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When the all-inclusive Paradisus Cancun resort opened in the former Gran Melia at the end of 2012, it lost no time bringing in Michelin-starred Spanish chef Martin Berasategui to open a new restaurant. His largely Basque-inspired Mexican and Caribbean cuisine reaches new heights for Cancun, drawing on fresh local market ingredients to create changing a la carte and six-course tasting menus. Something as seemingly simple as the smoked potato soup with octopus and parsley oil slows diners down, as they try to make each mouthful last. Veal tenderloin with Swiss chard, Camembert cheese and Iberian ham sauce is another standout. You never know what the tasting menu will bring, but give thanks if it includes the fresh seasonal fish with artichokes, fennel cream and asparagus salad (also available a la carte). The ultra-modern setting, incorporating a mosaic mirror wall and a black baby grand piano, is more stunning than comfortable, though the linen-covered tables and white leather chairs, set seemingly at random, do allow more than the usual space from other diners.

-Christine Delsol