By Carlos Dragonné y Elsie Méndez
In this search for Mexican flavors in the city -which is, in itself, a risk- there are days when the adventure can surprise you with a totally satisfying experience in lands that you thought were impossible to explore. That’s what happened to me in Merotoro, a restaurant where Chef Jair Téllez invited us to discover a vision of contemporary Mexican cuisine that defines him. Even though when asked about how he would define his kitchen, he still does not have a clear answer.
Then came the next big surprise to my palate. A Lomo de Extraviado a la Parrilla con Jitomates, Pimientos y Ajo Tierno (“White Fish Fillet with Tomatoes, Peppers, and Tender Garlic”) was place at the center of the table and it was a surprise for several reasons– first, my body has always rejected peppers, and I knew that it had peppers in it after I asked what they used as a base for this white fish that was cooked to perfection. I must confess, I am usually criticized for never trying, even by mistake, the skin of a fish. But my companion was so insistent that I ended up giving in to the pressure and, of course, I thanked him for it. It intensity of the flavor and the crunchy texture, defined by how well it was cooked, made my guest nearly regret his decision because I practically ate all of the pieces left with skin on them until the plate was empty.
A spectacular meal accompanied by a semi-dry white wine from Casa de Piedra could not end with a flourish without the dessert that will be the delight of anyone who enters the door of Merotoro. A Pastelito de Almendra con Salsa de Chocolate y Avellana (“Almond Cake with Chocolate and Hazelnut Sauce”) was beautifully presented to us, accompanied by Plátano Caramelizado y Helado de Crème brûlée (“Caramelized Banana with Creme Brulee Ice Cream”). The later is my absolute favorite dessert and seeing as it was converted into an ice cream that accompanies the main dessert was the perfect ending to an afternoon full of surprises.
Jair Téllez has managed to create an amazing concept of Mexican Cuisine based on the seafood from the Mexican Pacific. He simultaneously honors the significance of the ingredients and the cosmopolitan spirit of Mexico City that is hungry for unique and authentic flavors. This metropolis will undoubtedly have to reciprocate the gesture and honor the Merotoro right back.
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