Above: Micaela Mar y Lena crudo de atun
Grilled seafood is the specialty at Cocina de Mar y Lena, a contemporary restaurant that seems a magnet for an upscale crowd of fashionable Mexicans arriving by the Uber-full, at least they were pre-COVID. The grilled shrimp and octopus were wonderful, and the refreshing raw tuna (above) just melted in your mouth.
Chef Sara Maria Arnaud Gomez combines the flavors of Oaxaca with those of the Yucatan at Apoala on the prime people-watching park of Santa Lucia. From ceviche and fried zucchini blossoms to dessert, everything was beautifully plated. Loved their mezcal mule cocktails with a smoky charred chunk of caramelized honeycomb riding atop the rim.
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Above, Grilled Pulpo and Camarones at Peruano in Merida
It seems way too long since the blog offered any nourishment. This first restaurant post from Merida has little to do with traditional dishes of the Yucatan (Don’t worry, we’ll serve you some of those soon.).
Since the most recent food post was from Italy, we’ll begin the transition with a visit to an Italian enoteca – Oliva. Having been spoiled so recently, we hesitated to try this high-end Italian in Merida. We were richly rewarded though. Lamb ragu, cauliflower risotto and a beautifully delivered filet of sea bass all measured up to Italy. Of course, Oliva had me hooked with a special starring one of my favorite foods in the world – soft-shelled crab.
Continue reading “Postcard from Merida, Mexico: Cuisine branches out beyond the expected”
Mariscal, Peruvian-style marinated seafood at Aborigen Restaurante
More than any other location we visited in Andalucia, Malaga seemed willing to embrace global food influences. There were several South American restaurants in the center of the city that took full advantage of the city’s fresh seafood, translating into great ceviche. We made multiple visits to and recommend both Aborigen Restaurante and Andino Gastrobar.
Alexso Restaurante delivers an intimate contemporary experience with excellent service on a level that should soon merit stars, yet without the high prices that characterize those discovered restaurants. Our lunches there included such dishes as moist sea bass perched atop seafood rigatoni, succulent suckling pig and white chocolate flan with violet ice cream.
U Siciliano salad with goat cheese
Radici Osteria Italiana bruschetta
Restaurante Alexso brownie
Andino Gastrobar grilled pulpo
Vegetariano el Calafate stuffed eggplant
Canadu asparagus and mushroom risotto
Andino Gastrobar lamb burger
Andino Gastrobar tuna ceviche
U Siciliano vegetable pizza
Radici Osteria Italiana trofie with pesto
Andino Gastrobar coconut custard
Aborigen Restaurante gnocchi with vegetables
Restaurante Alexso white chocolate flan with violet ice cream
Aborigen Restaurante steak
Canadu chickpea caldo
Canadu Persian rice
Canadu salad with fruit
Andino Gastrobar veggie nachos
Restaurante Alexso suckling pig
Canadu curried couscous
Aborigen Restaurante seafood stew tapa
Radici Osteria Italiana albondigas de tuna rojo
U Siciliano eggplant
Restaurante Alexso sea bass perched atop seafood rigatoni
Canadu apple and pine nut croquetas
Vegetariano el Calafate vegetable couscous
Radici Osteria Italiana spinach ravioli with sage butter
Restaurante Alexso smoking amuse bouche of creamy papaya curry
Vegetariano el Calafate roasted green tomato salad and garbanzo soup
Andino Gastrobar grilled salmon
Aborigen Restaurante fish with root veggetables and quinoa
Restaurante Alexso couscous salad
The Italian restaurants we tried were good as well. The pizza and the saucy eggplant emerging from the oven at U Siciliano Bar Ristorante; the only disappointment was the supply of arancini had run out when we visited. The bruschetta and pastas at Radici Osteria Italia were perfect and the outside tables on a primarily pedestrian street were pleasant, but do not expect lightening-fast service.
Plus Malaga has some vegetarian options. Locals pack Vegetariano el Calafate for their multi-course lunch specials, so reservations are advisable.
The biggest surprise was hidden amongst a row of restaurants lining one side of Plaza Mercedes. The outdoor umbrella-shaded patios provide pleasant people-watching spots so attract a high number of tourists and drinkers. The fresh vegetarian dishes emerging from Canadu were a higher caliber than the offerings of many of its neighbors and inexpensive for such a prime location. Apple and pine nut croquetas, Persian rice, asparagus and mushroom risotto and mountainous fresh salads made us repeat customers.