Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Wonder what San Miguel de Allende tastes like after a long pandemic? More mouth-watering than ever since restaurants have opened and some chefs have repositioned or switched to summer menus; sourcing from their favorite, local farms. And then there are your favorites; the ones we go to time and time again because we can’t get enough of their remarkable food and the thought they put behind every guest experience. We published a list of new and relocated restaurants back in May and since then, Royoko, an authentic Japanese restaurant by La Unica owner, Tito Martinez, at Hernandez Macias #82 with Chef Hiroshi Kawahito and San Francisco Steak House at San Francisco #11 have also opened. We’ve heard good reports on both. Hold your breath as more restaurants are scheduled to open their doors this year, putting San Miguel de Allende at the top of the list of places to eat in Mexico in 2021. From the standpoint of variety, the city is hard to beat. Savor a cross section of exciting, new dishes that have been recently added to the flavor profile of what’s available in San Miguel de Allende. In no particular order, here’s a list of some of our favorites to help get you started. Buen Provecho!
Corean Popcorn Chicken with Blue Cheese Ice Cream Fried Rice with Pekin Duck Kôuyīn Asian Eatery Apapacho Hotel Bajada del Chorro 11 esq. Recreo, Centro. Hours: Wednesday to Monday / 2 - 10 PM Chef: Marcela Bolano
Pear Risotto with Prosciutto and Pecorino “Se te antojo mi helado” with Schezuan Ice Cream Cheese cake de Queso de Rancho Trazo 1810 Hidalgo #8, Centro San Miguel de Allende Monday – Saturday: 8:00 AM – 12:30 PM 3:00 PM – 10:00 PM Sunday: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM Phone: 415 121 3501 Executive Chef: Irving Cano
Stuffed Chilaquiles RAICES SMA Salida a Celaya, Sin Nombre, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto/ Directly across the street from the Mobil station Daily: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM Phone: 415 121 8532 Chef: Vanessa Romero Partner: Omar Campana, Sushi Gami
Chorizo Cecina Taco with Suckling Pig Sweetbreads Chicharron Taco Aquila Jesus #3, Centro Daily: 1:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Red Snapper Rustica Salida a Celeya #34 Daily 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Phone: 415 121 1406 Owner: Eduardo Perez Calvo Manager: Ram Ramirez
Cream of Huitlacoche Soup Chef David Janke Cooking Classes School Calle Del Tesoro 23, San Antonio, 37750 Phone: 52 744 136 3963 The #1 Cooking School in SMA and the #3 Cooking School in Mexico is back to normal operations with in-person classes.
Eggs Benedict with Short Rib Andanza at Casa de Sierra Nevada, A Belmond Hotel Hospicio #35 San Miguel 37700 Chef: Daniel Camacho Pastry Chefs: Ruben Yanez Hernandez and Annabel Ruiz Gonzalez Daily: 7:30 AM – 11:00 PM Phone: 415 150 2018
Shoyu Ramen Lazy Mango Mui Ramen Bar Hotel Matilda Aldama #53, Centro 37700 Hours Tuesday - Sunday: 1:00 PM – 11:00/ Closed Monday. Chef: Paul Bentley Mixologist/Manager: Jon Va
Envueltos Guayaba Café Umaran Umaran #8 San Miguel de Allende 37700 Hours: 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM Phone: 55 4023 2625 Owner: Francisco Diaz
Pie de Lemon A.15- Animas Quince Nemesio Diez #2 San Miguel de Allende, GTO 37700 Phone: 415 121 7364
Vodka Martini Olive Bar at Casa No Name Hernandez Macias #52, Centro, 37700 Phone: 415 152 1768 Hours: Tuesday – Thursday: 2:00 PM - 10:00 PM/Friday – Saturday: 1:00 PM - 10:00 PM/ Sunday: 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM The recipe: Ketel One, shaken not stirred with plenty of ice, no vermouth and loads of olives in an oversized glass.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

SMA is finding out what Riviera Maya has known all along - Chef Daniel Camacho is one talented chef. The new chef at Casa Sierra Nevada in San Miguel de Allende is no stranger to the Belmond brand. He also runs the kitchen at Belmond Maroma Resort, which is temporarily closed for renovation. He’s in the process of redoing all the menus at Casa de Sierra Nevada, including the one at Andanza, which has more than a few surprises.
You can order many Mexican dishes with all the delightful extras but we ordered the Eggs Benedict with Short Rib; we’re a sucker for Short Rib, even in the morning we just discovered. When was the last time you had Short Rib, much less the perfect amount tucked under two poached eggs on melt-in-your-mouth Brioche topped with a delicate Hollandaise sauce? You can put this one in our top five breakfast meals in SMA at $220 pesos.
Order dessert, even at breakfast; it’s a must when it comes to Chef Ruben Yanez Hernandez’s pastries and cakes. In this case, but hardly an afterthought, was a beautifully decorated chocolate birthday cake for my friend Sally Reid. Of course, there’s also Churros on the side. Now, you get a double dose of sweet: Chef Annabel Ruiz Gonzalez, the Pastry Chef from Belmond Maroma Resort, is working with Chef Ruben Yanez Hernandez here in SMA while the resort is being renovated. Chef Daniel Camacho’s first job was in Spain, at the restaurant of Juan Carlos Galbis, the first chef to obtain a Michelin Star in the city of Valencia.Daniel went on to work six years at Banyan Tree Mayakoba and one year at Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen before joining Belmond Maroma Resort in 2016. We got a sneak peek at their new dinner menu that comes out today and it’s impressive. We’ve always loved this restaurant; it sits in the middle of an indoor garden where the service is better than textbook. We think the food at Andanza just took a huge step up. Now all we have to do is figure out how to keep him in SMA. Andanza at Casa de Sierra Nevada, A Belmond Hotel Hospicio #35 San Miguel 37700 Chef: Daniel Camacho Pastry Chefs: Ruben Yanez Hernandez and Annabel Ruiz Gonzalez Daily: 7:30 AM – 11:00 PM Phone: 415 150 2018 All safety protocols followed/Tables have been spaced Masks required Health First certified by the city of SMA

Thursday, July 1, 2021

What’s our favorite summer menu? Tacos and Martinis! First Stop: A perfect Martini, made by Olivia Bar, at Casa No Name, a small, luxury hotel on Hernandez Macias #52; no longer SMA's best kept secret. Here, you’re in your own little world where the décor is chic in an understated way. You wouldn’t be in a hurry to head home once you land. Go early; you’ll pretty much have the bar to yourself. The recipe: Ketle One, shaken not stirred with plenty of ice, no vermouth and loads of olives. Second Stop: La Hija del Manantial for Chamorro Tacos with blue corn tortillas; one of Chef Aidee Prado’s specialties. The gourmet cantina and restaurant serves some of the same Mexican dishes as the original El Manantial at Barranca 78. La Hija del Manantial is conveniently located in town just a few steps from the Jardin. Our favorite spot is one of the two high tables in the window where the people watching, indoors and out, is premium. The original El Manantial celebrated its 100 year anniversary this past year (1920-2020). Olive Bar at Casa No Name Hernandez Macias #52, Centro, 37700 Phone: 415 152 1768 Hours: Tuesday – Thursday: 2:00 PM - 10:00 PM/Friday – Saturday: 1:00 PM - 10:00 PM/ Sunday: 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM La Hija del Manantial Correo #14, Centro 37700 Phone: 415 111 7431 Hours: 1:00 PM – 10:00 PM/Closed Monday

Lake Zirahuén

Lake Zirahuén is one of Michoacán’s best kept secrets; only 39 miles from Morelia and 15 miles from Patzcuaro. The Purépecha called Lake Zirahuén the Mirror of the Gods; it’s one of the most crystalline lakes in Mexico. This fishing lake is bordered by fields of flowers but this time of year, the landscape was already showing its November face. The shoreline is peppered with boat docks and although no motorboats are allowed on the lake, occasionally someone will break the rules and you’ll see one.
Never judge a restaurant by its cover. Take your pick; these tin roofed structures are time worn but inside are menus of shoreline delights. I was instantly reassured when I saw a picture of da Vinci’s Last Supper nailed to the ceiling. It was overcast that day but we never paid attention to the gloomy weather. I lived within blocks of Lake Michigan most of my life so being around water again was that simple pleasure I had almost forgotten. Although the restaurants were showing their wear, the homes were painted in bright, Mexican colors.
There is pleasure in fishing – I remember, never in how many fish you catch although I can’t say size doesn’t matter. Finally, after putting down two enormous sailfish and a marlin in Acapulco and Cabo San Lucas in back-to-back seasons, I’ve got fish stories to tell my brothers so it was no surprise that the highlight of our trip was eating fish that were caught from the lake that morning – something we haven’t done in a very long time - and Magnum bars for dessert. It’s amazing how much patience you have when you’re looking for a Magnum bar in the middle of nowhere, although I never imagined eating fish and ice cream at the same meal.
Drink in the lake view from this small bar stocked with all the Mexican essentials - more than one brand of tequila. We were excited to taste Charales - a tiny, whole, crisp-fried fish, which are a specialty of the area; eating a new species was a cause for celebration. We also had several, small white fish; cutting slits in the fish was the key to cooking it quickly. The white fish were near textbook and if you’ve ever been to a shore lunch, you know that there’s nothing better than the flavor of fried fish cooked over fire and wood. Henry David Thoreau once said “Men go fishing all their lives without knowing it’s not the fish they are after.” Go for this magical, Michoacán moment, you’ll be surprised at what you find besides the fish.
El Gordo Restaurante Phone: 434 112 1272 Muelle General S/N Lake Zirahuen, Michoacán

Trazo 1810

Another gift from the gods at Riviera Maya - Chef Irving Canto, now the new Executive Chef in the kitchens at Trazo 1810. Chef Irving Canto’s resume speaks for itself – a graduate of the University Interamericana de Puerto Rico, he was a semifinalist for Mexico’s Cocinero of the Year in 2019. The Millesime award winner has also cooked with many great chefs in Mexico and Spain, including Roberto Ruiz, Carlos Gaytán, Jesús Escalera, Andoni Luis Aduriz, Kisco Garcia, Kiko Moya and others. Finishing strong with his exquisite presentations, this feast was fit for the ultimate food lover. There was a lot going on in every dish - textures played off other textures with an abundance of flavor profiles; all of them over the top. How much did we love this meal? We gave it an 11 – one extra point for his dazzling creativity. The menu:
Amousse: Almeja para de Mula, sofrito de chorizo con cerveza Allende, provolone ahumado, salsa macha/ Clam for de Mula, chorizo sauce with Allende beer, smoked provolone and macha sauce. The presentation reminded us of one we had at Central, Chef Virgilio Martínez Véliz’s restaurant, in Lima, Peru.
The fresh Asian flavor of Tiradito de atún, emulsion de ajonjolí, lemon grass/ Tuna tiradito, sesame emulsion, lemon grass.
Risotto de pera, vino rose, prosciutto y pecorino/ Pear risotto, rose wine, prosciutto and pecorino. This was one of the best Risotto’s we’ve eaten anywhere, including at a long list of restaurants that are famous for the dish.
Pesca, majado de hierbas, salsa de frijoles marinos / Fish, herb mash and sea bean sauce - an award winning dish and no surprise; it was one of our favorite plates of the night.
Short Rib braseado con cerveza Allende, puré de papa trufado con pancetta, zanahorias glaseadas/ Braised Short Rib with Allende beer, truffled potato mash with pancetta, glazed carrots. The Short Rib was so tender, it melted in your mouth, reminding you what Short Rib should actually taste like.
A Cheese cake de queso de rancho, salsa de vainilla con pimienta/ Ranch cheese cheese cake, vanilla sauce with pepper. This dish had the actual texture of cheese - the only one we’ve eaten in Mexico; more like a cheese course than a dessert.
“Se te antojo mi helado” - Crumble de chocolate, helado de pimienta schezuan, frutos del bosque/ Chocolate crumble, schezuan pepper ice cream, berries. The surprise spice was the Schezuan Ice Cream; we could have eaten it by the barrel. The Wines were all an exceptional choice; mainly consisting of whites we’ve never tried:
Vino Blanco Casa Magonni .Chardonnay /Vermetino (Mexicano) Chiaro ,Pinot Grigio Italino Lagrimas Sauvignon Blanc (mexicano) Viceversa Roble ,Tempranillo , Cabernet Sauvignon,Merlot (Español) Trazo 1810 is one of the most beautiful restaurants in SMA for al fresco dining. The 360 degree views are so amazing, you’ll want to sit on the rooftop and drink them in at sunset. We also love winter dining here; in front of a roaring fire, sheltered from the elements.
Trazo 1810 has always been one of our favorite restaurants in SMA and we’re delighted to say that it’s still on our list of the top five places to go in SMA, moving up a notch, thanks to an amazing chef who brings the magic of the Riveria Maya to this beautiful SMA kitchen. Savor the food - Chef Irving Canto’s cooking is so good that Trazo 1810 is on our call list: the restaurants we call to make sure the chef is in the night we want to go. After eating with two new chefs from Riveria Maya in the past two weeks, we’re now pulling for a third. One meal in and we’re already Chef Canto’s biggest fan. Trazo 1810 Hidalgo #8, Centro San Miguel de Allende Monday – Saturday: 8:00 AM – 12:30 PM 3:00 PM – 10:00 PM Sunday: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM Phone: 415 121 3501 Executive Chef: Irving Canto