My Monterrey disappointment
I love this town, however, it's restaurant scene just keeps piling up disappointment after disappointment. There has been a restaurant boom in the last 5 years spawning a series of trendy, expensive places. However, they just seem to keep falling short of a great (and sometimes just good) restaurant experience.
Some of the new places I've been to recently:
Plai: Thai cuisine. It made a lot of buzz here. Some people were called it the best place in towm, others went as far as saying that it was too good for Monterrey. I had tasted excellent Thai food from one of the cooks in this restaurant, outside the restaurant so I had a bit of high hopes. It all started downhill when the waitress in red crocs pretty much seemed to ignore us. My girlfriend asked for a red curry duck which was good. I had a 5 spice seared tuna. It was not properly seasoned and cold as hell. Green tea noodles were good. After two years the place is no longer around.
Diez: Diez means ten, however, it falls short from that number. It started with a good impression when the hostess came out and greeted us. We sat down, asked for drinks (I had to explain my vodka martini 3 times) and well... Our waiter was just wrong for the job, he forgot about us, he didn't know what was on the menu. One of the cooks had to come out and explain the dishes. They had a black cod in miso sauce, we asked about the cooking process for that one because we feared they might overcook the fish. He answered they didn't cook it too long, they just seared it and then pressure cooked it for about 15 minutes (*cringe). So I asked for a meat dish instead. 5 Minutes later, the guy comes out and tells me they were out. I asked for something else, and 5 minutes later, he tells me they were out of that one too. So I went for one of the Signature dishes the Filet au Poivre (I was annoyed so I forgot to tell them the temp). Another waiter comes out and asked me If I had ordered the cod. Food finally came out. My beef was 3/4, which is a bit too much for my taste. The other two were just fine. Everything was lacking salt, and tons of it. (My glass of wine never got to the table, also). To boot, the staff dissappeared when we were ready to leave, so we had to wait on them to get our tab... I left the place pretty annoyed.
Salute: Wasn't really expecting much from this place. Food was ok. My Ciroc martini tasted strange but it came from the right bottle so not much argument was left. It's just some sort of culturally jumbled trattoria.
Bianco: Not an overly greedy place (as far as pretending to be better that what it is). It's a simple, nice, Italian restaurant with art hanging from it's walls. Food here was just on target, attentive service and not to overly expensive made this one of the good ones to visit.
Pancracio: One of the best, not surprisingly, because the chef/owner has been on the restaurant scene for many years. My only grudge with this place was the seared tuna. It was not quite seared. I ate a block of raw tuna. The amuse was also a very poor attempt at making us believe we were in an expensive restaurant. Overall however.. good.
I don't know, perhaps the culture for good service and excellent food has just not gotten here. Perhaps I'm just expecting too much from this place.