Wednesday, May 4, 2016

SMA: Food With A View

A feast for the eyes; devouring the splendor of San Miguel is on the top of our list, especially when it involves good things to eat and drink.

Here are the spots where we think the food is just as significant as the views.

A picture’s worth a thousand words so don’t forget your camera.

Buen Apetito!

Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar
Rosewood Hotel, Nemesio Diez 11

SMA shows its best side from every position no matter where you sit or what time you go. The light, in basic terms, is magical.

Chef Victor Palma’s kitchen dishes out high-quality tapas – from pizza to pig - that are just right for sharing. Bring plenty of pesos and settle in.

This rooftop bar has the best views; a 360-degree spectacle certain to take your breath away, especially at sunset.

Cuna de Allende 15

This new rooftop restaurant has in-your-face views of the Parroquia. I’m taken back each and every time I walk out onto the patio.

Taste the flavors of Chef Gonzalo Martinez, who use to cook at the Rainbow Room in NYC’s Rockefeller Center and for the Orient Express Hotels. His menu is seasonal and surprising.

One of the best ingredients in the mix is the service. When I got up to take a picture and returned to my chair, the waiter had refolded my napkin.

La Azotea
Umaran #6

This is one of our favorite rooftop restaurants in SMA because of the service and the signature dish: a taco shell made from jicama that is filled with lightly-breaded shrimp and topped with fried leeks, chipotle mayo and a tamarind sauce. I can never eat just one.

La Azotea serves a variety of other tapas including these spicy chicken poppers; pollo with a jalapeno on top that’s wrapped in panela cheese and bacon. After it’s cooked, it’s dressed with their signature chipotle mayo and balsamic vinegar reduction.

The list of personalities who frequent this high-style eatery goes on and on. We also enjoy the people-watching; it’s never boring, even on a slow day.

Orizaba 87

There are only a handful of restaurants in SMA that have it all: good food, creative drinks, world-class service, a top chef and a million dollar view to match. Stewart Haverlack’s ZUMO is at the top of the list.

We’re getting swamped with reports about the exciting menu from new chef, Josy Treizman. He’s cooked in some of the world’s best kitchens: at 2 Michelin-Star restaurant Le Cinq in the George V Four Seasons Hotel in Paris, 2 Michelin-Star restaurant Le Chalet de la Foret in Brussels and the 5 star luxury resort Hotel del Mar, Vina del Mar, Chile. It’s in Josy’s DNA; his mother, cousin, aunt and grandfather are also celebrated chefs.

While you’re at it, check out Chef Brenda Rocio Segura Trejo, who will be part of our article on female chefs in SMA later this month.  
Photo of Chef Josy Treizman provided by ZUMO.       

Other views to take in for the people watching:

Sabores San Miguel
Juarez Park 
June 17-19

SMA Food Festival
July 15-17

What’s not to love about all your favorite restaurants and chefs in one place? I savor the celebrations for one thing: the food factor, but people watching comes in a close second. Camp out all three days because you wouldn’t taste or see the same thing twice…unless of course you want to.

Watch for updates and get ready for a high spirited summer. You can pretty much plan on eating your way through June and July.
Doce-18 Concept House
Relox 18
SMA’s latest culinary gem, Doce-18, is home to some of the city’s best chefs: Donnie Masterton’s The Taco Lab and Birdie’s Burgers, Matteo Salas with Jacinto 1930 and Marko Antoine Cruz Sanchez at Daniel Estebaranz’s farm-to-table restaurant MILPA.

The Kitchen, a natural, light-filled room where all of the restaurants, except Jacinto 1930, share seating space, is SMA’s newest people-watching spot. I can’t go in there without running into a half a dozen people I know or meeting a dozen more. About the people in Doce-18 I want to meet? I figure if I hang out there for another month, I'll  know everyone in San Miguel.
Also check out Seleccion de la Casa, Santisima Trinidad’s attractive wine cellar and the soon-to-open, paint-the-town-red Cocktail Room.
Ten Ten Pie
Cuna de Allende and Cuadrante
As an alternative to Facebook and Instagram, people watching is one of SMA’s most popular sports. Most people head to the Jardin but when you get hungry, wander down Cuna de Allende to the outdoor space at Ten Ten Pie. Drink in the views along with an ice-cold Mexican brew. Order the Molcajete; a combination of meats, vegetables and cheese.
Get into the rhythm of the street scene; it always brings on an impromptu fiesta that can only happen in a San Miguel minute.
Want an education? Start a conversation with EVERYONE. You’ll also savor the fascinating stories of visitors worldwide, some who come here just for the food.
Hanks New Orleans Café and Oyster Bar
Hidalgo #12
Someone asked me the other day to describe Hanks; 2x1 drinks and some of the best people watching in SMA! Just ask anyone who has walked into the place after 5:00 PM and can’t get a seat.
I order the gumbo; it's not my gumbo but hey, 1219 miles from New Orleans it's the closest thing you're going to get this side of the border. It’s made with chicken, sausage and shrimp and just like New Orleans, it's a warm-up before you go dancing in the late night second-line parade. Do I think I’m in New Orleans when I’m eating it? Only during Happy hour!