cream and guava puree.  It is topped with tiny lime meringues, peanut powder, amaranth crumble and mandarin gelatin.

We don’t know what was more impressive, the texture or the flavours – not to mention the super skilled pastry kitchen, blowing sugar so thin and perfect requires years of practice and patience.

Pujol__04above photo © Adam Goldberg

Cremoso de Aguacate is an avocado cream with salted macadamias coconut ice cream almond crumble  and coconut gelatin

 

Pujol__02above photo © Adam Goldberg

Caramelized camote (sweet potato) crunchy amaranth tuile, yogurt ice cream, milk panacotta y  guayabato (large guava with pink flesh) puree all the ingredients complemented each other seamlessly.

 

Pujol__03above photo © Adam Goldberg

Lime margarita granita with cointreau cream and meringues topped with lemon zest and  begonia dragon petals, not only beautiful but very refreshing like a bowl of snow.

Pujol__05above photo © Adam Goldberg

At the very end of our meal we had the Chipilín Sorbet.  Chipilin in an herb similar to the verdolaga and it grows in southern Mexico places like Chiapas and Oaxaca. It was flambe’d in mescal in a colorful last performance.

Restaurant Pujol Kitchen(above photo The very skilled team that makes it happen)
Restaurant Pujol Kitchen(above photo The Sous Chef)
Pujol Chef(above photo Super Chef Enrrique Olvera © Pujol)
Restaurant Pujol(above photo © Pujol) 

Mercado de San Juan Arcos de Bélen – Mexico City

Mercado-de-San-Juan_-011b

Mercado de San Juan Arcos de Bélen

Arcos de Belem y Lopez
Centro 06010, México, D.F.

Mexico city has numerous food markets and some of them share the same name, which makes it a bit difficult for the visitor to get to the desired destinations.  The Mercado de San Juan Arcos de Belén,  is different from the famous Mercado de San Juan – which was our destination.  Since we were never able to get a set address and following a multitude of different directions, we found ourselves at here.  Funny enough, it was after a few days later that we realizes it was a different Mercado de San Juan!!!

Fortunately our surprise detour brought us to roughly 125 square meters and 400 stales of fruits, vegetables, prepared foods, nuts & seeds, meats, chiles, moles, juices and so on.  At first the view of hanging strings with colorful plastic bags and signs everywhere advertising all the wonders of a traditional Mexican food market was a bit overwhelming.

After walking the through all the stimulating aisles of market, we decided to eat at Gloria y Familia Taco Placero located in stalls 191, 208 & 209.  Her selection of prepared foods grilled vegetables, rices, stewed huitlacoche, salsas, salads, tamales, beans and soups, seduced our senses each time we passed by.  It was also appeared as the most veggie friendly place with its series of ceramic trays displaying all kinds of delectables.

Our lunch really consisted of food that could be used as vehicles for all the different hot sauces.  Gloria had at least 10 different kind of freshly made salsas and hot sauces in her booth; all delicious and full of happiness!  So much so, that at the end, we asked here to fill our empty water bottles to carry these bursting flavors with us.

We ate grilled nopal cactus, sated onions, yellow rice and vegetable rice, many herbs native to Mexico, as well as stuffed poblano chiles, tamal (a corn based dough wrapped in a leaf, which is steamed or boiled) and elote.

After lunch, we stopped at a few stalls to buy moles and chiles. Our favorite stall being Moles Sarita (55182235) stalls 194 & 195.  Here we stuffed our bags with a generous sampler of moles and chiles.  In general every place we inquired the people seemed friendly and prompt to answer our many questions regarding names, origins and usages on all the wonderful foods.

Mercado-de-San-Juan_-003Fruit salad with topped with grated cheese
Mercado-de-San-Juan_-008Foreground – chiles cereza ; Background – chiles mora (measures about 4 cm in length)
Mercado-de-San-Juan_-007Chile de arbol – very spicy!!
Mercado-de-San-Juan_-013Familia Taco Placero stall 191, 208 & 209
Mercado-de-San-Juan_-012Familia Taco Placero stall 191, 208 & 209
Mercado-de-San-Juan_-016aFamilia Taco Placero stall 191, 208 & 209
Mercado-de-San-Juan_-014Scrambled eggs with nopal

Mercado-de-San-Juan_-023

 

Mercado-de-San-Juan_-020

 

Mercado-de-San-Juan_-006Moles Sarita, stalls 194 & 195
Mercado-de-San-Juan_-005 Moles Sarita, stalls 194 & 195

Mercado-de-San-Juan_-002

Dulce Patria – Mexico City, Mexico

Dulce Patria Margarita with tuna rosa (cactus flower) and golden sugar,
Agua Prehispanica with lime, chia seeds and maguey honey

Dulce Patria

(52) 55 –  3300 3999
Anatole France 100 Col. Polanco
Mexico D.F. 11560

www.dulcepatriamexico.com

OPEN HOURS:
1:30 pm – 11:30pm  Monday – Saturday
1:30 pm – 5:30 pm   Sundays

 

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.

Martha Ortiz / Chapa is co-author of eight cook-books: Cocina regia, encuentro con los sabores de Nuevo León, Sabor a independencia, cocina de Querétaro,  Sabor a eternidad, cocina de Tlaxcala (awarded with the 1992 Benjamin Franklin award); El real sabor, cocina de Hidalgo; El sabor del Edén, cocina de Tabasco, Cocina, nutrición y salud (winner of the Quórum price 2000), and Cocina de Sinaloa (winner of the Gourmand Cookbook Award and the silver medal of the Quórum 2003 prize).

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.

Dulce-Patria(above photo ©  Dulce Patria)
  Guacamole-tricolor(above photo guacamole ©  Dulce Patria)

 


Guacamole with fresh cheese and pomegranate seeds

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.
Flan-de-leche-de-coco
(above photo, coconut milk flan © Dulce Patria)
Maria-va-a-la-floreria
(above photo, María va a la florería © Dulce Patria)
Mario
Breads
Elixir of sweet cilantro with red serpentine


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