Mexico City, which is renowned for its vast, delicious array of street food, as well as being the site of some of the best restaurants in the country, is currently experiencing a burst of culinary creativity. So far, 2015 has been an exciting year for restaurant openings: here is a selection of new restaurants just opened or to be inagurated in October in Mexico City.
Huset: Fresh produce with a Latin touch
Venezuela's Maycoll Calderon, who has worked with star chefs including Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Ferran Adrià, first arrived in Mexico to open a branch of Vongerichten's restaurant in one of the most luxurious hotels in the Mexican capital. That venue became a showcase for his talent, with signature dishes and flavors without borders, such as his roasted grouper served with a black bean broth seasoned with mirin, sake, and avocado. Now he has set up shop in the Roma neighborhood, where fresh produce and a wood fire grill are the hallmarks of his new restaurant. I could describe his melt-in-the-mouth gnocchi or the grill-seared tuna on a bed of ginger-infused rice, but Huset's appeal is all about the chef's masterful use of vegetables and garden produce. The restaurant's standout details may be Calderon's smoked tomatoes in olive oil, with his characteristic touch of sweet and sour, or the earthenware-baked focaccia.
Colima 256, Col. Roma Norte
Tel. +521 5511 6767, Website
Back to the Classics
In the 1900s, the Juárez neighborhood was one of the swankiest districts in Mexico City, and echoes of that past can still be seen in the area's noble architecture. Thanks to its proximity to the city's main economic and commercial artery, Paseo de la Reforma, the neighborhood is gradually attracting new projects and residents. Eduardo García – a remarkably talented self-made chef who started out like so many Mexican immigrants in the United States, washing dishes in restaurant kitchens, and worked his way up to become the chef at Brasserie Le Coze and Le Bernardine – is set to open two new restaurants in a beautiful Belle Époque mansion. Inside the same building, the renowed Rokai restaurant will open a sushi and raw bar. With undeniable admiration for Escoffier's legacy, García has focused his attention on the classics: a small oyster bar serving the best quality fresh seafood, with delicious sauces and seasonings. And for the main restaurant, a 45-seat brasserie, he is dusting off old-school recipes and plans to serve classics such as Escargots à la Bourguignonne and Cassoulet. García is renowned for the sumptuous cuisine at Maximo Bistro and at the neighboring Lalo café, where the escamoles (ant egg) omelet is too good to miss.
Havre 77, Colonia Juárez
Opening: September 28th
Lardo, the pub the city was missing
In a quest for perfection and control of the ingredients that she uses, Elena Reygadas developed her own line of bread, pickles, and cured meats, which in turn led her to open the Rosetta Bakery and to her latest project: Lardo is the hotspot that the city's foodies were missing. Although this brasserie with a bar and an open kitchen is more casual than her flagship restaurant, Rosetta, it serves a sophisticated menu of cured meats, wood-smoked items, and memorable dishes such as the sumptuous pesto-stuffed calamari or the more austere chicken liver on toast. The menu reflects the chef's love for the countryside, earthy ingredients, and seasonal items. The pizzas come in individual sizes, and the zucchini flower with Parmesan cheese option offers the sparkling citrus touch of Mediterranean lemon, with the tangy touch favored by Reygadas.
Mazatlán 5, Condesa
Tel + 521 5211-7731
Kaye, a Journey through México
The restless Pedro Martín (Jaleo tapas bar) hails originally from Spain's Canary Isles. He arrived in Mexico City more than six years ago, after stints working with renowned Spanish chefs Martín Berasategui and Arzak. Pedro loves México and likes to travel around the country, sourcing ingredients and forming alliances with local farmers and producers, who offer him such distinctive products as local Iberian pigs, small river shrimp in Chiapas, or the agachona, a type of game fowl similar to the woodcock. He is about to open Kaye, a restaurant with three distinct spaces ranging from tapas to fine dining, including a chef's table. Savor the clams and other seafood fresh out of a fish tank in the kitchen, or try some of his new dishes, including Vichi broth with skate and seafood, seasoned with typical spices from northern Mexico and inspired by a traditional recipe from Sonora state. The chef favors seafood, but also game and grilled meats,such as the smoked rabbit cooked in its own juice, or the 3M duck: a succulentmagret seasoned with mirin, peach (in Spanish,melocotón), and mamey, an eminently Mexican fruit. The items used as the restaurant's tableware represent a selection of the finest crafts in the country, chosen with the same passion with which the chef picks his ingredients. (Anticipation for Kaye is growing by mouth to mouth. If you want to sample his cuisine, write to the chef at @Ic7Pedro)
Fonda Mayora, Fonda Fina and Aguamiel
Chef Gerardo Vázquez Lugo is responsible for the cuisine at Nicos, an emblematic restaurant that has been open for more than 60 years in an industrial part of Mexico City, where the chefs of other restaurants go to enjoy the bean soup or the tasty mole sauces. On 15 October Vázquez will open Fonda Mayora (Ometusco on the corner of Campeche, in the Condesa neighborhood). Along the same lines of traditional cuisine, chef Jorge Vallejo and Juan Cabrera (formerly of Pujol) at the beginning of September opened Fonda Fina (Medellin 79, Roma neighborhood), which serves comfort food such as tamales or noodles with cream, alongside more innovative fare such as a bean creme brulee. Another place worth visiting is Aguamiel (65 Coahuila, on the corner of Orizaba, Roma neighborhood) a small embassy of the flavors of Oaxaca, which serves delicacies such as chilaquiles with yellow Mole sauce, prepared by Manuel Baños, one of the best chefs in the country.