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Mar 6, 2007 09:02 AM

Has anyone tried Hip Kitchen?

We will be in Mexico City in May and are staying at the new Hippodrome Hotel. Just wondering if anyone has tried their restaurant yet? We only have 2 nights and are planning on Aguila y Sol for one and have one dinner yet to be determined. Looking for somethig fun with great food, not really into fusion, french, or foams. Any ideas?

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  1. Isn't that Ricardo Sandoval's new place?

    2 Replies
    1. re: DiningDiva

      It is. It is on Avenida Mexico in Condesa. Would love to hear a review.

      1. re: bbleu2

        Don't know anyone that's been yet. Buzz was strong about it though.

    2. It is Ricardo Sandoval's....

      I've been once with a large group, so was able to try many dishes. I liked what I had, but I didn't go nuts. I had a ceviche with watermelon and some other ingredients to start - I thought it had a decent base of ingredients, but was missing something to give it punch. I had a fish dish - sea bass? salmon? see, I'm forgetting... - that, again, was good, but not insanely great. There was a wonderful risotto that I tried off of someone else's plate. Everyone else loved their meal. They have some fun specialty martinis.

      The space is small and inviting. There's probably seating for 40-50? It's got low lighting and wooden walls. The service is also friendly and attentive - our group received complimentary champagne cocktails at the end of the meal (I assume for consuming 10 people's worth of food and wine.)

      I would give it a try if you want a nice atmosphere, especially since you are staying there. I'll definitely keep trying it to see how the kitchen unfolds. Since you are going to AyS, I'd be tempted to go low-key for the next night - yummy tacos, or some super traditional Mexican - and end up at Hip Kitchen for some drinks later.

      1. My husband and I have eaten at the Hip Kitchen twice. We especially enjoyed the soybean pods as a starter. Service was great but note that it can turn into a big scene at the night gets later. We will be there again this weekend. Be sure to say hello to Tom the owner and let him know what you think, good or bad. See also the NYTimes website for its 36 hours in Mexico City guide.

        1. Thanks everyone! We are really looking forward to our trip.

          1. Had a very nice dinner for 2 at the Hippodrome's Hip Kitchen on a recent Saturday night. We were seated at 9 pm, and in typical DF fashion the place was just starting to get hoppin' when we left shortly before 11. The room is unusual for Mexico City, long and narrow with a column of tables on either side of a single aisle -- like you see in New York -- with a comfortably warm palette of browns, blacks and silvers. There's a bar that seats 4 or 5 people.

            Friendly, easygoing staff with many speaking at least enough English to supplement my dreadful Spanish. Service, although relaxed and attentive in the typically Mexican way, is not as polished as some Yankee fine-diners might demand at a kitchen of this caliber, but that never bothers me -- in fact I hope they don't lose the neighborly vibe when the place fully catches on and suddenly you have to be Deigo Luna or Bono to get in.

            No outdoor spaces or lounge area (at least not yet), either for dining or drinking, which is a shame in the DF's lovely climate and in such a gorgeous neighborhood. That may put Hip at a disadvantage over its nearby competitors such as Ixchel, Casa Lamm and Condesa df, although the Hip's kitchen appears superior to those on my one experience of it.

            The menu is small, eclectic, accessible and reasonably sophisticated without being pretentious or faddish -- classics with a house-inspired spin. Definitely something for everyone. One disappointment on such a small menu was learning that three appealing items were unavailable: the house edamame with prosciutto, the empanada appetizer and the lamb entree. This may be a sign of the chef's commitment to using only the best-available ingredients, or perhaps the newness of the place means they haven't quite nailed the supply chain yet, but we certainly were able to find satisfying choices with what was available.

            Finally the food, saving the best for last. After enjoying a house martini, I started with the risotto, seemingly made with brown long-grain rice and flavored liberally with mushrooms and vegetables. Appropriately creamy, delicately balanced flavors and textures with the confident restraint not to overdo it on a first course. It paired just fine with the house white wine (which I suspect was a sauvignon blanc -- I didn't see the list but instead just asked for a glass of white).

            Then, because they were "ochenta y seis" on the lamb, I moved on to the boneless beef ribs over whipped potatoes. Perfectly braised (my guess) in that fall-off-the-fork way, complemented with a reduction sauce that enhanced without overpowering despite being so yummy I could have eaten a cup of it with a soup spoon. Paired nicely with the Chilean Bordeaux-style house red.

            My friend had the salmon, and I don't remember his first course. He's not here to give a detailed opinion, but he did rave about his dinner for the next 24 hours.

            We skipped dessert, ordered espresso, and got out of there for $NP1136.00 (approx $US103) including tip. We'll definitely be back.