If you read this post, you may have gathered that Dan and I planned a trip to Mexico City just to eat. Yes, that did, indeed, happen. Since our trip was all about food, we simply had to eat at Pujol, a Michelin starred restaurant run by famous chef Enrique Olvera that was recently ranked as the 13th best restaurant in the world! I made the reservation in January, before we even booked the plane tickets… Even as early as January, dinner was already full, so lunch it was for us! We booked the 13:30 time slot, the first one available, in an effort not to spoil any dinner…(spolier alert, that was not succesful!).
Just before lunch, we were in the Zocalo neighborhood, so we took a quick Uber ride to Pujol. We arried a bit early, so we walked around Polanco a bit before entering the restaurant right at 13:30. Polanco is quite swanky – lots of very high end shops, including the most beautiful Louis Vuitton!
Upon entering Pujol, the setting is very modern, with sleek lines and a trendy neutral color palate. The only color were the gorgeous purple flowers throughout the restaurant.
Upon sitting down, we were presented with the daily tasting menu, which consisted of six courses for $102 USD a person. That is a STEAL for the quality of the food and service. Before starting on our menu, we consulted with the sommelier for a wine pairing. Pujol, not surprisingly, has an excellent wine list, but we decided to go with a Mexican red that is produced especially for only four restaurants in Mexico City. Tt was more than our meal…oops, yet totally delicious. #treatyoself. We also started with a glass of sparkling wine (also Mexican, Mexican reds are much better than Mexican sparkles)!
Our first course followed shortly after – Street Sancks! This was sort of like an amuse bouche. On our visit, the street snacks consisted of a small bread bite topped with some sort of guacamole. It was very tasty and the perfect sized snack. Our second street snack, which was served at the same time as the “bite,” was a type of small carrot that was tossed in a delicious spicy mayonaisesque sauce served in a fun pumpkin type dish. The carrots were absolutely delicious, and slightly sweet. I surprisingly preferred it to the “bite” (and I don’t normally like carrots).
For the second course, we each got to choose one of three selections. We both opted for the octopus; this was an excellent choice. The octopus was served in a habanero ink sauce and was very well done. We are very picky about octopus and this was perfectly prepared! It was also the perfect size for a second course.
The third course came out shortly after the octopus, and we switched to our fancy red wine! It was so delicious (but I forgot to take a picture, as they decanted it!). For our third course, I ordered the charred eggplant tamale. Dan ordered the fried soft shell tacos. Dan’s crab was served with tacos so that he could make tacos out of the soft shell crab. Dan said his was good, but not nearly as good as our soft shell crab tacos at Broka Bistrot the next night…. My eggplant tamale was very good and topped with chard. I would order it again.
Our fourth course was, really, the main course. Once again, we had a choice of several options. For course four, Dan ordered the ox tounge, which was served as a piece of beat with barley, purslane, and cactus. Dan enjoyed it, but the people sitting at the table next to us most certainly did not (although, I’m not sure they knew what they were ordered).
For my fourth course, I ordered the open papadzul, which is an open faced enchilada. It was served with a quail egg and chitomate. While it looked a lot like my eggplant tamale, the papaduzul was very tasty!
The fifth course was Pujol’s famous mother’s mole sauce, this one was 1592 days old. It was paired with a new mole (the new mole is the lighter one) and served with a special type of green tortillas. I’m not sure I knew what mole was before eating this dish, but it was really good and tastes rather sweet.
For the sixth course, the dessert course, we had a choice of one of four. I went with the mango granite with vanilla . Dan ordered the Anise Infladita with a chocolate praline. My mango dessert was similar to a sorbet with some vanilla chips. Dan’s was surprisingly good and not terribly Anisey.
After the main dessert, the restaurant brought out a final (or what we thought was a final bite), a sweet dulce de leche dessert! It was very tasty.
However, when I made our reservation, I noted that it was an anniversary trip and it was, of sorts (?). I actually forgot about it but, after dessert, Pujol brought us out a special dessert – the most beautiful chocolate covered marshmallow topped with an edible flower!
And, the last course, which was not on the menu, were freshly made churros! We swore that we were too full to eat the entire plate, but we finished it! The churros were freshly made, hot, and loaded with cinnamon!
We finished our meal with an authentic margarita to compliment the churros! Very good!
All in all, our lunch was extremely well prepared and tasted delicious! Likewise, the service was beyond excellent and I would not hesitate to recommend Pujol to anyone! I would also note that Dan and I have been to Cosme, Enrique Olvera’s NYC restaurant and, while that was amazing, I prefer Pujol – better food and a much cheaper cost!!
STEAL OUR TRIP
Pujol: Tennyson 133, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc, 11550 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico. Closed Sunday, open every other day 13:30 – 22:45. Reservations must be made months in advance via Open Table. No a la carte ordering when I visited. Sharp dress suggested, even for lunch.
ON A BUDGET
While similar restaurants in other parts of the world, including Enrique Olvera’s Cosme, in New York City are wayyyyy more expensive, the tasting menu at Pujol is by no means a budget meal, especially when you add in drinks. Lucikly for budget travelers, Mexico City is packed with inexpensive restaurants and street foods!
There is apparently also a “taco bar” tasting at the bar. Seating is very limited, but it is less expensive than the full tasting menu.