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Dinner at Izote!

Blog updates have a been a bit slow recently, due to a combination of a looming accounting exam this past Friday and visitors in town!  John’s mom and aunt, Penny and Chris, made the trek down to Mexico to escape the highly-unpleasant climes of most of the US during the month of February.  They seemed to have a lovely time exploring all over Mexico City, as well as a brief side-trip via fancy-pants bus to Morelia.  (FYI, the high rent buses here are apparently fantastic, with only 3 seats per row, sufficient leg room, multiple movies, a decent bathroom, and coffee/tea factilities– check out 360-degree views of ETN’s buses here: http://www.etn.com.mx/360.html)

Anyway, as a celebratory “John’s belated birthday dinner”, the four of us visited Izote, Patricia Quintana’s much-heralded restaurant in Polanco known for its fantastic modern renditions of traditional Mexican dishes. It unfortunately lacks a website, but is located on Presidente Masarik 515 in Polanco between streets Sócrates and Platón, phone #5282 3262.

The Herickhoff/Oetjen clan pose while dining at Izote

The Herickhoff/Oetjen clan pose while dining at Izote

The food was all fantastic. The menu has a great representation of seafood, and the various ceviches are all excellent choices for apps. (Alas, we neglected to get any appetizer pics, but the scallops in a Seville orange sauce were amazing and the lobster enchiladas quite tasty as well.)  Prices are generally in the $80-200 peso range for appetizer-sized dishes, and between ~$200-390 pesos for entrees. We were appreciative of several reasonably-priced bottles of wine, and had a fantastic sauvignon blanc from Argentina for about $400 pesos. 

Our only complaint was the service– we had several waiters who covered our table, but our apparently “primary” waiter was too good to pour wine.  Our bottle of wine was in a bucket next to the table, thereby implying the waiter would be pouring it… First I sat with my glass empty for about 15 minutes, so John finally started pouring refills.  Naturally the snobby waiter quickly appeared to take the bottle out of John’s hands, with a smirk that seemed to say “how tacky of you to do this”.  When we later ordered a second bottle, snobby waiter brought the bottle to us, then left it on the table until a *different* waiter came over to open it… who then promptly dumped in the ice bucket without pouring any. Minor complaints, but when you’re eating at one of the top restaurants in Mexico City, one hopes for more attention, less condescension… :)  

Brushing that aside, however, I will reiterate that Izote is definitely worth a trip to check out some fantastic food using authentic, local ingredients. While one could argue that you can find the same for a fraction of the price at the local tianguis, it is fun to see such a innovative, modern take on Mexican food once in a blue moon when the budget permits!!  (and to that end, many thanks to Penny and Chris for treating us to such a memorable meal)   Here are a few more pics from our night at Izote with a few must-tries for your next visit!

John had a fantastic grilled shrimp dish that was a special on the menu that night, seasoned with some kind of adobo mole.

John had a fantastic grilled shrimp dish that was a special on the menu that night, seasoned with some kind of adobo mole.

Chris ordered fish cooked "Pacific" style, that came accompanied with the best beans I've ever sampled & fantastic corn.

Chris ordered fish cooked "Pacific" style, that came accompanied with the best beans I've ever sampled & fantastic corn.

 

Penny also had a shrimp dish cooked to perfection with some green, cilantro rice and a tasty salsa verde

Penny also had a shrimp dish cooked to perfection with some green, cilantro rice and a tasty salsa verde

Personally, I felt I was the winner with shrimp accompanied by a jamaica mole (made from the jamaica flower that is also boiled to make flavored water here). The sauce was incredibly rich but didn't overwhelm the shrimp, which were huge and also perfectly cooked. The accompanying cornbread was an added bonus. :)

Personally, I felt I was the winner with shrimp accompanied by a jamaica mole (made from the jamaica flower that is also boiled to make flavored water here). The sauce was incredibly rich but didn't overwhelm the shrimp, which were huge and also perfectly cooked. The accompanying cornbread was an added bonus. :)

Included with your meal is the coffee of your choice... Three of us chose Cafe de Olla, which is an incredible blend of coffee, brown sugar, chocolate, cinnamon and cloves. MUST learn how to make this well at home!! (and buy super-cute pottery to serve it in) :)

Included with your meal is the coffee of your choice... Three of us chose Cafe de Olla, which is an incredible blend of coffee, brown sugar, chocolate, cinnamon and cloves. MUST learn how to make this well at home!! (and buy super-cute pottery to serve it in) :)

Penny however opted for the cafe con leche-- a bit of coffee topped off with heated milk. A perfect end to the evening!

Penny however opted for the cafe con leche-- a bit of coffee topped off with heated milk. A perfect end to the evening!

Finally, I recommend saving room for dessert-- for any almond/marzipan fans out there, Izote offered an almond cake with a marzipan-y center & white chocolate exterior, perched in a sea of mango sauce that I almost licked off the plate.

Finally, I recommend saving room for dessert-- for any almond/marzipan fans out there, Izote offered an almond cake with a marzipan-y center & white chocolate exterior, perched in a sea of mango sauce that I almost licked off the plate.

However, the dessert winner was probably the "chocolate box" (not sure what the description was in Spanish), that offered a box formed of thin chocolate that had 'tipped over' to spill out an amazing vanilla bean cream sauce dotted with chocolate truffles and blackberries. A must have for any chocolate fan!

However, the dessert winner was probably the "chocolate box" (not sure what the description was in Spanish), that offered a box formed of thin chocolate that had 'tipped over' to spill out an amazing vanilla bean cream sauce dotted with chocolate truffles and blackberries. A must have for any chocolate fan!

 

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5 Comments on “Dinner at Izote!”

  1. #1 John
    on Mar 2nd, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Caramba! If you get the recipe for the coffee drink then by all means do share with us Norteamericanos who are short on travel funds.

  2. #2 Lesley
    on Mar 3rd, 2009 at 11:45 am

    Thank you for giving me my food porn fix of the week. That almond marzipan cake sounds AMAZING. And the chocolate bag too. I think I will have to make almond marzipan cake once I get my kitchen in order…

  3. #3 craodc46
    on Mar 5th, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    And, uh, your DC readers are wondering if you’re collecting recipes to try out on us when you move back!!! Sounds like a wonderful evening–hope you and Neffy Juan are doing very well. Love, Auntie C

  4. #4 Nanci
    on Mar 5th, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    I am loving your blog! I don’t remember how I came across it, I’m sure I googled something random… Anyways, the food looks AMAZING and the colours are unreal.

    I’m looking forward to reading more of your adventures and insight!

    Best wishes,
    nanci

  5. #5 Mr Kipkai
    on Dec 4th, 2009 at 3:07 am

    “Café de olla” drink recipe for 9:

    3 instant coffee packets (9 people) or equivalent

    Sugar (about the double of the packet of coffee)

    “Canela” (cinnamon) on sticks (about 6 sticks)

    Vanilla (3 big spoons)

    1 little “piloncillo” (this is founded on Mexico only (maybe could be founded on some wall mart stores) instead of this, you can use (bee honey or moscabado sugar)
    http://mexicanfood.about.com/od/techniques/ss/Piloncillo.htm

    1 Mexican heptagonal chocolate portion for hot drinks (Ibarra)
    http://www.bibliocook.com/archives/2005/08/chocolate_and_c.html

    Optional Six drops of kalua (coffee liquor)

    recipe made by … http://streusel.weebly.com/

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