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Fodor's choice, DF


salomonrobyn
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The following are the restaurants that Fodor's lists as "Fodor's Choice":

Aguila y Sol (Good choice)

Bistrot Mosaico (I tried to go there, but was always full)

El Discreto Encanto de Comer

Gallos Centenario

La Valentina (I was at the Masaryk location and the service was poor. The staff was focused only on the large groups eating there)

Nueva Fonda de San Francisco

Specia (good choice)

Other comments?

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Izote, in a walk. Do a search, there's a thread somewhere here with a writeup I did about year ago. Late October 2004.

El Tajín in Coyoacán. The owner/chef, Alicia Gironella d'Angelis, is one of the deservedly best known Mexican food experts in the world. If the chicken with hoja santa is on the menu, oh my god--do not miss it. That chicken is the reason I recently planted an hoja santa plant. Plant is almost big enough to start using the leaves and I will strive to replicate the recipe.

Azul y Oro on the UNAM campus, chef/owner Ricardo Muñoz. Time Magazine recently named Muñoz one of the five best chefs in Mexico.

Pujol. A very knowledgable friend ate there recently and said it was out of this world.

Gallos Centenario is very pretty--gorgeous, actually--but the food is nothing to write home about. I ate there in May and wouldn't go back, even for the lovely building and its decor.

Edited by esperanza (log)

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I am glad to hear that someone's experience at Izote passed muster. I found it to be just okay, which translated into a great disappointment; my traveling companion was in complete agreement.

There are other places in the DF, but perhaps they are more in the old style, and did not make the Fodor's list: Hacienda Los Morales, El Tajin, El Cardinal, and Tezka.

Sharon Peters aka "theabroma"

The lunatics have overtaken the asylum

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I hate to say we had a HORRIBLE meal at Ligaya! It´s off the list! The Ice cream parlor I think you mean is La Neveria Roxy on Montes de Oca...anything named Roxy has to be good.They offer "malteadas", and, remembering New York in the good old days, I asked if they actually put malt in the malteds, but, like New York of the bad new days, they don´t. Just as well...

Although Izote is variable, I still like it. It has off days; also, we all get so worked up about some of these famous places that they are bound to disapoint...

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I just returned from Mexico a couple of weeks ago where, amazingly, I had no bad meals. Was also struck by the quality and professionalism of the service every place we ate.

Izote - meal was very good but not spectacular, tho' the chile relleno on the app. menu came close. Very crowded but very good service. Crowd was primarily English speaking ex-pats. Got to meet Patricia Quintana who was quite gracious.

Best meal, without a doubt, was at Pujol. I've managed to get the recipes for the Duck Carpaccio and the dessert we ate, but I'd kill for the recipe for the Squash Blossom Soup served to resemble capuccino. Service was exceptionally professional.

Most traditional (in the continental sense) meal was at San Angel Inn. Loved the presentation of their margaritas in miniature silver wine coolers.

If Pujol was the best meal, my favorite meal was at Alkimia, which is the restaurant attached to the Centro Culinario Ambrosia. It is a serious culinary institute very similar to CIA. In fact, their teaching, training and test kitchens reminded me quite a bit of those at the CIA at Greystone in CA. All of the dishes we sampled - 16 in total, 4 apps./ 4 sopa seca/4 entrees/4 desserts - were all exceptionally well done, but some were better than others; dessert was the weakest course. The stand-outs were Swordfish Ceviche, Tortilla Soup, Foie Gras Soup, the pheasant entree, osso bucco, and all the tuna preparations. CCA publishes their own magazine "Restaurantes, Gastronomia y Vino" and it is possible to do stages there as well.

Alkimia

Av. San Jeronimo 243

Col. Jardines del Pedregal

5550-6886 or 5550-7297

I also had some amazing water based hot chocolate at Cafe Azul Y Oro on the UNAM campus (above the Julian Torri library near most of the performing arts venues). It was rich, thick and utterly delicious. The chocolate is a proprietary blend from Oaxaca made to the chef's specifications. He must have one heck of a sweet tooth because it's the best hot chocolate I think I've ever had anywhere. The chef also makes an interesting Enchilada de Jamaica.

We could not get in to Aguilar Y Sol unfortunately. We also had a hot rec for a new Asian restaurant called China Grill in the Camino Real that is supposed to be generating a lot of interest. And "espuma", or foam, seemed to be on every menu in some way, shape or form.

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I'm surprised about the strong recommendation for Ligaya. When I was there, the food was OK, but in a very different league from Izote, Pujol, Aguila y Sol, Contramar, etc.

It is nice to hear good things about Neveria Roxy (corner of Mazatlan & Montes de Oca), which is very close to where I stay when visiting Mexico City. Great strawbery ice cream. Be warned that this is a modest, old fashion ice cream parlour, which has been there for about 50 years without changing anything.

I have been La Hacienda de Los Morales a few times, but always in some sort of large group celebration. Although there is no question that it is a lovely, elegant place, I was never particularly impressed with the food.

I was not aware of Cafe Azul y Oro (all the UNAM sports teams wear a blue and gold uniform), nor of Alkimia.

I must say that my meal at El Tajin was also acceptable, but nothing memorable. For that matter, the meal at El Bajio was much more special.

Has anybody been at Fonda de San Francisco? I will try in my next trip, particularly because it is on Amsterdam -- my favourite street in Mexico.

What about any of the Monica Patiño restaurants? I like la Taberna del Leon, so I may try MP Cafe Bistro or Naos.

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My brother had Red Snapper and I had Huitlacoche Pasta when we went to Ligaya, and we were both very satisfied, but maybe we just got lucky. Maybe they are not consistent. We didn't go out for dinner much, since we had home cooked meals as a rule. We wanted to go to Izote, but it didn't fit our schedule, and we met friends who live in Condeas at the bar next door to Ligaya, and so the location was a factor, even though we were staying closer to Polanco. Traffic in Polanco has gotten really bad - I used to visit friends in Polanco who lived next door to this house on E.A.Poe before they sold their house and moved to L.A. There is a seven storey condo where their house used to be.

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I'm surprised about the strong recommendation for Ligaya. When I was there, the food was OK, but in a very different league from Izote, Pujol, Aguila y Sol, Contramar, etc.

It is nice to hear good things about Neveria Roxy (corner of Mazatlan & Montes de Oca), which is very close to where I stay when visiting Mexico City. Great strawbery ice cream. Be warned that this is a modest, old fashion ice cream parlour, which has been there for about 50 years without changing anything.

I have been La Hacienda de Los Morales a few times, but always in some sort of large group celebration. Although there is no question that it is a lovely, elegant place, I was never particularly impressed with the food.

I was not aware of Cafe Azul y Oro (all the UNAM sports teams wear a blue and gold uniform), nor of Alkimia.

I must say that my meal at El Tajin was also acceptable, but nothing memorable. For that matter, the meal at El Bajio was much more special.

Has anybody been at Fonda de San Francisco? I will try in my next trip, particularly because it is on Amsterdam -- my favourite street in Mexico.

What about any of the Monica Patiño restaurants? I like la Taberna del Leon, so I may try MP Cafe Bistro or Naos.

The Fonda de San Francisco is closed but will probebly appear in guides and lists for the next ten years, as things are slow to be updated here.

MP bistro is good but not very "Mexican", more "Asian fusion" with some Mexican ingredients. And I have heard the same mediocre review of El Tajin.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I came back from Mexico 2 days ago. As Nickarte says, the Fonda de San Francisco is closed.

We revisited and enjoyed Izote and Pujol. We had OK meals at Las Sirenas and Cafe Tacuba.

The one new restaurant that we managed to try was Bistro Mosaico (Michoacan between Insurgantes y Amsterdam, next door to Specia). We had an excellent meal. It is a very busy place and they don't take reservations, but the surroundings are very pleasant and there are good places to spend the waiting time: 1) A superb juice place in the corner of Michoacan and Amsterdam (I had a fresh fig juice and my wife a kiwi juice); 2) A good liquor store (La Naval) next door to the Bistro with better selection than the Airport Duty Free and similar prices; 3) The Parque Mexico (one block away). Eventough the Bistro Mosaico is so busy, the service is very good and personal (the maitre d' was greeting me by name each time that I came back to ask about our place in the waiting list; the waiter discoraged me from ordering a very expensive dessert, suggesting instead another that turned out delicious). I had clam soup and a calamari rice (just like in Venice) and my wife had the onion soup (after all this Bistro is owned by the same people that run Champs Elysees, the best French restaurant in Mexico city) and a very good Dorado fish fillet with curry. The bill with two glasses of wine was about Mx$500. Not very mexican, but very good food.

I'm surprised about the strong recommendation for Ligaya. When I was there, the food was OK, but in a very different league from Izote, Pujol, Aguila y Sol, Contramar, etc.

It is nice to hear good things about Neveria Roxy (corner of Mazatlan & Montes de Oca), which is very close to where I stay when visiting Mexico City. Great strawbery ice cream. Be warned that this is a modest, old fashion ice cream parlour, which has been there for about 50 years without changing anything.

I have been La Hacienda de Los Morales a few times, but always in some sort of large group celebration. Although there is no question that it is a lovely, elegant place, I was never particularly impressed with the food.

I was not aware of Cafe Azul y Oro (all the UNAM sports teams wear a blue and gold uniform), nor of Alkimia.

I must say that my meal at El Tajin was also acceptable, but nothing memorable. For that matter, the meal at El Bajio was much more special.

Has anybody been at Fonda de San Francisco? I will try in my next trip, particularly because it is on Amsterdam -- my favourite street in Mexico.

What about any of the Monica Patiño restaurants? I like la Taberna del Leon, so I may try MP Cafe Bistro or Naos.

The Fonda de San Francisco is closed but will probebly appear in guides and lists for the next ten years, as things are slow to be updated here.

MP bistro is good but not very "Mexican", more "Asian fusion" with some Mexican ingredients. And I have heard the same mediocre review of El Tajin.

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Today the newspaper El Universal has a list of 10 restaurants they suggest to the readers to visit this year. I'm not convinced that they provide useful guidance, but several of the restaurants in the following list have been mentioned in this forum.

Kaczka (Polish), Mazatlan #24, MX$450

Bistrot Arlequin (French), Río Nilo #42, MX$250

Paixa, Avenida de la Paz #47 (San Angel), MX$350

Il Postino (Italian), Plaza Madrid # 6 (Cibeles statue), MX$300

Aguila y Sol, Moliere # 42, MX$450

Pujol, Petrarca #254, MX$450

Tezka (Vasque), Ambers #78, MX$450

Restaurant Bar Chon, Regina#160

Don Asado (Argentinian), Michoacan # 77, MX$250

Nagaoka (Japanese), Arkansas #38, MX$300

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The following are the restaurants that Fodor's lists as "Fodor's Choice":

Aguila y Sol (Good choice)

Bistrot Mosaico (I tried to go there, but was always full)

El Discreto Encanto de Comer

Gallos Centenario

La Valentina (I was at the Masaryk location and the service was poor. The staff was focused only on the large groups eating there)

Nueva Fonda de San Francisco

Specia (good choice)

Other comments?

It may be far too small for a Fodors Choice restaurant, but if you have the chance, try The CASA ANTIGUA in Cuatepec, VER near Xalapa. The chef has a very good knowledge of Mexican Food, Cuatepec is the centre of the best coffe (try a lechero) His spicy fish soup is unbelievable. I really had the best meals there.

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Another restaurant which rarely appears on any list of must-dos is Azul y Oro, on the UNAM campus. Azul y Oro is in the Centro Cultural Universitario, Sala Nezahuactlayotl. Owned and operated by Chef Ricardo Muñoz Zurita, the restaurant is nothing short of outstanding.

The food is sublime. I dined there in mid-December; the meal included espagueti negro, a perfectly al dente spaghetti with black huitlacoche sauce so delicious, rich, and buttery that it was difficult not to lick the plate. My main course was ravioles de pato (the raviolis looked like four-sided crisply fried wontons, stuffed with tender duck meat) served with a complexly flavored mole, sautéed rounds of calabacitas and fresh red raspberries. The mole was poured by the waiter from a little silver pitcher: you tell me how much you want, señora. Then he left the pot on the table and of course I ended up adding more, and then more. The mole was so rich and complex and picante, the duck was so ducky, the raspberries...

Dessert was a hollowed pear poached in red wine, stuffed with turrón (nougat) and served bathed in a slightly sweetened red wine reduction. A drizzle of chocolate and a tiny ball of vanilla ice cream completed the dessert plate.

The place is usually filled up with business and academic types for comida and stays open until nine in the evening.

Don't miss it. It's worth the trip to the UNAM.

Edited by esperanza (log)

What's new at Mexico Cooks!?

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