Each month Yucatan Today visits a restaurant in order to describe what it has to offer. This is not a review; it is a summary of the menu, service, ambience, prices, and opening hours.
For a gastronomic experience that will absolutely thrill you, try the restaurant in the recently opened Rosas & Xocolate Boutique Hotel on Paseo de Montejo. Three years in the making, this stunningly restored 17-room hotel/restaurant/bar/spa/gym/chocolaterie has become one of Mérida’s hottest hot spots, although the quality of the food, service, and ambience has assured that this is no mere temporary fad: people who love fine food go back again and again.
Executive Chef Mario Espinosa worked in the Pujol Restaurant in Mexico City, recently included in the prestigious S. Pellegrino World’s 100 Best Restaurants Awards. He also worked at the Habita Hotel, a member of Design Hotels, as is Rosas & Xocolate.
The gleaming state-of-the-art kitchen is where all the chef’s extraordinary creations are brought to life. The kitchen personnel work in air-conditioned comfort and there is always a vase of flowers (roses, of course) there to celebrate their creativity. They make all their own breads, croissants, and bagels.
What can you expect if you decide to have dinner at Rosas & Xocolate? The menu is a festival of creative cuisine, using only the best ingredients. The dinner menu, which changes every two weeks, is divided into three sections: Appetizers and Salads, Sea, and Land. On their first visit, one couple we know ordered all nine appetizers on the menu to share because they just could not decide! They loved them all.
On a recent visit, in the Appetizers and Salads category, two of the most ingenious salads were the Duck Confit, with spinach, red cabbage, balsamic vinegar and cacao; and the Pear and Arugula, with goat cheese, nuts and mustard dressing. Both combine unexpected flavors and textures to delight your taste buds. Seafood lovers enjoyed the clever Deep Fried Octopus (chicharrón), with red onion, garlic chips and habanero; and the Sauteed Shrimp, with provolone cheese, watercress and garlic meuniere.
For main courses from the Sea, the Fish of the Day, mero, was prepared with cactus salad, radish and lemon vinaigrette with oregano. Also delicious was the Tuna Loin, with caramelized onion, parmesan cheese and curry gravy….a flavorful twist to this most flavorful fish.
For main courses from the Land, in addition to various tender beef options, as well as both duck and chicken breasts, there were several other options which were simply irresistible. One was the Rack of Pork Korobuta, with recado negro sauce, apple and glazed onions. Pork fans were savoring every bite of this tender and tasty pork rack. And if you always look for lamb on the menu of a fine restaurant, you might be tempted by the New Zealand rack of lamb, glazed in its juices, served with cous cous and lentil salad.
Desserts also change frequently. Everything is made fresh each day. The apple tart with vanilla ice cream was served warm and had the right touch of cinnamon. Rosas & Xocolate obviously always has chocolate on the menu, and the velvety chocolate mousse was surrounded by a crispy chocolate casing.
Hours: 7:30 am – 2 am. Paseo de Montejo x Calle 41. Tel. 924 2992. www.rosasandxocolate.com
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