Tag Archives: Polanco

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

Hotel Camino Real Polanco

Camino Real Polanco – Mexico City


Fountain at the Camino Real


Hotel Camino Real Polanco

Mariano Escobedo 700
Col. Anzures
México D.F. 11590 Mexico
(52) 55 5263 8888
(52) 55 5227 7200

www.caminoreal.com

Strolling on our way from Roma to Polanco, we passed the Hotel Camino Real.  It has an awesome facade by Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta and I’m sure an equally mod interior to match.

Most exciting was the fountain in the entry.  It was unlike any we had previously seen.  Instead of the normal geysers and sprays, this was an homage to the oceans power; a constant swirl of motion and just mesmerizing to watch.

Hotel-Camino-Real_003Above photo © David Manning

Hotel Camino Real
Hotel Camino Real Polanco

 

Hotel Condesa DF – Mexico City, Mexico

Hotel Condesa DF

52 55 5282 2199
V. Veracruz N.102
Condesa, 06700
Mexico DF, Mexico

www.condesadf.com

The much hyped and reviewed Condesa DF in Mexico City (DF) easily lives up to its reputation as a top design hotel. From its prime location, adjacent to a lovely art & tree filled park, in the chic Condesa district – think NYC’s West Village – to its distinctive triangular form, everything about the Condesa DF sets it apart.

The main interior is an open triangular courtyard looking up 5 flights to the happening roof-top bar and the sky above. White shutters line the interior catwalks, creating an openness during the day and a protective barrier when closed at night. Dangling down the center is a vine of silver horns, splaying out like the bells of a foxglove, emitting a low murmuring of ticking and tocking – with a grandfather clock’s steady comfort rather then an alarm clock’s annoying reminder of time passing. The restaurant’s elegant white tables fall within this surrounding whiteness with a few protected rooms along the sides for enclosed dining.  One of these contains an excellent shop filled with some of the choicest jewelry seen in all of DF – at surprisingly good prices. A second side room is a library filled with photo & design books dedicated to Mexico’s deep cultural and art scene.

 

We stayed in a Balcony-View Room. It was small, but well appointed with a very comfortable bed and excellent pillows (something often lacking!). The balcony turned out to be a window overlooking the tree’s that filled the street below. It was quite lovely to wake up, throw the curtains and gaze upon the flowing leaves while gathering in the fresh air and listening to DF’s ever-present songbirds.

The shower was like standing under an 80 foot water-fall – pressure that would give a Japanese Onsen competition. Fantastic!  Interestingly the toilet was the only ‘industrial’ item to be found in the entire hotel.  It could have come from a high-school or hospital.  Once again the bathroom was on the smallish side, but nicely laid out and cleverly hidden behind folding partitions.

If there was anything to pick on at the Condesa DF, it was that the room seemed designed more for a single person then a couple. There was only a single key that combined as an electrical shut-off and the safe-box was locked via credit-card over code. This made it hard to be on separate schedules. One night I ventured out to meet a friend at a local night-club. We wound up having to take apart the key ring so the room had power and I need not wake anyone on returning home. But these were small inconveniences and easily managed.

 

The staff was pleasant and consistently polite and helpful. Our night’s stay included one of the more expansive  and impressive continental breakfasts seen to date; containing a self serve bar of home-made granola, cereals, fruits, yogurts, along with honey, milk and cottage cheese. The was also an excellent selection of breads, alongside quality portions of smoked salmon, prosciutto, salami, white and hard cheeses, tomatoes, compotes, hard eggs, butter and creamed cheese.  Decanters of fresh orange, carrot & grapefruit juice offered a vibrant start to the day. The coffee was as good as anywhere we found in Mexico – which means not great, but drinkable (There seems to be a tendency to dilute and over-boi)l. There is also an a-la-carte menu with huevos rancheros and other delightful Mexican dishes.  Be sure to take a substantial breakfast to start your day, as you need the calories for the never ending activity that is sure to follow in the wonderful city of Mexico DF.

 

The steam room and “spa area” are the weak point of the Condesa DF.   They seem an after-thought,  a requirement tossed in to earn an extra star rating.   Luckily, the tempest-like shower more then makes an adequate “spa experience” and is conveniently located right in your room!

A quick note on taxis:
We have never encountered a city where the rates and hustling in taxis is so widespread.  This is something that should really be better regulated.  So if this is the kind of thing that annoys you, please keep in mind to specify you want a ‘taxi-meter taxi’ when you order a car service AND to specify to the driver to use the meter.  Otherwise the hotel (and every business in town apparently) will order what they term ‘a more elegant car’ – which is really the same car without the taaxi paint – and the rates can be up to 7 times the taximeter rate.  We paid between 20 & 120 pesos for the same ride, until we got our head around the costs.  Do not be put off by this, just know it.

Mexico City (DF) is a safe and amazing city, full of grand architecture, strong design and culinary artistry.  The Condesa DF is a lovely home-away-from-home to base yourself.  Centrally located on a quiet block in a leafy section of town; each evening we were happy to return, get cleaned up and every morning we awoke excited and energized!