Delightful, Delicious, DELIRIO
“Cerrado por remodelación” admonished the handwritten sign pasted to the shuttered door of chef/TV diva Monica Patiño’s N.Y./Parisian style deli, Delirio. We D.F. residents all know what that means. It’s a close cousin of the Mexican’s reluctance to ever say “no”. Will it re-open? Shall we hold our collective breaths for the dreamed of renovation? No way. But, amazingly, Ms. Patiño & Co. have taken to heart the failings of the previous incarnation of their unique gourmet emporium and re-inaugurated in a highly improved version. The pretty retro resto/store, located on the corner of Monterrey and Alvaro Obregón in La Roma, has been opened up and fit with rustic bistro tables.
The shelves have been re-stocked with products, almost all of which are artesanally produced and local. Gone are the useless Asian items, the mediocre imported oils and vinegars, the overpriced breads, the exorbitant wines. In their place are smartly packaged store-branded products, carefully selected and priced to sell. And all of them are hecho en México. Olives and olive oil from Baja California are both green and fruity. A whole shelf is dedicated to a pastel rainbow of house-made marmalades that make good gifts. Breads are varied and of excellent quality. A small, but well-chosen stock of national wines, in a range of prices from $200-400 (pesos) are worth sampling – many are unavailable elsewhere. Behind the deli counter, several salads are made fresh daily, as are pâtés and terrines, cakes and tarts.
There are European-style cheeses and preserved meats, all made in central Mexico, which perhaps should be renamed “little France”. I caught the boss herself overseeing her kitchen on a recent rainy Monday. An advocate of ‘Slow’ and local foods, Patiño explained that she has decided to put her money where her mouth is. “Most of what we offer is Mexican-made and organic as well” she proudly proclaimed. Now an eat-in establishment with tables and chairs inside and out, customers can select from the charcuterie offerings, design an upscale sandwich, and grab a drink—all, usually, for under $100 pesos. Ambiance is adult – no loud music or TVs in sight – and you are surrounded by good smells, busy chefs and dappled sunlight. The ratio of price to quality is good. It’s always nice to nice to see a diva make a comeback…good luck to Monica Patiño!
Note: As of late 2013, Chef Patiño has opened a lovely new venue for 'home cooking', Casa Virginia, in the space above Delirio. Call 5207 1813; you'll need a reservation.
Delirio de Monica Patiño
Monterrey 116 (corner Alvaro Obregón), Colonia Roma
Tel. 5584 0870
Open Tuesday-Saturday 9AM-9PM, Sunday until 7; closed Monday
A note to my readers: Hear my interview with Ana Maria Salazar from her national news show - click here.
Andrea Mtz. July 25, 2011 Por favor tengan cuidado al visitar el restaurante, se roban las bolsas y nadie se hace responsable, en el Ministerio Público correspondiente tienen varias actas levantadas por lo mismo.
NG replies: To Andrea who warns that bags can be robbed here: bag snatching is endemic to all public places in Mexico (and in other big cites (like New York & Paris), especially where people sit outside, such as in sidewalk cafés. It is not the fault of the restaurants themselves, and I don't blame them for NOT taking responsibility. Do not leave your bag or computer hanging behind you on a chair, your cell phone next to you on the table, or walk away from your belongings here or anywhere else. Be a smart city dweller and it will not happen to you.
Cuauhtemoc May 10, 2012 The food is delicious, and the prices are not very high. The restaurant has installed cameras and warning signs, trying to discourage robbers.