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