You’d never know a restaurant of Quintonil’s standard would be hiding behind a plain wooden door in the upmarket neighbourhood of Polanco. Located on a quiet, leafy street, you’d walk straight past it if you weren’t ‘in the know’. But they don’t really need any ‘walk ins’; Quintonil is one of Mexico City’s most well-regarded restaurants (voted 12th best restaurant in the world), booked up weeks in advance, and, though we were the first guests to arrive for lunch, it filled up completely.
The restaurant itself seems more Nordic than Mexican in style; all pale woods and minimalist design. The coolest, most bustling part is closer to the kitchen at the back, which is a more open space with green leafy walls.
The waiters were all lovely, though (and we thought this was somewhat recurring throughout our trip) there were quite a few members of ‘senior’ staff who just hung around, and once in a while politely asked us if we were enjoying ourselves. And then went and stood against a wall again and waited a bit to ask the next table the same thing.
But wow, the food. Rob and I are both fans of Mexican cuisine, but we’d never had food like this. Beautifully presented, wonderful flavours, bright (but natural) colours – it truly was a feast to behold. They have an a la carte menu, so you don’t have to sit through 10 courses if you don’t want to. They do serve the most stunning amuse bouche of various ‘mole’ (sauces). We tried to opt for more unusual dishes, like cactus ceviche with an accompanying beetroot juice. I loved the Mexican white wine which accompanied our lunch.
Prices are more than reasonable considering the quality. And we welcomed the ensuing food coma. After lunch we were more than happy to roll into an Uber (so brilliant in Mexico City) and into our bed at the St Regis for an afternoon snooze. As we’d been up and exploring the city since 5:30am (thank you, jet lag), we didn’t feel guilty at all.
Newton No. 55,
Miguel Hidalgo, Polanco