My Sublime Experience at Mexico City's Rosetta
After well over a year without visiting anyplace, we once again headed out on a food tour this past June. We were asked to combine two of our tours and we were happy to do so: 6 days in Peru and 3 days in Mexico. As usual, we enjoyed some fantastic food and experienced some gorgeous scenery. On the tail end of our trip, we headed to Elena Ryegada’s Rosetta in Mexico City. What ensued was one of the most beautiful meals I have tasted in quite some time and one dish that stood out above almost any other of its kind.
I try to let our customers enjoy their meals without my interference, as this was a custom tour, I wanted to be out of the way as much as possible. Still, I could not pass up the opportunity to enjoy an evening at Rosetta, so I indulged and booked a separate table for myself. The first thing I noticed as I walked in is the intimate atmosphere that the restaurant creates by way of compartmentalizing separate dining spaces. The light is bright and the décor simple, elegant, classic.
I began with a Mantequilla con hormiga chicatana y pan de centeno (Chicatana ant butter and rye sourdough). From the first taste, it established the nuanced delight that would follow. The butter on its own was light and creamy with a darkness that coated the palate with flavor. When on the bread, this lightness transformed into sweetness that did not linger. It was a delightful appetizer.
Being that I was torn between two appetizers, I ordered a second appetizer that turned out to be the highlight of the meal: Tártara de res Wagyu al pastor (Wagyu steak tartare al pastor).
As light as the first appetizer was, this dish was exquisitely balanced. There was nothing missing, there was nothing extra. It was an exquisite experience. Until then, I had a list of three tartare dishes that were burned into my memory. There is now a fourth and it is battling for the top spot. The flavor of the meat was delicate yet unmistakable, complex, full, and it was only enhanced by the seasoning that enveloped it. As with every dish I tasted that night, there was a nuanced sweetness that I am very much looking forward to trying once more upon my return to Mexico City.
The entre was Róbalo en costra de sal con hierbas y Salicornia (Róbalo in sea salt with herbs and samphire)
I tried the fish on its own, paired with each of the ingredients, combined it with two, and so on. It was a new experience each time, each as wonderful as the next. I wanted it to never end. However, end it did. One element that was particularly pleasing is that the portions are such, that one walks away enjoying the meal without feeling the least bit overwhelmed.
After these fantastic dishes, I did something I rarely do: I ordered dessert. While I debated if I should order the tartare as dessert, in the end I decided on the Peras, flor de sauco y helado de estragon (Pears, elderflowers, and tarragon ice cream). The dessert maintained the general theme of the meal: balance, subtlety, beauty. One of the reasons I rarely order a dessert is that they often ruin a meal for me. They seem to be created to part of a separate experience, rather than a coda to the dining experience. This dessert proved to be the closing verse to an elegant sonnet.
I was so completely taken by this experience that I needed to try more. I spoke to the maître d to ask about the possibility of a tasting menu as part of our next tour and he informed me that they would be happy to accommodate us with one as well as a wine pairing. I am very much looking forward to enjoying it and sharing it with you on our next Foodie-Traveler tour.