And the Winner Is: The Best of 2011
It’s that time of year, the end of the cycle. Many new restaurants have opened in our sprawling metropolis and, try as we may it’s impossible to keep up. It’s nice to see that the wolf is not beating at the kitchen door here. So, in the spirit of complete autocracy, I offer my best list. Take it or eat it.
1. The Pedro Infante “Best Mexican” award goes to…
Fonda El Refugio – This old timer has been spiffed up, its kitchen brought up to 21st century Slow Food hipness, without sacrificing traditional flavor and recipes. Grandma would be proud. (not any more she wouldn't; update 2017, the family closed the business and sold the building)
Runner up: Coox Hanal – still the best Yucatecan food in the city if not nation.
2. The Anna Magnani “Best Foreigner” award goes, once again, to Rosetta. Chef Reygadas’ Italian kitchen just gets better and better. Runner up: Osteria 8 – this little upstart Italian does the best pizza in town and the ambitious menu doesn’t fail to impress. Now if only we could gussy it up a little and provide a little more elbowroom.
4. The Eve Harrington ‘best newcomer’ award goes to… Máximo Bistrot Local. This pretty, unpretentious place at the corner of Tonalá & Zacatecas in la Roma, does French a la Mexicana, is hip to local and organic, and is generally full of ‘buena onda’. ¡Felicidades! Runner up: El Beso Huasteco. A pretty, restored house, nicely presented Mexican classics, low prices. What’s not to like?
5. The Jack Kerouac ‘best street stall’ award goes to… El Caguamo. Still the best seafood stand in the city. Runner up: El Tacetón. (corner Baja California & Tuxpan, Col. Roma) This busy stand near the Chilpancingo metro stop serves a tempting selection of tacos de guisados.
6. The Frank Sinatra ‘one for the road’ award for best watering hole goes to:
Pulquería La Pirata (Calle 13 de Septiembre, corner of 12 de Diciembre, and right below the Viaducto, Colonia Escandon). For pure Mexican ambience, it doesn’t get any better. Runner up: Mezcaleria La Nacional Querétaro, corner of Orizaba, Colonia Roma. This fairly new addition to the growing hipster scene in ‘La Roma’ offers a large selection of reasonably priced mezcals, as well as light food.
And the jury’s out on: Azul Condesa. We really want to love Ricardo Muñoz’ uptown venue but have been repeatedly disappointed.
Izote. I confess I had avoided Patricia Quintana’s world famous venue in recent years due to her sky-rocketing prices and inconsistent quality. But she’s given the joint a makeover and there’s a new menu so we’ll be back soon and let you know.
May my reader’s have a happy and fattening New Year.
Doug December 26, 2011 Hey Nick, Enjoyed this year-end review. I was at Izote in September and, frankly, I thought it was better than Dulce Patria, although DP is quite nice. Please give it a try. I'd like to read your take on it. Doug Hall, Atlanta
El Serracho! December 26, 2011 Thanks for the update, and just in time - my friends and I are headed to el D.F. tomorrow morning. happy new year.
Felipe Zapata December 27, 2011 Great work, señor. The photos with the items are a stroke of genius.
Monica @ Soirees & Such December 27, 2011 Thanks for the list, I still have to try a couple of them!
Planeta December 28, 2011 I've wanted to visit Pulquería La Pirata. Thanks for another good reason to check this out the next time I'm in DF
Didi January 3, 2012 Thanks for the reviews!! I trust and agree your good taste!! However, I'd say Tezka is better than D.O. Happy New Year
Anonymous January 14, 2012 Where in DF can one buy the new edition of your book? Hungry in Centro Historico
Nicholas Gilman replies; The book is available at Culinaria Mexicana, Isabel la Católica, mezzanine level[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]