Casa Awolly & Cantina El Palacio offer Special Menus that Shouldn't be Missed
Celebrating International Women’s Day at Casa Awolly
As the song goes, “spring can really hang you up the most”. Though intense heat settles down on the city, there ARE exciting things to look forward to gastronomically. For the rest of March, two diverse venues are featuring special menus created by knockout chefs from two sides of the same coin.
Casa Awolly a former private home of the Porfiriato era, started its post-modern life as a boutique hotel and has evolved into a very good restaurant and fashionable cocktail bar which, on weekend evenings exudes an air of self-conscious hippness that could be off-putting if you take it the wrong way. The 3 story house, open to a pretty patio, has been decorated to evoke the buildings’ past while at the same time acknowledging its present function as a house of mirth: bright greens that verge on the garish, mix-n’-match patterns, plants and modernist lamps complement the good time ambience as in an old speakeasy. I do like the restaurant whose menu, under the auspices of chef Irak Roaro, concentrates on updated Mexican classics. I highly recommend a lunch here, when party hats are parked, dancing shoes cool down and tranquility prevails. Try such antojitos as the bao de birria, a lightened up torta full of spicy Jaliscan pork, poofy, crunchy infladitas de tuétano y pulpo, full of umami and a main of suadero con setas en curry verde, which is really a fragrant Mexican green sauce. The chef’s food is adventurous yet accessible.
This month, March 2019, the well spoken traditionalist Lula Martin de Campo has been invited as guest chef; she has created a wonderful menu of earthy corn-based snacks, such as Esquites de maices ancestrales made with local red corn, tacos cascabel, beef glazed with 3 chiles and served in a blue tortilla and my favorite, flautas filled with Oaxacan chorizo and potatoes. Best of all, the money garnered from the sales of these dishes will be donated to the well-run and corruption-free foundation Aqui Nadie se Rinde which aids children with cancer and their families. Don’t miss it.
Sinaloa 57, Roma Nte.
Open Tuesday - Sunday 1 p.m. - 12 a.m.
Tel. 5086 2820
Le Chique comes to CDMX
For those who haven’t had the good fortune to travel to Le Chique near Cancún, one of Mexico’s outstanding high concept venues, the bright, airy, semi-outdoor Cantina El Palacio, in the Palacio Hierro department store is offering a menu designed by Chique’s chef Jonatan Gómez Luna. Now’s the chance to sample his highly refined and modernist cooking at reasonable prices.
I wanted to mis-quote Chekhov on a recent visit, as most of the dishes were jet black leading me to lament that “I’m in mourning for my lunch”. But what’s not to like about a gorgeous ceviche negro of shrimp and scallops, delicately balanced and blackened with charred habanero chile. Or an eye-catching dusky soft-shelled crab served as a taco and drizzled with a sweetish but profound tomatoey salsa. A classic guacamole dotted with cubes of crunchy ‘kastakan’ (fried pork belly) brighten up the somber proceedings. The menu is available at all three locations through March. I’m “totalmente Chique”.
Cantina El Palacio
Av. Moliere 222 Inside the Palacio de Hierro, Polanco
Also Cantina Perisur, Anillo Periférico, Sur 469 Col, Jardines del Pedregal de San Ángel and Centro Comercial Santa Fe.
Open Monday- Wednesday 8 a.m. - 11 p.m., Thursday - Saturday until 12 a.m., Sunday, 9-9.
Tel. 5283 7222
Photo of Chef Lula courtesy El Conocedor