Dinner of the Year! La Tecla, in Mexico City
Yes, I think this was indeed the dinner of the year, at a cozy, understatedly elegant and quite reasonably priced restaurant in Mexico City's Colonia Roma neighborhood. Serving "nueva cocina Mexicana," the Mexican equivalent of nouvelle cuisine, La Tecla gussies up traditional Mexican dishes and ingredients while remaining true to the culinary traditions.
I started with an appetizer of mini black bean gorditas (i.e., black bean was mixed into the corn masa) stuffed with shredded cochinita de pibil (a Yucatecan specialty of citrus-marinated pork, cooked in banana leaves), and topped with escabeche (pickled) onions.
That set the meal off to a wonderful start, but it was outdone by my main course, a perfectly cooked, thick fish filet (sea bass, I believe), stuffed with oodles of flor de calabaza (zucchini flowers), and served with a huitlacoche sauce (huitlacoche is the wonderfully earthy, aromatic corn fungus).
My truly indulgent dessert, prepared tableside, was a plate of mini-crepes in a coffee-brandy caramel sauce, topped with chopped walnuts.
Service was impeccable, and with a half bottle of Spanish white (Rueda), the total cost, including tip, was about $38.
As I walked back to my hotel I was literally beaming.
Av. Durango 186-A