Saturday, January 02, 2016

New Year's Eve Celebracion Barocca at Dulce Patria is a precious experience(12-31-15)

We did not want a hotel party or a mediocre dining experience for New Year's Eve, so we chose Dulce Patria, the elegant dining destination of Mexico's top female chef, and indeed on of Mexico's most famous chefs..Martha Ortiz. We arrived early as we expected tons of traffic on the holiday, so we had to wait about 15 minutes before they even opened the doors at 8pm. Our table was a sigh to behold, with leatherette and feathered masks, beautiful flowers and elegant Riedel crystal and china. I was happy already. The menus were printed and Samuel chose to have the children's tasting menu which was just as good as ours, but cost 1/4 the price!
Our server Gonzalo was a gem and asked exactly when each should be served during our 3-3/4 hour extravaganza.    Istarted with a  cocktail made from Pubela apples with tequila and wild lavender that was yummy, while Sam had a Mandarin soda that lit up (catch the photo on FB) for the holiday. Will was not drinking so he had a hibiscus water with cucumber. We all enjoyed the Smoked jalapeno chiles with ranch cheese and sweet tomato which were actually covered with a crunchy crust. The spice here was milder and indeed the cuisine was Mexican with a refined French flair of sorts. Breads arrived and we wanted to try them all but could not. Each different roll had a filling such as chipotle-cheese, mole, beans, or nogada....they were all amazing.
A sextet of string musicians and Mexican guitar-like instruments played, often the same music and especially Vivaldi's Four Seasons, but it was very nice and again quite elegant and classy.
I think our favorite course for all was the Cream of Young Corn Soup with Poblano chile strings and was not spicy at all and truly a divine corn soup.
I started with a Pionero 2014 Merlot-Tempranillo-Cab blend from Baja that I liked. My second wine was Casa Madero 2013 3V with the same grape blends and I didn't even finish it. Tops was the Hemisferio 2011 blending Petite Sirah & Merlot with yummy jammy notes, another wine perfect for mole.
The main course for Sam was Chicken breast breaded and baked (Milanese) with maize and cheese and rice with vegetable stars which was a huge portion for any person, let alone a child, but he adored it. We had the Beef Ribs with strokes of talavera(it means workshop) and old-style mole, which was explained as the Baroque style of cuisine from olden days. It came with tortillas which we did not even touch as we were so full. The dish had yummy plantanos with queso fresco, but alas the meat had some gristle making it not the best option. The accompaniments were corn gnocchi, mini grilled corn cobs, zucchini circles and so much more that it did not matter.
The first dessert was Red Pipian Ice Cream with caramelized fruits and seeds. The ice cream sat on a bed of spices and salt and these changed the flavor of the ice cream itself into an almost love-hate relationship as some spices were yummy and others not so much. It was a novel treat for sure.
Next came Baroque Almond Cake with Three Rompopes and roses of Castilla which was a divine egg, alcohol and peanut cake with pistachio nut sauce that I oohed and aahed over as I so rarely like cake.
We had heard that Chef Martha was amazing at desserts and yet more arrived with sugared grapes and a glass of Mumm's from France. We toasted the New Year as it was now just 11pm (midnight at home).
Adorable Mexican mini-wooden chairs on a platform came with even more treats of cahela(milk cream), apricots, chocolate and amaranthe, tamarind-nut and chile jellies. We took these home and are still munching them 2 days later.
The excitement did not end as we had the pleasure of meeting Chef Martha Ortiz on the way out and having our photos taken with her.
What a night!