Monday, February 21, 2022


We’re on a mission to find healthy and another one of SMA’s best new and healthiest restaurants is BENNU; serving some of the best pizza in SMA. Every crust is made from sourdough organic Mexican flour; thin and delicious. The chef uses only top quality ingredients in all of his food.
Chef Pablo Mil’s grandfather had a restaurant, where he spent much of his time growing up. As a chef, he cooked and traveled to the kitchens of Oaxaca to Copenhagen; spending most of his time at the Hartwood restaurant in Tulum. This chef fit right in with the values of the restaurant, traveling hours to the markets and farms in the interior of the Yucatan to collect ingredients; some of which had not been seen before. All of the cooking at Hartwood was done by open fire within their handmade burning oven and grill.
The tomato salad was made from fresh heirlooms; yellow, green and red tomatoes topped with fried garlic chips and black garlic. His fermented green tomatoes tasted like plantains; an experimental batch in the making that will be used for various salads and toppings.
The menu is both distinct and nutritious; all of the ingredients are local – selected from the best farms and markets around San Miguel. Our pizza choice was the Marinara; a simple yet complex mix with the rich flavor of the Stracciatella. Stracciatella is the inside of the Burrata; our favorite Italian cheese. The pizza was also topped with tomato, garlic, oregano and olive oil. There are 5 other pizzas on the menu. The vegetables include the tomato salad, along with a green salad, corn and chapulines, roasted cauliflower and beet au poivre.
Chef Pablo Mil has brought a simple concept to SMA that works. If you want to eat fresh, healthy and local food, BENNU is the place to do it. Bennu Jesus #20 San Miguel de Allende 37700 Centro Wednesday – Saturday 1:00 PM – 9:30 PM Sunday 12:00 Noon – 8:30 PM Monday – Tuesday Closed Chef: Pablo Mil All safety protocols followed. Masks required/removed for photographs and consumption Health First certified by the city of SMA

Terraza La Vista

Terraza La Vista, in the spectacular Hotel El Golpe de Vista, is one of SMA best new restaurants. We seldom write about hotels but Hotel El Golpe de Vista is spectacular. Inside there is an incredible show of cantera stone with a window cut out to display the Parroquia. The hotel is an architectural wonder; many of the suites have Parroquia views - you can admire SMA’s most beautiful church for hours without ever leaving your bed. The rooftop restaurant is intimate, cozy and quiet; all the things you want a restaurant to be and seats only 40 people. The kitchen is small but produces some of the most unusual and delicious dishes in SMA; one-of-a-kind creations to delight you palate.
We first met 31 year old chef, Antonio Arzola, a culinary graduate of UTSMA, as an intern at Andanza in Belmond Casa Sierra Nevada; participating in the reopening of Restaurante del Parque. He then traveled to Cuba and cooked at the Melia Cayo Santa Maria and also worked as an advisor chef at the Melia Buenavista. He was at the waterfront Clearwater Restaurant in Newport, Oregon, where he worked principally with seafood. Upon his return to SMA, he assisted Chef Arturo Sandoval at Aquila Brasa and then landed at Terraza La Vista, where he is head chef; creating sweet and smoky flavors with a blend of aromatic herbs to every dish on his menu. Most of the restaurants in SMA have their own specialties and we were head over heels with the salads and desserts; obsessed with the Mozarella and tomato jam – something we would eat every day if we could. His creativity was allowed to surface at Terraza La Vista, designing dishes like his Pastel de chocolate using Halls Mentho-lyptus that tastes so good, you would have never guessed the secret ingredient on the first try. This chef introduces remarkable new flavors to SMA using different ingredients to achieve them. If you go on Sunday for brunch, there’s even a Chocolate malt on the menu; our kind of Sunday treat. After your meal, take time to tour the property. It’s one of the most beautiful sanctuaries in SMA. Currently the hotel is running specials and the rooms and suites with a Parroquia view are up to 50% off. The Feast:
House Cocktail Galenico gin, Prosseco and tropical sherbet We had forgotten how much we like Prosseco; especially with sherbet. One of the most beautiful cocktails on the menu, we would order this drink again.
Non Alcoholic Cocktail Aloe Cucumber, Aloe Vera, lime, Basil and natural syrup A refreshing, non-alcoholic cocktail, this is our summer go-to drink.
Tacos de Chamorro Pork shank tacos in handmade tortillas, baked for 7 hours in an adobo sauce of dried chilies, dehydrated onions, creamy avocados, coriander vinaigrette and lime air. These tacos were baked for 7 hours in the oven to absorb the spicy flavors.
Nido de mozarella Mozarella nest filled with tomato jam, flavored with cinnamon and anise on a spring mix of lettuce, dehydrated olives and yellow sweet tomatoes Our salad favorite, we LOVED the tomato jam; giving the salad a very distinct flavor.
Carpaccio de betabel Beet Carpaccio with seasonal citrus supremes, goat cheese, carameled walnuts, baby arugula, balsamic reduction and cinnamon The carameled walnuts and thin sliced beets with balsamic reduction made this salad a magnificent lunch.
Pulpo a la braza Grilled octopus on bean sauce, flavored with chipotle, guajillo popcorn, avocado chocolates and sweetened cambray onion Popcorn was the surprise ingredient on the Pulpo, flavored with a hint of chipotle.
Rack de cordero Lamb rack marinated in false chimichurri, on potato sauce, potato chips, sweet corn and a cloud of yellow lime. The potato sauce was superb with a surprise pop of crispy potato chips and Mexican corn.
Pie de Lemon Key lime pie deconstructed of lemon pie, accompanied with forest fruit, salad in Jimaica sauce, yogurt and red fruit sorbet An interesting take on Key Lime Pie, we liked the combination with the strawberry fruit.
Pastel de chocolate Chocolate cake accompanied strawberries with cream, chocolate sauce and flamed cotton candy. The surprise ingredient: Halls Mentho-lyptus. Who would have thought an ingredient like this would give the chef such inspiration? Hotel El Golpe de Vista, Prolongacion de Aldama 1 San Miguel de Allende, Gto. 37700 Chef: Antonio Arzola Hours: Monday 1:00 PM – 8:00 PM Tuesday: Closed Wednesday: 1:00 PM – 9:00 PM Thursday – Saturday: 1:00 PM – 10:00 PM Sunday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM All safety protocols followed Masks required/can be removed for photographs and consumption Health First certified by the city of SMA

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

El Estoril

I love French food. I was in Paris for the first time when I discovered that the French actually do eat chocolate croissants for breakfast. It’s no wonder I spent half my life wanting to be French. I eat like I’m French; meals are the highlight of my day. There is no guilt attached to enjoying food; eating is considered the ultimate pleasure. When El Estoril opened in SMA, I was curious; there have not been any French restaurants of this quality in SMA since I moved here almost 10 years ago. The restaurant is housed inside the Hotel Hacienda de Guadalupe; a familiar spot to many in SMA at Hidalgo #4. You wouldn’t recognize the interior; it’s gone through a major renovation and it is stunning. The restaurant has a remarkable history… El Estoril was founded in 1971 in Mexico City on Genova Street in the Zona Rosa by Guillaume and Rosa Martin. From the 1950 – 1980’s, the Zona Rosa was revitalized by artists, intellectuals and the city’s elite, attracting exclusive restaurants and clubs. The restaurant was already called Estoril when they bought it. In the beginning, it was a 100% French bistro from which dishes such as Café Paris snails and steaks were preserved. El Estoril gradually evolved into fusion cuisine at the request of its regular diners, compiling iconic dishes such as the Fried Parsley.
In 2017, Chef Ángel Pacheco took over the kitchen at El Estoril from Chef Pedro Ortega, imprinting his touch and talent on classic dishes and the novelties of his inspiration. Diane and Guillaume Martin currently hold the reins of the Estoril name; the classic restaurant from Mexico City that is now putting down roots in San Miguel de Allende. Chef Angel Pacheco, 32, is French trained. A 2006 graduate of CONALEP, he cooked at Champs Elysées, Arturo’s and Bistro Noisette in Mexico City, spending time in France with Chef Franck Mishler and is also trained in Oenology. You’ll see a familiar face on the weekends in the restaurant. Chef Magda Elisa Pablos, the former chef at El Vergel, is there to introduce you to all the magnificent food on the menu and is helping to oversee the operation of the restaurant. They couldn’t have picked a better host; no one in SMA knows French food more than Chef Magda Elisa Pablos.
The Duck Tacos and the Short Rib both go on our list as some of the finest food we’ve eaten in SMA. The portions are huge; you can easily split the dishes with two other people. To say the food is incredible is an understatement; it’s the best French meal we’ve had in years. The thing that impressed us the most is that the restaurant has survived for over 50 years. When you taste the food, you’ll know why; it’s in a class by itself. We couldn’t think of another restaurant in SMA to compare it to and that, in itself, is a reason to celebrate.
Our feast: Croquetas de Serrano Jamon Sarten de Pato Confitado Clarificado de Res Betabel Rostizado Corazon de Filete Con Salsa de Morillas Short Rib Estofado Con Polenta Cremosa y Duxel de Avellanas Robalo Con Pure De Coliflor y Salsa De Calabaza y Castilla Al Azafran Pure De Papa Rustico Crème Brulee

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

So many GREAT new restaurants in SMA, we're playing catch-up…

We'll be posting about all the good food at:
Outstanding in the Field: Chef Donnie Masterton outdid himself; cooking for a group of 60 people on his ranch. Chef Masterton was at his best - hosting Outstanding in the Field for the first time as the farmer; perhaps his greatest role. Also look for pictures on Facebook by one of SMA’s best photographers, Nicolas De Panam.
Cafe Lula – Jesus #27: Just in case you missed it, we posted yesterday on Café Lula. It’s healthy and loaded with many tasty dishes made by new chef, Ovier Espinoza Santos, who worked for Executive Chef, Juan Manuel Galvan Lopez at La Dona, one of SMA’s best chefs and restaurants.
El Estoril – Hidalgo #4: This restaurant has been in Mexico City for 50 years this year and when you taste the food, you’ll know why it’s in a class by itself. Every dish was magnificent, lifting the bar in SMA to a new level once again. We joined Chef Magda Elisa Pablos, one of our favorite chefs in SMA for the feast. Chef Magda Elisa Pablos is at El Estoril on the weekends; helping to oversee the operation of the restaurant. You’ll not recognize this space inside Hacienda de Guadalupe; it is drop-dead gorgeous. The Sarten de Pato Confitatado is one of our favorite dishes. The portions are all really generous; perfect for splitting. They have a sushi bar up front called Murasaki.
Cafe Umaran – Umaran #8: We introduced Café Umaran to SMA last year. One of the best cafes, it has a great bakery and even better prices. It’s now one of our morning office stops so come by for a cup of coffee and a chat. They’re expanding the menu with new offerings. Besides, who else has a tree growing in the middle of their dining room? Try the Ultimate roll with bacon, cheeses, egg yolk and truffle oil. Café Umaran comes to SMA by way of Metepec Toluca, where owner, Francisco Diaz, had a restaurant prior to Covid. Paco moved the entire operation to SMA and is doing what he does best again – making delicious pastries and breads. Many are priced between $10 - $37 pesos and since value is seldom paired with quality anymore, this is another reason to love Café Umaran; it’s affordable. Also try the Envueltos Guayaba; the best new pastry in SMA.
We picked up gorgeous breads from the new Panio store at La Luciernaga. Buy a Bonjour Panio bag and fill it with some of their best offerings. Panio provides some of the best delivery service in SMA. What better gift to give than the gift of bread?
We also enjoyed a soon-to-be new appetizer on Chef Arturo Sandoval’s menu at Atrio – Cuna de Allende #3: Hamachi with Siracha. Chef Sandoval is one of the best chefs in SMA having stood the test of time. Chef Michael Coon was along for the tasting. Panio and Atrio are part of SMA’s gold standard; vendors who provide the very best quality of food in SMA. This week, we have another round of new restaurants; finishing off with a tasting at Terraza La Vista at Prol. de Aldama 1, on top of the Hotel Golpe de Vista with head chef, Antonio Arzola. You may recognize Chef Arzola from Casa de Sierra Nevada. Stay tuned.