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México Eats: Polanco and Condesa?

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embarcadero1 Feb 28, 2007 12:28 PM

Looking for some fine eats in these two neighborhoods of the DF. I've been to Águila y Sol and loved it. What about Izote? Other places that I've left out?

Also, would love to find some good places to go with work colleagues in Condesa. Any suggestions?

Both are expense account situations, if that's any help.

Thanks!

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  1. Anonimo RE: embarcadero1 Feb 28, 2007 12:31 PM

    We were invited to Contramar in Februrary, 2004. It was a long wait to sit in a very noisy hall, something like an airplane hanger. I did not order wisely, as I ended up have 5 large scallops with a tapenade sauce on the side, and an order of rice. The dessert was good.
    Our hostess had this attractive tuna dish. http://www.pbase.com/panos/image/2662...

    1. cristina RE: embarcadero1 Feb 28, 2007 08:04 PM

      Izote is fabulous, although it's not in Condesa. It's in Polanco, and it's a do-not-miss.

      3 Replies
      1. re: cristina
        m
        Maya RE: cristina Mar 1, 2007 10:41 AM

        Okay - Izote or Pujol, if you had to choose one?

        1. re: Maya
          cristina RE: Maya Mar 1, 2007 10:52 AM

          <faints>

          1. re: Maya
            DiningDiva RE: Maya Mar 1, 2007 03:41 PM

            I've been to both. I choose Pujol. But, they're both good, I don't think you'd go wrong with either one.

        2. g
          gueraaven RE: embarcadero1 Mar 5, 2007 02:06 PM

          There aren't many true expense account restaurants in La Condesa, although there is very enjoyable dining. The one I would say stands out is Bistrot Mosaico. Roma has a few you might try - Contramar for lunch, Tierra de Vinos and La Tecla for either.

          You're more likely to find the real superstars in Lomas and Polanco (and Santa Fé, but that's a trek during rush hour... well, almost all day)... in Lomas you can head to Cardenal, Naos, Bakea.

          You've got some of the Polanco standbys listed. I would add Bellaria if you are into well-done, decently priced Italian, Ivoire (French/African influences)...

          4 Replies
          1. re: gueraaven
            Eat_Nopal RE: gueraaven Mar 7, 2007 06:54 AM

            Hi Guera.... what is good in Santa Fe? I just remember Ruth Chris's Steakhouse & other "upscale" chains.

            1. re: Eat_Nopal
              g
              gueraaven RE: Eat_Nopal Mar 7, 2007 05:03 PM

              You are right - it's mostly chains and outposts of successful restaurants from Polanco and La Condesa.

              The great new one is La Mar - new outpost of Gastón Acurio's restaurant in Lima, Peru. Friend from Lima swears it's just like original, which most people swear is one of Lima's best.

              La Brássica - New England food, for those of us who get homesick.

              Neither are cheap, though not more than AyS, I suppose. La Mar could be cheap depending on how much you ate.

              1. re: Eat_Nopal
                iamcrispydammit RE: Eat_Nopal Mar 11, 2007 07:01 PM

                It's more 'ethnic' than 'fine dining' as this thread seems to be about, but Kohinoor (G. González Camarena 999) is a great Indian restaurant in Santa Fe.

                As a vegetarian living in Mexico, I find it is hard to come by decent vegetarian restarants that are not mere extensions of health food shops, with offerings that tend to taste of cardboard. Indian restaurants, which are usually a reliable source for vegetarian options, are even fewer and far between. Kohinoor is not strictly vegetarian by any means. It is very traditional though, and they offer delicious food in a nice atmosphere.

                1. re: iamcrispydammit
                  Eat_Nopal RE: iamcrispydammit Mar 12, 2007 06:19 AM

                  How can you have a hard time finding vegetarian in Mexico? Try the fondas.... if you are a full time vegetarian its even more to focus on an adequate amino acid distribution... something that is seldom accomplished in vegetarian restaurants.

            2. m
              Maya RE: embarcadero1 Mar 6, 2007 06:46 AM

              Silly question, but is there any way to make reservations at Aguila Y Sol online? I thought I had seen their website but could not find it when searching this time... Also trying to figure out if they're open on Sundays.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Maya
                cristina RE: Maya Mar 6, 2007 07:08 AM

                Aguila y Sol is open Tuesday through Saturday, 1.30PM till 11.30PM. It's open Sundays from 1.30PM until 6.00PM.

                They have no website or email address. The phone number is 55-5281-8354.

                Maya, if you can decide when you'd like your reservations, let me know and I'll call them for you.

                1. re: cristina
                  m
                  Maya RE: cristina Mar 6, 2007 01:27 PM

                  Thank you! I will email you - is your email address somewhere on your profile that I can't find?

                  1. re: Maya
                    cristina RE: Maya Mar 6, 2007 02:27 PM

                    No...and I'd put it there, but I don't know how. It's piensalo44@hotmail.com.

                    1. re: cristina
                      susancinsf RE: cristina Mar 11, 2007 09:39 PM

                      you can put your email in the 'real name' section; just identify it as such. See my profile for an example.

              2. j
                JoakimZiegler RE: embarcadero1 Mar 14, 2007 12:22 AM

                DO, Denominacion de Origen, on Hegel street 406 in Polanco, is very likely the best Spanish restaurant in Mexico City. It's possibly a bit cheaper than places like Aguila y Sol, but the food is amazing, and they have a very extensive wine selection. Highly recommended.

                2 Replies
                1. re: JoakimZiegler
                  iamcrispydammit RE: JoakimZiegler Mar 18, 2007 06:23 PM

                  And, although I've not been there, the photographs I've seen of it make it look at once funky and beautiful. I was really wanting to go there when I was in Polanco over Christmas, but fear of going to the trouble and expense of getting there only to find that there was little selection for vegetarians kept me away. The same thing was true of Izote. I've read nothing but shining reviews of both those places, but it's rare when a food critic delves into the accessibility of a restaurant to those with dietary restrictions. If all I can get is a small salad when I go to a restaurant, it doesn't matter if it is the highest-rated joint in town. It's not worth it to me.

                  Can you (or anyone here) tell me if either of those two restaurants have enough vegetarian options (more than one or two things to choose from) to make it worthwhile for me to check them out?

                  1. re: iamcrispydammit
                    j
                    JoakimZiegler RE: iamcrispydammit Mar 24, 2007 12:50 PM

                    Well, the Spaniards like their meat (Jabugo ham at DO is amazing), but there are at least a few things you could try at DO, one is the eggplant lasagna, which I like a lot, although I'm not sure it's 100% vegetarian. It has no obvious animal products in it, but it's not always easy to tell. I think there are at least a couple of other things on the menu that at least seem vegetarian.

                    I don't know Izote, so I can't help you out there.

                2. q
                  quincyc RE: embarcadero1 Mar 19, 2007 03:41 PM

                  Just got back from my first trip to Mexico City. My favorite dining experience was a lunch at La Rauxa, in Colonia Condesa. I get the feeling it is quite a new restaurant, so I'm trying to help spread the word. My friend and I didn't intend to eat there, but we were both charmed when the chef came out to explain the specials to us in person when we inquired about the menu.

                  The restaurant only has six tables or so, and the kitchen is almost in arm's reach of the diners. Lunch consisted of bread (along with a chili-laden butter), beverage, tomato-basil soup, salad, entree (we both chose a white fish on a bed of cactus with a guava sauce and a lasagna-esque stack of pasta, potatoes, cheese, and tomatoes), and dessert with espresso for ~$70 or $80 pesos. For the dessert, I chose a pudding of some sort. I liked it quite a bit, but I was completely won over when the chef revealed that it was made with celery and Roquefort cheese with slices of strawberry (apparently adapted from a panna cotta dish served at the Fat Duck in England).

                  I didn't eat at enough fine dining establishments to know how La Rauxa stacks up against other places in Mexico City, but I left completely satisfied with both the food and the extremely reasonable price.

                  Unfortunately, I lost the business card with the address of the restaurant.

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: quincyc
                    j
                    JoakimZiegler RE: quincyc Mar 24, 2007 12:52 PM

                    This sounds interesting, unfortunately I couldn't find anything relevant on Google. I live nearby, and I'd like to go look for it, but do you have any idea where in Condesa it was? Landmarks nearby, parks, etc.?

                    1. re: JoakimZiegler
                      q
                      quincyc RE: JoakimZiegler Mar 26, 2007 01:50 PM

                      It was a few doors down from "Bistro Rojo", which Google says is located at Av. Amsterdam 70. La Rauxa is not on Av. Amsterdam itself but on one of the intersecting streets (Bistro Rojo is on the corner of Amsterdam and whatever street La Rauxa is located on).

                      1. re: quincyc
                        j
                        JoakimZiegler RE: quincyc Apr 2, 2007 05:03 PM

                        Thanks a lot, I know where that is, should be easy to find. I'm thinking about trying it tonight, actually, I'll let you know how it goes.

                        1. re: quincyc
                          j
                          JoakimZiegler RE: quincyc Apr 4, 2007 05:12 PM

                          I went today for a late lunch, and I have to say, it didn't disappoint. Soup was fried tomato cream, and the entrees were veal in a cream sauce, chicken in a thai-inspired lemon and basil sauce, or a vegetable tart with middle eastern style spices. I had the chicken, my lunch partner had the veal, both were excellent. The chef did indeed take his time to explain the menu (although this might be because they have no printed menus), and the whole affair was very nice, excellent food, and 74 pesos per person with dessert, drinks, and coffee. The service was a bit varied in quality, the waiter wasn't the most professional, but that food at that price point makes it petty to complain about stuff like that. They change the menu every day, apparently, and I will definitely be going again. For reference, they close at 6, so it's lunch only.

                          1. re: JoakimZiegler
                            q
                            quincyc RE: JoakimZiegler Apr 19, 2007 06:14 PM

                            I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it!

                      2. re: quincyc
                        modernist RE: quincyc Apr 14, 2007 10:45 AM

                        holy smokes. 70 pesos? that sounds like an amazing deal for "fine dining"
                        im going to be in mexico city around april 17-22. not sure where we'll be staying but most likely in the condesa, zona rosa area.

                        definitely will be eating at aguila y sol (better for lunch than dinner? any day better than others? im guessing 80-100 usd for lunch?), and i want to try bring my girlfriend to la mar because i went to lima without her last year (i think i spent around 30 usd for lunch in lima. is it the same here?). im also interested in trying azul y oro on the UNAM campus - have no idea of the cost here... anyone? how far to unam from condesa? i guess the hotel concierge can help with this info)

                        but if i could find a series of strong places to eat lunch at that price that would be awesome! is commida typically less expensive than dining for dinner? from reading on the boards it sounds like fine dining for dinner is more for foreigners somehow. so i think that my strategy will be to have long amazing lunches and do lots and lots of snacking at more casual places for dinner... and browse street snacks, markets and panaderias along the way.... i like the whole spectrum from fine dining to street meat....

                        1. re: modernist
                          q
                          quincyc RE: modernist Apr 19, 2007 06:18 PM

                          I noticed that the clientele at upscale restaurants for dinner was mostly foreign. I would definitely recommend that you try to make lunch your main meal of the day.

                          1. re: modernist
                            g
                            gueraaven RE: modernist May 2, 2007 05:05 PM

                            Actually, Aguila y Sol gets a fair amount of Mexicans at night, too. Fine dining is defintely an upper-middle class Mexican thing, too - it is definitely not reserved for foreigners. Every restaurant in Polanco and Condesa, esp. the nicer ones, will have big dinner crowds. The ones in Polanco get expense account folks simply because they are near all the big hotels for business travelers. So, eating big lunches and street food is a great plan, but if you do want nice dinners out you can definitely find lots of lively options popular with the locals. I would say AyS for dinner, simply because you'll be able to enjoy a great dinner out, wine, and not feel like you want to go to your hotel and lie in a food coma for the rest of the afternoon. La Mar will be the same.

                            Cost at Azul y Oro is low, but check hours. It's a trek from la Condesa.... about an hour in public transport, and you'll have to take at least two kinds. In taxi you will spend about 15 dollars to get down there.

                            1. re: gueraaven
                              modernist RE: gueraaven May 3, 2007 09:49 AM

                              had a great lunch at aguilar y sol and azul y oro (where we spent a nice afternoon)
                              also ate at pujol, casa merlos, and many others that were repeat mentions on this board. we had a very nice trip. ill try to find some time to write it up when i get a chance...

                              1. re: gueraaven
                                j
                                JoakimZiegler RE: gueraaven May 7, 2007 11:42 AM

                                15 dollars to go from Condesa/Zona Rosa to Polanco? Maybe if you're going in some sort of ordered by phone limo.

                                Get a taxi on the street and go. It should be maybe 4-5 dollars.

                                1. re: JoakimZiegler
                                  modernist RE: JoakimZiegler May 7, 2007 03:12 PM

                                  azul y oro is in the UNAM campus in coyoacan which is much further than polanco.

                            2. re: quincyc
                              g
                              gringo_puma RE: quincyc Oct 2, 2007 06:49 PM

                              La Rauxa is on Calle Parras, between Av. Amsterdam and Av. Nuevo Leon, on the same side of the street as Bistro Rojo.

                               
                               
                              1. re: quincyc
                                b
                                bethshax RE: quincyc Feb 10, 2008 07:14 PM

                                That was such a great find, THANK YOU! We were staying at Condesa DF, a totally overpriced, overgrown youth hostel and La Rauxa was a culinary high point. We had the lunch special which is soup (celery root that day,) salad with a creamy dressing, I had the fish and my husband had the curried chicken. The food was simple and wonderful. The restaurant is located off of Amsterdam on Loredo I think -- one store front in. The place was packed with locals and we couldn't have had a better more leisurely and beautiful lunch. THANK YOU!

                              2. jim2657 RE: embarcadero1 Mar 19, 2007 10:22 PM

                                Try "La Casa Portuguesa" on Av. Emilio Castelar, right across from Lincoln park in Polanco. It's not a pretentious place, but very nice with lots of people watching on sunny afternoons. They have quite good codfish dishes, (nicely de-boned), and fresh sardines PLUS a very good wine list - try the ones from Portugal's Extremadura region, they're a bit salty as the vines are near the ocean, delicious! Their tuna tartare is to die for, don't miss it, really. If you go at lunch time, reservations are best, and specify a table "outside".

                                1. mambooster7 RE: embarcadero1 Apr 13, 2007 09:35 PM

                                  Try El Bajio for early lunch before the crowds around 1 pm, for great traditional Mexican food specialty Carnitas great specials. On Cuitlahuac ave, not far from Polanco. Tezka in Zona Rosa, contemporary amazing use of ingredients. In Condesa for the original Taco al Pasto wher they actually invented it. Do not remember street but there are two I preffer to sit down at a table...

                                  1. Pablo RE: embarcadero1 May 3, 2007 09:57 AM

                                    One of my last expense accounts in Polanco was at Maxim's de Paris, anyone been lately?

                                    1. bigotes RE: embarcadero1 Feb 12, 2008 02:26 PM

                                      There is a new place that recently opened called Biko wich in basque means doubles or couple something like that . The chefs worked together for Arzak in Tezka for many years . Biko is their place, very sleek modern design right on Mazarik in a space that has change concept many times last one was called Sereno .Mazarik 407 www.biko.com.mx
                                      The menu is half traditional basque and half modern so you can choose . When I was there I decided to try one of each , to start foie gras mouse wraped in lettuce with cotton candy on top sounds off the wall but the result was splendid very well balance the mouse was almost liquid in perfect contrast with the crisp of the lettuce and the sweetness of the cotton candy just perfect. For the main course I ordered lamb chops with garlic and piquillos just fantastic my mouth is watering if I were in Mexico city Iwould just go and eat there right know. My wife had onion soup modern version and the bacalao (cod) traditional style that was absolutly great.
                                      If I had to choose from Pujol, Aguila y sol, Izote it would be in that order.
                                      Maxim's in the Intercontinental is know closed.... that was the first restaurant I worked at ! But if you want french food they opened Au Pied de Cochon in the Intercontinental opened 24 hrs. It is on the Reforma side It has becomed a late nite hangout place for soccer players, politicians, artists,etc. Oysters from Baja and France, mussels , and many french clasics much fancier than the one in Paris.I also herd that a bistro mosaico is opening on Mazarik , and Micheal Mina is also opening on the same street.
                                      If you have a chance to try the cochinita tacos or panuchos at el Turix on Emilio Castelar between parque Licoln and Mazarik on the left hand side beleive me you won't be desapionted my mother is from Campeche and the cochinita at el Turix is Super Good also very cheap in the heart of Polanco.
                                      Enjoy

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