7 Great Chef-Inspired Restaurants
Several formally trained chefs from around the globe have moved to San Miguel over the past few years, and it has improved the quality of our restaurants significantly. We like each of the restaurants listed below, but please keep in mind that these restaurants serve up “chef-y” food – which usually means small portions, minimal (to sometimes non-existent) sides, limited menus, and higher prices. If paying more money for less food (less quantity, not less quality) isn’t your thing, then you might want to avoid these restaurants. If you like the chef-owned/concept restaurant experience like we do, we think you’ll be pleased. Enjoy!
Owned by a Cordon-Bleu trained chef who hails from Peru, this popular bistro features a modern, upscale smattering of Peruvian specialties (seafood dishes, pork ribs, gnocchi with shrimp, salads, soups and more). La Parada is a fairly intimate venue, with indoor and outdoor seating, and modern-ish décor. La Parada is a very popular restaurant (with lots of good recommendations from travel writers - and us!), so we strongly recommend that you make reservations (especially in high seasons).
Hours: Wednesday - Sunday noon - 10
Address: Recreo 94
Chef Enrique Olvera, a graduate of New York’s Culinary Institute of America and winner of countless culinary awards, partnered with the owner of Hotel Matilda to create Moxi. We absolutely love Moxi and eat there often. We usually settle on our favorite restaurants based as much on ambiance as on the food, and we love the vibe at Moxi. It’s both elegant and eclectic with a cool modern flair. The indoor dining room is small but beautiful. It has a wall of glass that looks onto the outdoor (covered) dining patio. The hotel’s infinity pool is just beyond the outdoor patio, and the water from the pool cascades down a gorgeous rock wall. And the food is great too! We like the tamale de huitlacoche (not like any tamale you’ve ever had) and the jicama ravioli for starters, and we have yet to find anything on their list of main courses that we don’t love.
Hours: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Address: Aldama 53
American hipster chef Donnie Masterson apprenticed under chef David Bouley at New York’s Montrachet and later with the great Patrick Clark. He was Chef de Cuisine at Bice in Beverly Hills, The Hay Adams Hotel in D.C., and New York’s Tavern on the Green before he opened Azie, a highly publicized West coast concept restaurant and later worked for Joachim Splichal’s Patina Group as Executive Chef, running the Hollywood Bowl. The Restaurant is in a beautiful open courtyard with a trickling fountain and Moorish columns – very romantic. The menu is international and features seasonal organic produce. Chef Masterson is truly talented and his menu reflects that. Thursday night is pizza night (no regular menu). His pizzas are great, and also inexpensive – so pizza night is a fun way to get to experience the ambiance of The Restaurant if you want to avoid the pricier menu they offer on other nights.
Hours: noon to 10 (closed Mondays)
Address: Sollano 16
This restaurant is great, in our opinion. Chef Victor Manual Palma, a Mexico City native, was classically trained at the Florida culinary Institute in Boca Raton, and received additional formal training under two renowned Michelin-starred chefs, Joel Robuchon at MGM Grand in Las Vegas and Peter Rudolph at Rosewood Sand Hill in Palo Alto, CA. He began his career at Hotel Marquis Reforma in Mexico City, before moving on to various restaurants across the U.S. and Mexico including the Five Diamond Le Cirque at Hotel Camino Real in Mexico City. Before coming to San Miguel, he was Executive Sous Chef at the legendary Las Ventanas al Paraiso resort in Los Cabos. The large dining room at 1826 is quite formal, with beautifully upholstered booths and chairs, and lovely lighting. There are outdoor tables as well. The menu features locally sourced, super-high quality ingredients combined into haute cuisine typical in Mexico City, but with an innovative twist.
Hours: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Address: Nemesio Diez 11 (at the Rosewood Hotel)
The restaurant at Dos Casas boutique hotel is a lovely place where Chef Matteo Salas serves up contemporary Mexican cuisine using fresh local ingredients. Their unique open concept kitchen provides guests with the chance to watch the chef work his magic. The weekly menus showcase flavorful sauces and beautiful meat and seafood items, spinning international favorites into contemporary classics. Aperi is located inside Dos Casas Hotel.
Hours: Weekends only. Fri & Sat, 2 to 10:30; Sunday 2-6
Address: Quebrada 101 (inside Dos Casas Hotel)
13 Cielos was opened in October 14 by Chef Bricio Dominguez, also the owner of Nextia. The kitchen at 13 Cielos is run by Bricio's son, Pablo, who is a very accomplished young chef, trained by his father. They serve a variety of upscale interesting and creative international fare, including salmon and shrimp dishes, as well as beef, chicken and pork offerings. The restaurant is located inside, on the first floor of a beautiful old stone mansion in Centro.
Hours: Mon, Wed & Thu 1-10;
Address: Correo 34, in Centro