I was born in Colombia. In my childhood years we moved and traveled quite a bit. As newlyweds we lived in Hong Kong and traveled throughout Asia as much as we could. I grew up in a home where everything my mom made was delicious. So now even in the simplest of meals, I strive to find the best ingredients/food wherever I am.
A couple of years ago we moved to Mexico City, one of the largest cities in the world and home to the most incredible food and restaurants. Through my love for food and cooking, I was determined to find my own gems! Some of which I would love to share with you!
CONTRAMAR- A Gastronimic Feast
Specializing in only fish and shellfish. Contramar is hotspot for locals and celebrities with a swanky vibe but casual crowd. Among the faves on the menu are Chef Gabriela Camara's (one of Mexico's top chefs) famous Pescado a la Talla or Red and Green Red Snapper, butterflied and roasted, half covered with a red chili adobo sauce and the other half with a fresh green parsley sauce. Served with warm tortillas, salsas, refried beans, queso fresco and pickled onions, it is a nod to her Mexican roots. The other favorite are the Tostadas de Atun or Tuna Tostadas- a blend of Mexican and Japanese flavors. Sushi grade tuna over a crispy corn tostada with avocado, soy sauce, chipotle mayonnaise, topped with crispy fried leeks and lime. Reservations are a MUST and most Mexicans love a late Friday lunch that slips into the weekend.
Fun Fact to make sure you don’t look like a tourist. When handed a basket of warm tortillas at the table, never take the first or top one! It’s meant to keep the other ones warm for everyone else!
TAQUERIA EL CALIFA- Our Favorite Tacos
Mexico City is one of those places that you could eat like a king while on a budget, as long as you know where you are eating! This casual yet upscale taqueria has multiple locations and the quality of its food can't be beat! Among the faves on the menu are the Tacos al Pastor. Spit-fired marinated pork thinly sliced and served on a small fresh tortilla with minced onion, cilantro, pineapple and 4 different fresh salsas to pick from. The other must on the menu is the Gaona con Queso. Thinly sliced melt-in-your mouth filet topped with seared Oaxaca cheese, served on a small corn tortilla and salsas. Open from 12:00 PM to 4:00 AM, this is more of a lunch spot or a needed late night snack!
Clink on photo above to serve your salsas at your table.
I LOVE to cook! While living in Mexico City, I took a lot of cooking classes especially from one of my dearest friends Emilia. She will be coming to Bronxville soon for a cooking class or two!
One of my favorite things in Mexico is the variety of salsas that are made and offered at one table! My favorite is the Salsa Verde Cruda, which is an uncooked sauce made with tomatillos and cilantro. This is perfect for tacos, tortilla chips or quesadillas. There may be a million different ways to make this sauce but this is my favorite version!
THE PERFECT SALSA VERDE CRUDA
10 tomatillos- large or 18 small, husked, rinsed and cut in half
1/4 white onion (has to be white)
1 garlic clove
Splash of Heinz white vinegar
1 tsp salt
A handful of cilantro (about 15 sprigs, stems included)
1-2 serrano peppers, seeded. (Add the seeds or more serranos if you want it spicier)
1/2 tsp Knorr Chicken Bouillon (has to be Knorr)
Put all the ingredients in a blender. I like to use the Nutribullet Pro and pulse it a few times. It should have a coarse, puréed and rustic consistency. Add more salt if needed. Put in a glass airtight container and refrigerate.
SAN ANGEL INN- A Must Mexican Experience
The San Angel Inn is a colonial monastery turned into a restaurant. It’s beautiful courtyard, gardens and patios along with the strolling Mexican musical trio give it a romantic and nostalgic feel that will make you feel completely transported. Plan on going on a Saturday and making a late lunch reservation, requesting a table by the garden. Order a Bloody Mary, Michelada, Tequila+Sangrita, or a Paloma as the locals would. Beforehand, visit the Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo and afterwards El Bazar Sábado, an artisan market (only open on Saturdays) for the ultimate Mexican experience!
PALOMA RECIPE - A refreshing and delicious tequila cocktail with grapefruit soda or fresh pink grapefruit juice! Often considered the “skinny drink”.
2 ounces of your favorite tequila (I love Don Julio Blanco)
1/4 ounce fresh lime juice
4 ounces grapefruit soda (Fresca or Squirt if you can find it) or pink grapefruit juice
Salt to rim the glass
Limes for garnish
Salt the rim of a glass. Wet the rim with a lime wedge, then roll it in a small dish of salt. Fill the glass with ice and add tequila and lime juice. Top it off with grapefruit soda or juice. Stir and garnish with a lime.
Click on the photos below to purchase these and serve them at your next party! The Paloma will look so chic in our Hobnail Glasses and Pitcher!