Mexico’s most celebrated restaurant is Pujol, originally designed to offer an upscale version of street food. This year it moved into new quarters, instead of simply cooking in restaurant space they have space designed for their restaurant.
The kitchen has no burners, they sear on a wood grill and finish in the oven, and everything is organized around a central island. They have a comal for making tortillas. They have an outside brick oven pit. They serve a mole that’s been aged for more than 3 years.
It’s just a few blocks away, an easy 5 minute walk at most, from Las Alcobas where I was staying last month.
I think it’s fair to say the overall design of the restaurant is midcentury modern, and informal. I was surprised to see people in jeans, but they were all seated in the bar area. Still it wasn’t a place with white table cloths and suits. The name Pujol is derived from the chef’s high school nickname ‘Pozole’.
The restaurant offers a six course menu, here’s the one from my lunch, you make a selection four courses 2, 3, 4, and 6:
Beginning is a selection of ‘street snacks’.
For my first choice I selected the octopus which was outstanding.
In fact the entire meal was phenomenal. Everything was unique in its own way, different from pretty much any Mexican meal I’ve tried.
I never thought of mole as a course, but when you’ve aged and cared for it for 1409 days it deserves to be highlighted on its own.
We completed the meal with an intermezzo and my dessert choice of a black sesame tamale was a no brainer.
And after the formal dessert how could a meal like this be complete without a churro?
Although the restaurant is less formal than I’d have expected the service was mostly excellent. There was someone to help people put their jackets back by the restroom. (Although in the afternoon’s only fail, a course was served while I excused myself briefly.)
A visit to Pujol is a no brainer, well worth the price which while not insignificant at about $105 is reasonable for this sort of meal, less than you’d pay in other major cities.