Quintonil (Mexico City, MX)
11550 Mexico, D.F.
Dining date: 8/12/17
Quintonil opened in 2012 and quickly established itself on the world stage. The restaurant is currently ranked 22nd in the world, two spots behind fellow Mexico City restaurant Pujol. Chef Jorge Vallejo worked for three years at Pujol under chef Enrique Olvera before opening this restaurant. He also spent a short period of time working at Noma in what has been a relatively brief, but spectacular, career for the 35-year-old chef.
Our party of two was able to squeeze in for a weekend lunch reservation. An 11-course tasting menu is available for both lunch and dinner ($1950 MXN). Given it was lunchtime and we had a large dinner at Pujol the previous night, we opted for building our own a la carte meal.
Housemade tortillas with beans, hoja santo and salsas
Frozen mango with bonito and sea asapargus
Cactus cebiche with beet root and orange
Charred avocado tartare with escamoles and mexican herb chips
Salbut with wild mushrooms confit in agave honey, seasoned with chile mixe salt
Seafood “vuelve a la vida” ear shell clam, beef tongue with noisette spices
Catch of the day Puerto Nuevo style, grilled salicornias, fermented cabbage and seaweed mojo
Braised pork jowl with blue corn cegueza, lettuces, and pickled rajas
Creamy green rice with a perfect egg on top, avocado and cilantro sprouts
Mamey panna cotta, sweetened corn crumble and mamey seed ice cream
I enjoyed the food at Quintonil. The food was very refined and displayed much more creative flair than what we had in Pujol. Favorites from this meal were the seafood “vuelve a la vida”, fish entree, and the mamey dessert. The take on a seafood cocktail was made richer, and more savory, with the addition of braised beef tongue. But the dish was still bright with the pieces of sweet clam coming through. The fish, a sea bass on this day, was light and flaky complemented by a deep mojo sauce. And the mamey dessert, featuring the fruit two ways, was sweet and refreshing – I enjoyed the textural contrast between soft pieces of fruit, panna cotta and the corn crumble.