martes, 19 de febrero de 2008


It's on again! This time it's being hosted by Robert @ lamiacucina. The flavor combination is Parmesan and Chocolate/cocoa.

At first I thought of Masaharu Morimoto's recipe. But Martin had already published that one back in the days of the first TGRWT. Another interesting find is Francesco Schintu's lasagna recipe. But I don't think I'll be working along the lines of any of them.

I would like to include a third element into the combination. Morimoto's added prosciutto and Schintu's include, well pretty much everything that's in pesto. Honestly basil's not a terrible idea.

According to the old google search, other possible ingredients include pork, beef, hazelnut, potato and others.

Another source for inspiration, is obviously foodpairing.

miércoles, 6 de febrero de 2008

La Leche

After so long of this restaurant lingering in my head, we finally made our way to La Leche. Created by Chef Alfonso Cadena, La Leche revolves around a funky-sounding concept coined by Cadena himself: Kocinaperitivo (It's even registered).

As far as I could grasp, Kocinaperitivo is not quite a cuisine philosophy as much as a service and drinking concept. The restaurant has a theme drink for the day and food's supposed to be paired with it, also food's served in the center of the table for sharing while quafing the bar's concoctions.

We arrived to La Leche at our scheduled reservation time, and found the place totally empty. Being an entirely white locale, it looked even emptier, despite the five or six persons staffing it. Service was friendly and attentive (at least until some other clients, known to our waitress showed up). She explained to us that the spirit of the day was Gin and they had four cocktails classified according to the moment we were supposed to drink them.

First up was the "Before" cocktail, a mixture of grape juice, lemon, gin and curacao. The "during" one was cranberry, lemon and gin. For an "After" drink they carried a Kahlua, coconut and gin mix and finally, for the "Party" they announced the "martini" of cucumber, gin and dark creme de cacao. We only had the first two, I found the first one a bit too sweet and tangy. I couldn't find a hint of the gin. Next up the "During" was a bit more balanced, but still on the sweet side. Not a bad drink but not quite something I would've paired with the meal.

For starters we had "Capri Roll" and Ravioli in Meat Jus. Capri roll was poorly treated goat cheese smothered in pesto. It was dry and crumbly but tasted fine. The ravioli were filled with chicken mousse and brie and came swimming in a dark meat broth. The mousse was tough and chewy and the brie was MIA. The broth was a bit too salty but overall, the dish had a decent taste to it.

Our mains were Salmon in Fava Cream and Chipotle Duck. The server asked me how I wanted the salmon "From seared rare to well done", I wanted it medium. The duck, medium as well. The salmon came bordering on well done, it was well seasoned and the fava cream was excellent. The duck came spot on as far as the temperature and the chipotle syrup was also excellent.

My grudge as far as the mains, relates to the garnishes and plating. The garnishes were pretty much the same for both dishes: roughly mashed potato and vegetable julienne. They came slightly warm instead of piping hot, for one of the "Nicest restaurants in Mexico", they were lacking. As for the plating, I feel that the plating didn't embrace the idea that this is food meant to be shared. The duck had to be awkwardly sliced by us and the mash was so "rustic" that it was impossible to get a decently sized bite from it without spending a lifetime fiddling with it.

For dessert we opted not to have drinks. My wife had lemonade and I asked for sparking water. They were out of Perrier, which was good, because I'm not too huge on it. They were also out of Pellegrino. They left me with only Topo Chico, and not the nice, new, table version. So no, thanks. Again, the hyped place fell short.

Choices for dessert were utterly lacking creativity: Creme Brulee, Brownie and Chocolate Mousse. Our server told us the mousse was extremely rich in flavor. So we had it along with the creme brulee. Again, I was disappointed. The Creme brulee had a perfect caramel shell on top, a nice taste but an awful texture. It was so overcooked it resembled scrambled eggs. The mouse was so rich in flavor it was sinful. Also a sin was its texture, it was a hard, grainy, block of chocolate.

In the end, it was a good dinner for this town, the price was fair, except for the extremely poor craftmanship on the desserts. I've paid more for creme brulee, ($12 bucks at a Ritz Carlton), but theirs was flawless while this eight buck one, should've at least had a better texture, or a hint of real vanilla bean.

Maybe I'd come back to this place, maybe I won't. It's definitely not ranking up among my town favorites.