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50 Best restaurants but not the best service: Restaurant Quintonil (12. April 2017)

| June 19, 2017 | 0 Comments

The Quintonil has recently been awarded as one of the 50 best restaurants of the world and given I have been to Pujol and Biko previously, I thought it’s time to try a new one. I went for the “tasting menu” (1’800 MXN) with “wine pairing” (1’385 MXN). The restaurant is rather small and reservation is key as else you won’t get a table – there were people waiting in line for cancellations. As a starter some “tortillas con habanero sauce, frijoles, salsa roja tatemada” were served. Be careful when you try it as the habanero sauce is truly spicy and so is the salsa roja tatemada – but it is also rather delicious to start the evening.

The first dish of the evening was “ceviche de nopales curados en sal, jugo de betabel y naranja” which was surprisingly delicious as I have tried nopales before and while I generally like them, these were definitely among the best I’ve ever tried. It was served with a glass of “Laberinto, San Luis Potosí, Mexico (Vino Blanco)” which fit well. When they say that the wine servings are tiny, that is not entirely true but it is rather the case that you have quite a glass full, so you end up having something like 8 glasses.

While I am not a big fan of flautas generally, this one was an exception. The “flauta de calabaza rellena de camarones con aguachile de flores” did not only look absolutely outstanding but it also tasted exactly that way. The “Crois, Torrontes, Argentina, 2015” which was served with it was a good combination. I especially liked the explanations of the sommelier who went to a great length to give us an appropriate picture of the wines in all its facets.

Now, while the service up to this point has been amazing, it turned out that they are not at the top of their game. We were a party of three, and the next dish, the “vuelve a la vida de callo media luna y lengua de res, especias y hierbas de la primavera” served with “Fiano di Avellino, Terredora Dipaolo, 2015” (which was the same wine I was given as an aperitivo when I had asked for something) was served without the sauce and the ‘lengua de res’ at first …

… to then be prepared at your table so it would end up with a little sauce and some cubes of beef tongue. Only, when the other two were served, and it was my turn, they served some sauce on my dish but no beef tongue. The solution was then to ‘steal’ a bit from the plate of the other two and to put it on mine. Sure, feasible, as it solved the problem. But this shouldn’t happen in the first place in a restaurant of this quality and level. Furthermore, one of our party had two forks and a knife instead of a fork, a knife, and a spoon. Once more, it turns out, if you have the same waiter for the same table, this is more effective than continuously changing.

Next in line was the “tartara de aguacate tatemado, escamoles y quelites” served with “Solear, Barbadillo (Manzanilla)”. Frankly, it had a very special taste, something I had not expected but it was quite pleasant although I could not have much more than what was served as it was somewhat too creamy.

As an in-betweener of the tasting menu, we were asked if we wanted to try a new dish which is not part of the tasting menu. And we volunteered to do so – the “salbut (stuffed with corn and corn funghi)” was not looking that appealing really but it was actually quite tasty. Not sure what exactly it was to be honest, not sure how to describe the taste, but if you have the chance you should try it.

For the next course we were shown the “corn” which is used to prepare the upcoming dish … well, talking about ‘appealing much’.

However, while the ‘demonstration’ didn’t look too appealing, the “sopa de chicharo y chia con caldillo de tomates de Huasca” served with “Oremus, Tokaji Furmint Dry, Hungary, Mondolas, 2014” was actually quite interesting although you could strongly feel the chia seeds.

The next course was “cuitlacoche rostizado y salsa picante de papa con hueva de trucha y flores de calabaza” served with “Santenay, Premier Cru , Les Gravières, 2013 de Bruno Colin” but …

… finalized at your table with some sauce. The dish was good but the sauce was not really necessary for my palate.

The next dish, on the other hand, I liked quite a lot also with sauce – again, served first without it as “trucha estilo Puerto Nuevo, col fermentada y mojo de alga” served with “Volcan, Valle de Guadalupe, Cabarnet Sauvignon, 2013” …

… and finalized with sauce. Definitely simple in its ingredients but a great combination of flavours.

It was time for the main course – duck. Interesting choice as not everybody likes duck but the “pechuga de pato añejado, puré de almendras amargas y habanero, jamaica e higos” …

… again finalized with a sauce at your table (the third time in a row – a bit too much if you ask me) was absolutely lovely.

As a course between the main and the dessert, “nieve de nopal with sal de totomostle” was served. The salt is produced from banana leaves – something I have definitely never heard of before but it was actually quite a good and interesting combination!

The dessert was actually one of my favourite dishes the “queso Ramonetti madurado de 6 meses y de 1 año, mandarina y miel” served with “Vin Santo” (now, here we had a change of sommelier and suddenly the waiter didn’t care to explain anything about the wine anymore – quite disappointing really!). The dish was served …

… and finalized at your table with the cheese. Interesting choice, definitely, but also a lovely one. The combination of the honey, the ice cream and the cheese was quite a blast.

The last course was a “bizcocho helado de platano, cajeta y albahaca” served with “sake koshino kanbai kinmuko” – luckily we got the sommelier back at this point providing us with background information on what we were enjoying. The last course was outstanding – simple, a strong flavour of banana, yet, persuasive!

When you try to get a table at Quintonil, make sure you book at least a month in advance, as else you won’t stand a chance to get a table. And be ready to spend some money – at least for Mexican standards. For three people you have to calculate approximately 550 – 650 USD.

Overall, the experience at the Restaurant Quintonil was an outstanding one – the food is great, the wine pairing is generous and generally fits well with the dishes, and the place is quite atmospheric although a bit too tiny (and not so optimal from a layout perspective) – with regards to the service, I am not sure what to say. Some of the waiters did an outstanding job – others really not. So, the quality of the service varies strongly depending on who attends you. However, when you are in Mexico City, it is worth a visit but I must admit I have not been taken aback by the dishes and/or the service.


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Contact Details:

Restaurant Quintonil

Newton No. 55

Miguel Hidalgo, Polanco

11560 Ciudad de México (MX)

Tel.: +52 55 52 80 16 60

E-Mail: contacto@quintonil.com

Homepage: http://www.quintonil.com

About the Author:

I started the blog in October 2009, while living in Milan which I definitely consider to be one of the food capitals of the world. I was in touch with food since my early childhood (as my father is a former chef). Whenever I can, I travel the world to discover new places, to meet people but mostly to try local dishes and to find hidden gems! If you know a place worth going, please drop a line to: info@thediningexperience.org. Currently, I am a member of the following food-related associations: Chevalier @Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Zurich-Ville; Membre Gourmet Dégustateur @Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs [OMGD]; Gesellschafter @Goldener Fisch and Member @Slowfood Convivium Zurich City.

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