Mexico City during Christmas/New Year's
This is not a great time to visit the DF if you are targetting specific restaurants -- we had wanted to try Aquila Y Sol and Izote, both were closed, and D.O. was only open for lunch (as as janeabby posted, after a huge breakfast we usually just snacked at lunch). One great lunch was at Tostadas Coyoacan in the market there, we followed Jim Johnston's guidebook and enjoyed his perspective (but it's already out of date on a few instances).
Our best meal was at Pujol. We took the advice on this board and got the tasting menu, but asked them to give us some substitutions on my dinner so that we could both taste more things. They misunderstood and gave us two entirely different tasting menus, which was even better. They were also extremely gracious when I asked to have our table moved away from the smoker next to us. There were smokers throughout the one-room space but at least it wasn't being blown directly in our faces. The website (they are on OpenTable) shows the menu, in Spanish, although obviously many of the dishes we had were different from the sample shown.
They are a big fan of foams, and in general I thought this was wonderful. Here are some notes: Amuse bouche: liquid quesadilla with oaxaca cheese and foamed tortilla and (?) nopales? Escargot with cilantro potatoes - made us sorry we weren't having the full portions, we wanted more. Cactus salad: ground tortilla, strips of nopales, and oaxaca cheese. Squash blossom cappucino - wonderful. Dorado on a green sauce & grilled sole with frijoles sauce under: both wonderful. Beef with foam and 2 sauces: artichoke lemon and (maybe) asparagus cream?Eh.
We had breakfast at Maque in Condesa (there are several branches in different areas) and while the baked goods were spectacular (we carried a bunch home on the plane, even a dayold they were delicious), the eggs were only okay.
We were there, too. Great to be in a country where the dollar is still worth something - we stayed at El Camino Real in Polanco in a club room for <130 bucks. Had similar as you guys experiences with same closed restaurants. Must have been at Pujol the same time, too, which closed for a week subsequently. Very nice place with inventive food, gracious service. However, did not feel it was exceptional (25/30). Ate good streetfood in several markets in Coyoacan following Jim Johnston's footsteps.
Went to the street fare on Paseo de la Reforma right by El Angel on New Years Eve. Great fun.Must have been 20-30,000 people there. We stood 50 feet from stage for 3 hrs. Posted a video on youtube - you can see it at
Only downside was the worst Mexican steetfood of all time at the street fair, somewhere below Taco Bell. Guess I picked the wrong vendor.
New Years day everything was closed. After a full day at the pyramids, etc we ended up eating pretty good Mexican - Italian fusion at Bice at the hotel. I'd give it a 23/30 using the Zagat system. There was not much else was open except La Valentina, which looked pretty empty and had so-so reviews.
We had much better food in Xoahoca during the rest of the trip.
We missed so much that I feel I have a lot of unfinished business in DF and plan to return in the next few years if not sooner.
New Year's Eve was tough in the DF--all the recommended places (Aquila y Sol, Izote, etc.) were all closed. However, there was a street fair set up on the Paseo de la Reforma, right by El Angel and there were heavenly tacos and many other street munchies. Plus there was the free concert and lots of people watching. Not what we were expecting, but fun nonetheless.