Maximo Bistrot Local

It took a couple of days to get our bearings and home in on the better restaurants in DF. That’s not an easy task, because there are a lot of good ones. After searching some sites, we followed the advice of food writer and tour leader, Betsy McNair and went to Maximo Bistrot Local in La Roma for lunch. It was pretty high on the WOW meter.

The complimentary starter dips.

We really aren’t interested in fancy, fussy food. I’m not that impressed by people who can stack their food in towers and pyramids. I’m more interested in a chef who can shop the markets, create a daily menu from what is fresh, combining and preparing each item to show off it’s flavor. The next two photos are from the Mercado San Juan, where most chef’s go to shop.

Mercado San Juan

Mercado San Juan

This is a don’t-miss market for food fans. There is a great coffee roaster, imported Asian and European foods, stalls piled high with imported and domestic meats and cheeses, and one grumpy guy working the exotic meat stall (kangaroo, ostrich, etc.)

Chef Eduardo Garcia Garcia, an alum of Pujol (currently the hot spot in DF), cooks delicious honest food, much of it purchased from his 4:30 am visits to the San Juan Mercado in centro. His partner, Gabriela Lopez Cruz (who worked for Habita Hotels) handles the front of the house.

 

The shrimp next door

I shot a photo of the adjoining table’s shrimp with camaron mole and we started talking about good food in the city. After mentioning several places, both guys said, “If it was my last night in the city, I would come back and eat here.” So, we did.

With our friend, Laura, we returned for our 7:00 reservation (silly gringo – nobody eats dinner at 7:00), properly ravenous. We had the place to ourselves and the restaurant didn’t start filling up until we left around 9:00. Still, reservations are a good idea.

We split a beet salad with chunks of grapefruit and figs, then a tuna tartare with a picante mayonnaise and avocado. I ordered the goat cheese ravioli with toasted garlic in a sage/butter sauce, and both Jennifer and Laura wanted pork and since I had it yesterday, I couldn’t blame them. But, then the kitchen did something unusual.

They put different sides on each plate – one got potato dauphinoise and the other had risotto. Pretty perfect set up for a eaters who are passing forks and plates around.

We finished with vanilla creme brulee split three ways and we were three very happy diners. The meal had everything: bright flavors, fresh ingredients, perfect execution and plating. The prices are not cheap, but they are very reasonable.We spent $60 USD for lunch with an appetizer, two mains and a glass of wine. Our dinner tab, boosted by a bottle of Cote du Rhone, was about $125 with tip.

The wine list leans heavily toward France with couple of nicely priced reds and rosés by the glass. I had a Vin Pays d’Oc for lunch for $84 mxp. A merlot from Valle de Santo Tomas (Mexico) was only $55 mxp. I love a wine list that encourages the consumption of wine, by pricing it fairly.

The restaurant is on the corner of Zacatecas and Tonalá in Colonia La Roma. For reservations call: 52644291