Mexico City Restaurants
While in Mexico City, we ate at numerous places
- Azul Historico is set in the courtyard of a beautiful Colonial building in the Historic District. Tom began lunch at this upscale traditional restaurant with a glass of Mescal. We then had guacamole with ground grasshoppers, followed with two main courses: Fried Bunuelos stuffed with roasted duck and bathed in Oaxacan black mole sauce; and one of the restaurant’s current specials; Almendrado Oaxaqueno, grilled chicken with a pipianes sauce (a type of sauce, consisting of a combination of local ground nuts and seeds that varies greatly by region). The one we ordered was a delicious, mild Oaxacan sauce consisted of a combination of plantains, tomato, sesame seeds and almonds. We had lunch with our first margaritas of the trip.
- Quintonil, located in the heart of Polanca, is one of the top-rated restaurants in the city. We passed on the large prix fixe menu in favor of two appetizers and two entrees. Our appetizers were cactus cebiche with beet root and coriander sauce that was accompanied with a concoction of tangerine and beet juice that complemented the dish; and shrimp “flautas” (wrapped in thin slices of cucumber) with squash blossom sauce. Our main dishes were cacao husk-steamed turkey with fermented bean paste sauce and corn relish puree; and slow-cooked chuck eye roll Wagyu with a sauce of fermented bean paste. We, however, were at least as impressed by the amuse bouche (squash with honey and cheese topped with squash foam) and by the friendly, flawless service, as we were by our meals. We were also pleased with the bottle of 2003 Vina Tondonia Rioja Reserva.
- Chapulin, a Polanco restaurant where we began with fried plantain balls with a sphere of red wine in the center and topped with apple puree and followed with two entrees: sautéed red snapper with green mole sauce and corn risotto; and roasted wild boar ribs with roasted peppers and mashed potatoes. We shared an interesting (subdued dark fruit and acid) Mexican pinot noir (Don Leo, 2015) and I had a glass of less impressive Mexican cab (32 North, 2012).
- Porfirio’s is a family-friendly Polanco restaurant (known especially for its faun and fanciful presentations of desserts) that also—based both on our concierge’s recommendation and our own experience—has good food. We enjoyed four dishes: Corn on a cob covered in mayonnaise and cheese and a dusting of chili powder; tuna tostadas with chipotle mayo, red onions and cilantro; grilled bone marrow with chili-jalapeno sauce and tortillas; and grilled shrimp (albeit not “giant” as promised by the menu) marinated in achiote and pineapple. And for wine from a limited list, we had a 2014 (rather than the 2012 stated on the wine list) Oregon Avant Garde pinot noir.
- Contramar, a popular Condsesa-based restaurant that specializes in seafood offered a nice selection from which we selected two. The Galician-style roasted octopus and potatoes in olive oil and paprika was delicious, especially with a glass of Alvarino. We followed this with the restaurant’s specialty, a whole grilled red snapper that was split down the middle, one side covered in black bean sauce and the other in the restaurant’s special pesto-based sauce. Although we aren’t big fans of red snapper, we decided to follow the crowd in ordering the popular dish. While it was pretty good (other than for being somewhat overcooked), it was far from our favorite meal—even with a nice glass of lightly oaked chardonnay.
- Nudo Negro, a popular Roma spot, offers a diverse menu of Latin/Asian fusion dishes. We shared three dishes—after, that is, the chef brought us into the kitchen for an amuse straight off a hibachi; a skewer of very chewy beef satay with peanut sauce sprinkled with sesame seeds. Our dishes were an overcooked softshell crab in a tasty Thai soup (coconut milk, lemongrass, chili and basil; a pretty good mussel casserole in Thai sake shrimp paste sauce with herbs accompanied by sweet potato chip; and tasty duck with kafir lime, almond milk hummus with hazelnut oil seta mushrooms and smoked chili. The wine, from a sparse, unusual wine list was a perfumy 2014 Romanian Jidvei Grigorescu Gewürztraminer from Transilvani.