Friday, December 5, 2014

dining out in tulum

As I've mentioned, the food in Tulum is something special. The locals (as well the American and European transplants) who run these intimate little restaurants and bars by candlelight and wood fired ovens do an amazing job; not only with the cuisine, but with the ambiance and decor. The below is a fairly comprehensive guide of where to have dinner in the jungle!

At Pura Corazon they serve more deeply rooted, traditional mexican dishes. We ate: Yucatan Lime Soup w/ chicken and tortilla | 2 for 1 margaritas | Shrimp Stuffed Poblano Pepper | "Manchamanteles" - chicken in a pineapple mole sauce over sweet potato mash

 {Cenzontle} jardin secreto
Cenzontle was modern, fresh, and delicious. We ate: Piquillo peppers stuffed w/ goat cheese and jocoque on avocado mousse and arugula pesto w/ chia sprouts | Catch of the day fillet in lime, ginger, paprika, olive oil and chipoltle | Tuna al pastor mounted on black rice topped by a grilled pineapple, red onion, roasted peppers and coriander pico de gallo w/ avocado mousse

I don't know why Casa Jaguar gets such mediocre reviews on trip advisor. I had it on my "could skip it" list but the atmosphere coaxed us in. Both of us had excellent fish entrees, preceded by tasty vietkong rollitos and followed up with crispy fried bananas and coconut ice cream. It was one of our favorite, albeit drunken meals. (A hell of a happy hour on the beach prior). I borrowed one of their facebook photos so you could see just how beautiful the space is in the daylight. It is even more enchanting and alluring at night.

{gitano} Mezcal Bar + Kitchen
We came here one night for mezcal cocktails at the bar and another night for dinner on a whim when we couldn't get into Hartwood. I'm so glad it worked out this way. Their tapas were fantastic. 

Mezcal Drinks and Tapas Plates: Jungle Fever - mezcal, chili, lime, cilantro | zucchini pasta pomodoro | roasted eggplant - sweet sunflower sauce, queso oaxaca (photo borrowed from their website) | Stardust - mezcal, dark rum, pineapple, papaya, house coconut cream | gitano ceviche - fish, lemongrass, cucumber, jalapeno, mango, red onion | grilled chorizo + sweet potato

{Posada Margherita

Posada Margherita is an Italian restaurant and hotel on the beach side specializing in handmade pasta dishes. This place happened to be two doors down from us, so on a night where we were particularly beat it proved a solid and satisfying choice. I wouldn't necessarily put it at the top if your list, though. The pasta was pretty good (and I was really glad I added the fresh caught lobster to mine) but what truly captivated me was the rustic chic beachfront atmosphere with its endless amount of potted succulents and weathered antique decor. (And how great is that Bano sign? It cracked us up.) I think dining here would come down to how many nights you are in town (Four or five - I'd go with any of the above / Hartwood / Casa Banana first. Seven or eight and you want to switch it up with some Italian? Sure, why not.

[Please note, all these establishments are cash only! They will accept Pesos or USD.]